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Inside Tracks

Silvretta Ski Safari 2024

The tour started under sunny skies and unseasonal warm weather. We took the train from Klosters to Guarda and then the little post bus up to the charming little village which is home to Swiss children's favourite Schellen Ursli. The plan for the day involved no skiing and just a hike and skin up to the Tuoi Hut where we would be spending the first night. It was a nice gentle start and the perfect way for everyone to familiarise themselves with their kit. We started off with our skis on our rucksacks and after about 20 minutes reached the snow line where we put on our skis and skins. It was then nearly 3 hours climb to the hut and everyone was very much in need of a drink and late lunch when we got there. In spite of concerns from one or two of the group that we should have brought sandwiches the guardian was able to rustle up some mighty fine rostis and soups.


Given the continuing warmth we set off early on day 2. Breakfast was at 5am and we departed about an hour later just as it was starting to get light. It was magical touring up on our own pre dawn as the darkness waned and the sun started to come up. This time we had brought sandwiches (courtesy of the Tuoi Hutte) and as we reached the col taking us over into Austria we stopped for "second breakfast". Feeling refuelled we continued up and then leaving our skis and rucksacks on the ground shimmied up to the summit of Hintere Jamspitz (3153m) where we were afforded spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.


The ski down to the Jamtal Hut was in spring snow (sort of) and we just had acres to ourselves. We had opted to do a short extra skin so as not to take the direct route, and where we stopped to put skins on there was a huge ice cave. The group was nothing short of curious and Michi (one of the guides) dutifully attached us to a rope and lowered us the few meters into the hole where we could then access the cave. It was completely surreal, knowing that we were surrounded by ice thousands of years old and completely magical. It was also a photographer's dream!


The tour then continued and after reaching our destination put skis back on and descended down to the hut, with the skiing getting tricky as it was now sticky and overcooked. Being in Austria lunch could only be one thing... Wienerschnitzel followed by Kaisershcharm (for those yet to experience this it is a bit like bits of pancake covered in icing sugar dipped in jam and apple sauce and is completely delicious!).


The idea was to have another early start on day 3 but the guardian was immoveable when it came to the timings for breakfast, so we got an unscheduled lie in to 6am! The touring again was stunning and sunrise glorious. We skinned for just over 3 hours and then decided to go to the top of another small peak Ochsenkopf (2977m). This time we put on crampons and as a precaution roped up as well. The team were very excited at the prospect of using all their mountain kit! Again, there were wonderful views and then it was time to descend, put skis on and head down to the Wiesbadener Hut. Lunch was remarkably similar to the day before!


As the afternoon progressed it started to snow and when we woke up the next morning it was still snowing. With the visibility poor we opted for plan B which was for a short 90 minute skin to the col where we could cross back into Switzerland and down to Guarda. Plan A involved a longer tour and a descent down the Silvretta Glacier and then out via Garfuin to Klosters, but that would have been miserable in those conditions). Winter had certainly returned and we managed to get a few powder turns in on our way down the mountain and before the skiing got decidedly variable.


We were back in Klosters marginally earlier than expected so their was plenty of time for a good lunch at Al Capone. There were plenty of memories which were improving in the telling and photos to swap. It was a tremendous experience for the whole team and huge thanks are due to our two guides Bruno and Michi who made the whole trip so enjoyable.