7.2.2013: Ski tour from the Martinihof inn near Untergreuth to the Bertahütte, and back to Unteraichwald.

My kind wife, who goes for skiing with the kids at the Three Nations´ Corner, drives me to the Martinihof inn in the morning, where I start my tour, about 800 m ascent with touring skis. Although it is rather strenuous to walk up with skis, the big advantage is the descent: on my skis, I can get down in less than 20 minutes, whereas the ascent took me nearly 5 hours.

Houses near the Martinihof inn.

A small plain near the Martinihof.

A small access road to the last farm, covered with fresh snow.

Deeply snown winter landscape ...

 ... near the last farm house, ...


 ...  called the "Kofler".

The way further is without any traces - therefore rather strenuous - upwards through the forest ...

 ... which is enchanted by the lots of snow.

First glimpse of Mittagskogel.

Now I reach a beck that I have to cross.

Clear water on white limestone - like everywhere in the Karawank mountains.

A high weir keeps the bed load up and keeps it from destroying the valley below.

Waymarking on the tree - in some places the only trace of a path in this deeply snow covered area.

Streambed above the wall, deeply covered with snow.

I reach a forest gravel road now, carrying a good ski track - and a Ski-Doo is coing down and, ten inutes later, going up again. Then no traces of it ...

A glimpse of Reißeck through the trees ...

 ... and of Mittagskogel.

If he does not come down, he seems to stay in the hut? One more reason to stick to my plan, although my goal still is rather far.

More up now, and a few views down to the valley

 ... of Villach. On the main Alpine ridge on the horizon, clouds are held back, and at the Northern side (including Schladming, where the Alpine ski world championship is performed at the moment) it is snowing. Hard to believe!

I keep on walking the road and finally reach the Berta hut. This route is longer than the shortages of the footpath, but in case of exhaustion, I have a rather easy downhill as compared to a deeply snow covered, steep forest. Reaching the hut, I meet two slightly ragged looking guys sitting in front of the house, each with a bottle of beer in his hand - one of them is the renter o the hut. Answering my question about a drink (which I really need now !!!) they say, that the hut officially is closed at the moment, but serving a drink can be managed. They further say, good that I am here, I can help them dig out the ski-doo stuck in deep snow behind the hut. So, I get something to drink (without paying!) and afterwards, I help them dig out the ski-doo: with the shovel and lifting it up (which can only be managed by more than two strong persons!) and push it to the side to correct the dircetion and get it into track again.
After half an hour, the work is done, I put off the Climbing skins from the skis, take on the skis and go downhill. 20 minutes for a 900 m descent even down to the main road near Unteraichwald, where my kind wife picks me up with the car.