A very frozen Kops lake

One of the great things about the Ischgl Paznaun area is that they prepare winter walking trails alongside the cross country ski trails. As they are packed down we could hike with normal boots rather than taking snowshoes which is nice.

Today after a very leisurely start we wrapped up warm and headed out from our hotel up the valley to Wirl and then took a route up the Zeinisbach River Valley below the ski area up to the Kops-Stausee reservoir. Going up the river valley was fairly sheltered and with some sun was pleasant hiking. Once we reached the trails high point however to drop down towards the lake the wind picked up and the sun disappeared resulting in plunging termperatures. Was glad to get to the lake so we could head back. Idea was to take a different route back and have a coffe in a restaurant on the ski slopes. That was heaving with cold hungry skiers so we had some tea and chocolate by the bathrooms downstairs warming up nicely before heading down to Wirl for a very nice bowl of soup.

The sun then came out so we decided to hike up part of the valley towards Silvretta lake to recce the trail and decide if we could ski up there tomorrow, or whether it would be too steep.  Beautiful afternoon walk in the sunshine and definitely within our skill set but will probably take our backcountry skis and hopefully by taping up my feet I will minimise blister risk!

Lady luck shone on us as when we got back to Wirl there was a ski bus waiting which we hopped on to avoid the hike back to Galtür. Only a couple of km, but after walking about 16km (and about 800m of ascent) I was happy to let someone else take the strain. Finished off the day with a lovely latte and hazelnut florentine at the cafe just below the hotel.