Our German friends Fritz and Renate suggested a new trek for us in 1991 and so one day in August we set out for the longest walk we had ever taken in the Alps — starting out round Lünersee, (after taking the Seilbahn up) and climbing the Gafalljoch (Gafall = slope) which is at the southern end of Lünersee, half across the lake from Douglashütte. In later years we were going to make this Wanderung in the other direction, starting out with Totalphütte and coming back in the incredibly green Swiss valley.
Our first walk to Gemslücke with Fritz and Renate:
We climbed up and over Gafalljoch, which we once before half climbed in 1981 on our way to Lindauerhut. We then turned left (east) from the middle of Gafalljoch and walked parallel to the mountains separating Austria from Switzerland, only it was up and down hills.
This time we entered the most glorious Swiss valley, turned west along the valley for quite a distance before we got to the rocky climb up to Gemslücke. Renate chided me for talking as we were climbing. She said that you must be silent when you climb. OK, of course she was right, and I am just a chatterbox. Fritz was at the head and Renate and I came after him. John took all the pictures on this stretch and he must have been the last one of the quartet.
Gemslücke really is a hole (Loch) in the range of craggy mountains separating Austria from Switzerland, with one huge rock on the eastern side of the Loch, Lükke, Luggen, lucka (Swedish — hole. The views from Gemslücke were fantastic.The most wonderful surprise to me was the green-green valley towards the west, one mountain dominating the valley. I had never seen greener mountains. What a contrast from the Swedish bare mountains with, in my time, had some snow at the top or along the sides.
We took pictures of course at and from the Gemslücke and then continued down to a suitable place for lunch. John went to sit on a rock looking out over Lünersee.
On our continued walk over scree and rocks we marveled a all the flowers growing among the rocks on the Totalp.
We could hardly believe the thousands and thousands of Silberwurz (mountain avens), which we usually associated with Saulajochg . It was just overwhelming. Small bbnluebells almways nudged in with some rocks, carpets of Mannschil in a deep pink, oodles of yellow Zottige Gemswurz, which we see huge numbers of down around Lünersee, intensely green mosses of varying kinds on the rocks, and the list goes on. Most of all we were absolutely delighted to see the adorable little alpine pulsatilla (anemone) that we had already seen on that same day in the valley, just where we started up the rocky climb.
When you get close to Totalphütte there is a climb at the end of the stretch from
Gamslücke to Totalphütte, which are approximately on the same leve. However, since the walk goes quite a bit up and down over rocks and scree, it is quite a walk anyway. Once you gat to Tptalphütte you still have the pretty tiring 400 m. walk down the zigzag path to Lünersee.
More of my favorite pictures from the next three walks to Gemslücke, then alone, except for a group of three mountaineers who climbed straight up on the back of the mountain where there are no cables. It looks possible, but not for us. More flowers of various colors on Totalp, which is anything but dead. The stony ground is covered with mostly small flowers.
Geisspitze is a long story. It began with a failure because of a strong wind that we had not counted on. We had gotten Fritz and Renbate to come along with us in
1992, and I remember Renate being so upset she sat down leaning her back against a rock declaring that she would not walk one step further. We had walked up and down the first three hills on Golmer Höheweg when Renate suddenly decided that she would not have it any more.
We tried it again, alone, in 1993, and it was a success in a way, except that my feet got so sore I could not walk up on the last ridge to the peak. I sat down on the Joch below overlooking Lindauerhütte waiting for John to come back down. Then we had our lunch and rested some more. However, the walk was so wonderful and fun that it was in spite of it all, a great day.
So we had to give it one more chance, and that got to be in 1996 and again, By that time we had learned to put soft socks inside the woolen socks, and that solved the entire problems with our feet getting sore.