Galtür, Austria

I was exhausted from skiing and I had to take a day off. What could I do on a day off from skiing? Run. It was going to be a run on snow, and I just hoped the snow would be sufficiently hard packed that I wouldn't get wet feet.
I decided to follow one of the cross country ski routes, although you aren't really supposed to do this, but I took care to stay out of the ski tracks. Using this route had the advantage that the trail was groomed, so hard packed, and there were red poles showing me which way to go.
After an initial false start because I had to return to my hotel having realised after two minutes that I had forgotten my gloves - it would be very foolish to run without gloves - I set out on the trail towards the Wirl ski slopes where I had skied earlier in the week. The mountainsides were still in cloud but the cloud was threatening to lift at any moment. Everything was quiet, and white. Galtür is at the end of the road in this valley and in the early morning with the ski slopes still closed it wasn't surprising the area was quiet.

I followed the river for a while then climbed above it. That was hard, maybe because of the altitude.  After I got through Wirl the driveable road ended but I continued on a closed road, again by the river. I could see the tip of the mountain looming above Wirl lit up by sunlight. Then I crossed the river and turned back. The snow groomer was doing its thing on this side of the river so I had to be careful where I ran; the groomer was the width of the trail.
After I came back into Galtür I took a detour along the outskirts. I came into a sub valley which was very pretty with trees and a creek, and on the horizon a mountain range was coming and going through the mist. Then I descended through the village to the road and somehow found my way home.


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