We have added a new trip to our Alpine trekking program for this year with a week of walking in the Austrian Alps. We arrived on Sunday night in the small town of Matrei in the dark and so it was exciting to open the shutters on Monday morning and see somewhere new! I am here with fellow leader Sandy Paterson and we have been joined for the week by Bob, Richard, Carl, Ian and Steve who have all done other trips with us and are all keen to explore somewhere new.
We are in the Osttirol region of Austria which sees very little in the way of English visitors and we kicked our week off by heading up the summit of Figerhorn (2743m). This provided us with some stunning views up onto Austrias highest mountain, the Grosglockner and as far South as the Dolomites. The walking was idyllic with the colours just beginning to turn for Autumn and yet the sunshine still warm enough for us to join the Marmots who were sunbathing in the grass on our way up.
On Tuesday we chose to climb the Kleiner Zunig (2442m) which sits above the town of Matrei and conveniently has a hut for tea and coffee at half height! We enjoyed a beautiful walk up through the forest and then a circular route above the hut which gave 360 views and a nice lake for photographs on the descent.
Wednesday and Thursday saw us head up into the mountains for an overnight stay in one of the many mountain huts that the region has to offer, there are more than 100 huts in this National Park alone. We enjoyed a stunning walk up through forest, past waterfalls and lakes and into the high mountain region of the Park from the village of Tauer and over the Wildenkogelcharte (a high col at 2826m) to stay at the Badener Hutte (2608m). Thursday saw us join the Osttirol 360 Skyline Trail and enjoy a magnificent descent to the valley past the glaciers of Grosvenediger, several stunning waterfalls and finally the Alpine meadows complete with pub!
For our last day on Friday we were given a poor weather forecast (our only one of the week) and so we planned a lower level walk. This also served to allow a bit of recovery for tired legs! We parked in the village of Stroden and walked up the waterfall trail to its West which gave some spectacular views of the various waterfalls and a couple of hut stops for drinks and snacks – a very civilised end to a great week. Thanks very much to Bob, Richard, Steve, Ian and Carl for joining us for this inaugural trip, having an appetite for adventure and making the week a lot of fun!