Friday started slowly with us losing one car, but finally gathering successfully at the Vordergnadenalm, some half an hours drive from our hut, where we could start the trail towards the valley ahead. We set off along the flat valley floor and remained dressed this time until we passed the Gasthof and car park at the Gnadenalm. As we entered the trees, most of us stripped off our clothing and continued naked, taking the zig-zagging forestry and farm road up the steep hill above. A pair of girls arrived in a car and parked before near us before getting out and herding their cows around the hill. They appeared to be checking the cows were ok, and moving them gently from one spot to another as if to keep them accustomed to their handling. I kept an eye on the clouds as they padded thickly across the steep rocky ridges above, but the weather was holding good for us. We approached the Südwienerhütte steadily. On a previous year, we’d been able to eat and drink naked on the terrace of this friendly Gasthof, but this time there were simply too many other people already sitting around, so we moved on to have lunch just beyond the Gasthof itself. After a short break, we set off, putting another couple of hundred metres of altitude behind us and finally arriving on the plateau. Now the sun was out, and we were able to meander pleasantly amongst the high rocks and grassy mounds of this stony paradise. The ridge to the south, sharply delineating the horizon high above us in the blue sky. The occasional group of cows chewed lazily as they watched us tramp peacefully past, neither group disturbing the other. We stopped for a while at a place where we had a particularly good view along the valley towards Radstadt, gazing deeply down to where our cars were parked far below. Walking on again, I encouraged Sandra to take the lead so that she could savour that unique experience of being naked in nature, and alone. We met a couple of people coming the other way, which gave Sandra her first experience of naked and clothed encounters too, so all in all we were covering quite a lot of ground with this tour. Stopping again by a small peak, Roberto and several others, including Polly of course, leapt at the opportunity to bag a quick summit.
Polly was now walking without her shoes, and although not being able to fetch sticks, (as nobody was throwing any), seemed to enjoy herself the extensive walking immensely all the same We continued on past several small snow fields before reaching the lake for a well deserved stop. Several people at once dived in as I looked on thinking it looked too cold for comfort. Dan appeared to shiver nearly uncontrollably, and began to look greyer than usual, when he came out, but seemed to recover once he’d pulled on some clothing and began moving again. Sandra said it was too cold, but then fell in anyway and had a quick swim. Andrea seemed impervious to the low temperature, although it seemed like a good idea to get everyone moving again, as the sun was hiding behind darkening clouds above us, and a slight breeze was not warming anyone. We turned and headed over the ridge, past the cross just below the crest, and descended steadily and steeply towards the Felseralm. Now we dressed quickly to pass the hotel, and walk down the tarmac towards the main road. Reaching the forest we could undress again, and we followed the trail down until we could skirt around the valley edge to get an immensely cool view of the Johanessfall from below and behind the jet of waterfall itself. We descended the now long but easy valley to rejoin the Gnadenalm route and wend our way along the plain road back to our parked cars. Returning for a late but well-earned dinner prepared and served by the hard-working kitchen helpers.