Hiking and Mountain Climbing with our Irish Terrier Bitch Scooby-Doo Silvester von der Emsmühle (Part 1)
The Irish Terrier is often characterised as „Allrounder“, because he is intelligent, has high learning capacities and might be used in many activities. The following report demonstrates his capacities in the high mountains.
Climbing Dachstein and Hochkönig
Long ago we started to prepare ourselves and Scooby-Doo for mountain hikes, among others by climbing on tree-trunks and wood staples, Cavaletti exercises and regular jogging. Finally, when she reached an age of 18 months, we realised the project. Scooby-Doo had her first impressions of moving in high mountains in the Dachstein-Südwand-Sky-Tram up to the Dachstein plateau with windows at the height-level of dog eyes. In about 5 min we got up nearly 1000 high meters – nearly free-floating 200m above earth – up to Hunerkogel in a height of 2700m. Scooby-Doo managed this fast ascent curious, relaxed and without any health problems.
We already got a climbing harness for Scooby-Doo months ago. At her first “via ferrata dry training” near Cologne Scooby-Doo demonstrated 100% confidence when we carried her up-and-down ladders and over iron bars along steep rock faces with her climbing harness, and she remained completely calm hanging in the belt.
On top of Dachstein Gletscher Scooby-Doo let herself be guided with a special Climbing-leache within the rope party of people. On the way to Adamek Hut, our stay for the next days, we had to pass steep Steinersaddle. While humans partly had big problems climbing up the saddle, Scooby-Doo managed her way up and down without any problems.
At a tricky climbing section our training sessions at home became helpful. Even at this specially exposed spot Scooby-Doo remained fully confidential and let her be carried over the steel-sticks and the big abyss below us.
It became even more physically and psychologically demanding when we were climbing top of Dachstein at 2995m altitude. We climbed uphill via Westgrad using a security rope for humans and the dog and surrounded by a bizzar world of ice and snow. On the way uphill we had strong freezing rain, but Scooby-Doo wore her rain-proof winter cover below her climbing belt that kept her warm.
Scooby-Doo managed nearly all passages independently but as a precaution remained always secured on a rope, and was carried up or down only at some few steep sections.
Sometimes the sun was laughing from a bright blue sky and she obviously was happy about the first ascent of the summit of the Dachstein by a dog in the last 30 years, as our local mountain guides knew.
The happiness of having “conquered” this summit together with this incredible “Dog made of Gold”, full of confidence, willpower, energy and with such a strong character, is something indescribable.
And the glaring red sunset at Adamek Hut on the next day deeply burned this intense feeling of happiness into our souls.
About one week later we hiked nearly ten long and strenuous hours from Arthur-Hut (1502m) up to Matras-Hut (2922m) in the area of Hochkönig. This time no crevasses or dangerous and steep rock edges were present. Therefore, Scooby-Doo moved freely on the area most of the time. She unerringly followed old traces and showed us the way over the rocks and along steep snow flanks.
For Scooby-Doo this hike was a tremendous party. Underway she frolicked around in the snow and had incredible fun throughout the whole tour. And during the sunset at nearly 3000m altitude in a gigantic scenery and 360° all-round visibility she seemed as referent and impressed as us.
Scooby-Doo not only managed 12 days of demanding high-mountain-hiking up to nearly 3000m altitude in different terrain without any health problems and in excellent physical condition, but she also impressed us with her joy and confidence in moving and her never ending trust in us. We are proud and happy that such a wonderful “Dog made of Gold” accompanies us throughout our life.