Sunday, 31 August 2014

Kitzbuhel to Gr Gebra via Aurach and Hochwildalmhutte - Austria 16 Aug 2014.

Kitzbuhel 761m to Gr Gebra 2057m via Aurach and Hochwildalmhutte 1557m
Distance 25km Climb 1300m
Saturday 16th August 2014

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After breakfast we set off, it was rather damp and overcast when we started walking today.  The walk took us south east from the Hotel Edelweiss down the road onto the walk to Aurach.

The river was full and fast flowing, following the heavy rain over the last few days.  At Aurach we turned east, crossed a bridge over the river and headed up towards the main road.  Crossing the main road near a backeri we continued east and took the road up to Oberaurach, following signs for the Wildpark.  At Oberaurach we passed the two interesting looking churches.

From Oberaurach we followed the signs to the Wildpark, continuing east, this took us up on the road, there was no path as we started a steady climb up. 

When we reached the Wildpark car park this was where we were going to separate, Anne turned left towards the Wildpark.  I continued walking through the car park, where I crossed a stream that flowed across the road. 

It had been raining off and on all day but now things were starting to clear and it was really very warm, So I had to take my coat off. A party of four walkers passed me and were flying up the hill.  The route took me up by the road, although in parts paths turned off the road to cut off corners and crossed steeply up the hill across the country.  

At one place where the route moves off the road it reaches the cross at Nieder-Wildalm, 1360m where the views were stunning.

As I moved up the path and onto a narrow country path, I saw the walking group ahead and above me on another path. After about 700m the path crosses a road and starts climbing up to Hochwildalmhutte at a height of 1557m.  The other group had stopped at Hochwildalmhutte.

Klaus had told me previously of a famous footballer who lives and owns the Hochwildalmhutte, I had problems remembering his name so when I got back to the hotel I asked Klaus to write it down.  It was Wolfgang Feiersinger and he had played for Borussia Dormund when they had won the Champions League in 1997.  Klaus said I should have called in to see Wolfgang.

I had reached the Hochwildalmhutte last year where I saw a number of tops I would like to walk up.  This year I was going to get at least one in.  The view this year was different as I could not see any of the tops due to the low cloud cover.  The ground was very wet, slippery in places.  I could see this waterfall across the valley and you can see the amount of water falling.

With the low cloud it was difficult to follow the route so I had to take care. Just past Hochwildalmhutte is the junction for Bischof and Gr Gebra.  I decided to walk up Gr Gebra.  The path climbed up north west, twisting and turning.  There was a steep climb up over a ridge and I was in another high valley.  The low cloud was still obscuring the views up.  

Another quick short steep climb north and I was in another high valley.  This was brilliant.

In places the sky's cleared and the views were brilliant.

At one point I could almost see the top.  Then the cloud lowered again.

I reached the top of Gr Gebra (Gebraranken) 2057m and could not see a thing.  Best to turn back.

In places it was steep and so I took my time coming down.  A few meters down I turned and looked up, the view had cleared,

Going down, it did not take long to reach the path above Hochwildalmhutte.  As I approached a walker passed me and was heading up the route.

The walking group who had stopped at Hochwildalmhutte started down hill just ahead of me.

I passed them at Niederwildalm.  It started raining on my way down, so it was time to put my coat back on.  It did not take long to reach Aurach, then walk back to Kitzbuhel where I met Anne.

Today we made it for tea and cakes at the Hotel Edelweiss. It had been another good day walking.  Approx 25km with 1300m climb.

I took this photo of Gr Gebra from the Kitzbuheller Horn a few days later when the sky was clear.

More to follow

Boz North

Previous walk in Austria Aschau to Schwarzkogel
Next walk in Austria Kitzbuhel to Kitzbuheler Horn Cross

Aschau to Schwarzkogel, return via Pengelstein - Kitzbuhel - Austria 15 Aug 2014.

Aschau 1013m to Schwarzkogel 2030m, return via Pengelstein 1938m to Hahnenkamm 1668m
Kitzbuhel - Austria
Distance 15km Climb 1200m
Friday 15 Aug 2014

After a good breakfast and making our packed lunches at the Hotel Edelweiss. We caught the bus that left the Kitzbuhel base Hahnenkamm cable car station at 09:44.  We started walking at about 10:15 and headed west to the Oberer Grund Ache.  Walking south east on the Oberer Grund Ache we had intended to walk up the Spiessnagel, follow link to this walk we had completed the previous year.

Turning west we started up the track towards Spiessnagel.  We had not reached the first turn before being met by a lady with two children who were on their way down.  They had turned around when they came across an area with forest machinery and a very real risk of injury.  In the recent weeks this valley in particular had experienced very severe weather that had caused paths being washed away and trees uprooted.

Taking notice of the warning we returned to the main path.  It was time to reconsider where we were going to walk.  We had walked from Aschau via Kirchberg to Kitzbuhel the day before so we were looking to do something different.  Looking at the time we had, where we were and so we made the decision to head up the Schwarzkogel.

After a quick drink of water we moved further south east along the Oberer Grund Ache to the junction with the footpath for the Schwarzkogel.

At the junction of the footpath there is a little shrine, Klookapelle, height 1163m. The track now heads east and starts climbing.  We could see the lady with her two children ahead, followed closely by a group of Italians.  The path started over an open area which took us onto a wooded path.

As we climbed we lost the Italians on one of the paths. We passed another lady who was standing on the side of the track, with a little dog and wondered what she was doing.  Further up the track the lady with the two children had stopped and they were standing on the side.  We could not understand what they were doing, they were up to something but did not want anyone to watch, strange.  Anyway we continued up, after a lot of twisting and turning the path eventually reached the open area, just as we passed a shooting platform on the edge of the forest.

The path still headed east twisting and turning, climbing up and up.

We had a short stop for our sandwiches, looking across at the Spiessnagel, and we could hear the forest workers, through the binoculars we could see their trucks.  It was very warm and sunny as we sat there, this was not going to last.  After our sandwiches we continued climbing. In places the track was narrow and badly churned up due to the cattle that used the track.

We reached a couple of houses at a place called Stadlbergalm 1629m, just as low clouds were forming on the tops. The weather had also became a little cooler.

Stadlbergalm 1629m looking towards Schwarzkogel

The path continued up, as the mist started rolling down.

In places the mist was thick, visibility was poor, so I had to take care in choosing our route.  It also started raining, so it was time to put our water proof jackets on, at times the cloud lifted and the views amazing.

We reached the fence which was a junction.  Turning right was towards the Blaue Lacke, left was the way we went up the Schwarzkogel.

View north towards Schwarzkogel

View south towards Blaue Lacke

As we started climbing the rain made much of the route slippery on the wet stones, in places it was steep and narrow so I guided and shepherded Anne up the tricky steps.

The cloud lifted just as we arrived at the cross for a short while, although it was still raining.

Schwarzkogel 2030m

A quick note in the book then we set off again.  The path coming down was steep and slippery in places and again I supported Anne on the route down. The mist came down and visibility was very poor.  The path dropped down to Schwarzkogelscharte 1829m and continued north.  There was a slight climb over an open area before there was a steep climb towards a ski lift.  The path was very wet and boggy, we passed a couple who were walking the other way.  Once passed the ski lift we dropped down to a main path.

The path took us passed Pengelsteinsee, you could hardly see it through the mist.

A few yards further on and we reached Pengelstein 1938m, we were almost on top of it before we could see it.  Here we met another group of walkers looking for a cable car that would take them down into the valley. They were heading the wrong way, and a couple of them looked as though they had had enough.  Although the Pengelstein was closed, they fortunately found someone with a van who would take them down.  We continued on.  As we moved down from the Pengelstein the weather changed.  It stopped raining and the sun came out, brilliant.

The route from the Penglestein was one we had walked many times before with its many ups and downs.

Looking back towards Schwarzkogel

This time though, Anne was concerned we would miss the last cable car down from the Hahnenkamm, which stopped running at 17.00.  We just got there and caught one of the last rides down. Unfortunately we missed our tea and cake but it was good being back with Klaus and Veronika at the Hotel Edelweiss.

It had been a good days walking, brilliant.  We had covered approx 14km with 1200m of climb.

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to next Austrian Walk Kitzbuhel to Gr Gebra