Hiking Tour – Bielerhöhe – Saarbrücker Hütte (2538m)

This year we stayed again (like in 2013) in the Silvrettahaus near the Silvretta reservoir. We arrived at Friday, the weather was perfect and we were looking forward to our hiking day on saturday.

We started from the Bielerhöhe and walked via Madlenerhaus and Tschiffernella to the Saarbrücker Hütte. It was a beautiful trail in a rocky landscape. In the higher regions most parts of the trail were covered with snow but it wasn’t a problem so far. After 2.5 hours we reached the Saarbrücker Hütte. It is the highest alpine hut in the Silvretta. From there you have a beautiful view of the Gross Litzner (3109m), the Gross Seehorn (3122m) and the Litzner glacier. And we were also lucky because we were told on the next day the hut would close for four months.

For our way back we planned to take the route via Litznersattel, Verhupftäli and the Klostertal. But after some discussions concerning the snow we decided to take the road back to the Bielerhöhe. As last year, we had to change our tour again due to the snow. Maybe next time we schedule our trip a few weeks earlier.

All in all it was about a 5 hours walk with 890 elevation gain.

A photo sphere of the Saarbrücker Hütte and the mountains:  -> Photo Sphere Saarbrücker Hütte


Hiking Tour – Gamp – Malbun – Augstenberg (2359m) – Pfälzerhütte – Nenzinger Himmel

This year (22.8) we started from the Berghaus Mattajoch where we stayed the first night and had a delicious evening meal.

The next morning we walked via the Mattajoch to Malbun (Liechtenstein), then to Sareis and Sareiserjoch and from there to the Augstenberg (this trail is officially known as the Fürstin-Gina-Weg). The last part of the trail to the peak was very foggy and so unfortunately we couldn’t see any panorama of the beautiful surrounding.

From the Augstenberg we went to our next lodge, the Pfälzer Hütte. We stayed there over night and had again a hefty evening meal. The plan was to climb the Naafkopf the next morning before going down to the Nenzinger Himmel.

But the next morning there was a surprise waiting for us…..SNOW. So we just had breakfast and went back to the Nenzinger Himmel :-).

Hiking Tour – Bielerhöhe – Radschulter (2697m) – Radsattel – Wiesbadner Hütte

This was our yearly 2-day hiking tour. We started from the Silvretta-Haus (were we stayed 2 nights) at about 10 a.m. and hiked straight to the Radschulter. The trail begins easy but  the last slope was very steep and was already covered with snow.

On top of the shoulder we made a small break. The plan was to climb to the summit of “Hohes Rad” but due to the snowy conditions we decided to skip that part.  The next segment was a easy walk to the Radsattel and from there to the Wiesbadner Hütte. After two more hours we were back at the Silvretta Stausee.

All in all in took us about 7 hours with a few breaks and one longer stop at the Wiesbadner Hütte. From there you have a very nice view of the glacial scenery around the Piz Buin which is really impressive!

4. Fairway Golf Charity 2013

The Fairway Golf Charity is a non profit organisation which raises money with a yearly golf tournament in Gams.
It supports various different social projects. In 2013 for example these were  “Freude herrscht” , “Autismushilfe Ostschweiz” and “Stiftung Sternschnuppe“.

Because I was not familiar with golf photography I summarized a few tips which could be helpful:

  • Avoid any noise. This even means to select the AI Servo mode for focusing to avoid the bleeps of the camera.
  • Freeze the action. Best is to use Tv mode and a fast shutter speed of a minimum 1/500 (also 1/2000 or 1/2500 are common). Shoot in continuous mode.
  • Take at least one wide angle and a supertelelens with you. I go with the EF 300mm,  EF 70-200mm f/2.8mm and the EF 16-35 f/2.8L.
  • Take a monopod with you. Not only to stabilize but also because its tiring to hold these heavy lenses the whole day
  • Try to shoot in the golden hours. That means early and late when the sun is low.
  • Try to find shots with a clean background
  • For close-ups use a shallow depth of field (f/2.8)
  • Take pictures that show emotions of the players

Well, that was the theory. The day of the tournament was very long (8am to 11pm). We started at about 8 am with a short briefing and discussed which part of the course each of us has to cover. We were a group of four photographers and concerning the size of a 18 hole golf course I would say that four is a good number to cover everything without the need to hurry constantly from one spot to the next.

After the players arrived and  a warm up at the driving range we made a group picture of the 105 participants and at 11 am the tournament started. Each flight in the tournament was between 4 and 5 people (a flight is a term for a group of golfers within a tournament with roughly the same skill level). With 21 flights we were prepared for a 5 to 6 hour tournament.

The tips were helpful, especially the AI Servo mode was very important. Not only because of the noise but more because of the need to constantly refocus during the movement of the player (for example during the tee-off). If the sky is cloudy it’s best to use higher ISO values to make sure the shutter speeds are high enough. “Freezing” the action was also a good hint to keep in mind.

For the next tournament I consider to take a flash with me (for group pictures) and maybe a second body to switch quickly between two lenses. But that also means a heavier backpack to carry the whole day 🙂