Back from my travels through beautiful Canada and the United States, it was time catch up with friends, family, and, sadly, the “important” things in life, meaning work. But this page wouldn´t be called rumzuuch if I hadn´t already been somewhere else than home since my return.
Last week, it was time to discover some mountains that really live up to their name – The Kaiser Mountains.
Although the peaks at the border between Austria and Germany are only at the “gate” into the alps (the Inn Valley), the views here are no less stunning than in the central alps. We chose to do a three-day trek that would lead us into the heart of the “Kaiserwinkl” – the plateau between the “wild” and the “tame” mountain ranges.
Starting point of the trek was in Ebbs near Kufstein. One can park their car near the “Café Zacherl” and start the ascent through the beautiful, green forest on a path named “Musikantensteig”. Climbing about 700 metres vertical within two hours or so, the ascent is quite the warmup for the tour. Good thing the Vorderkaiserfeldenhütte is close. The cosy little house is situated at an elevation of 1388m and offers a great view towards Innsbruck. While enjoying some Kässpätzle or other great classics of the tyrolian kitchen, one can soak in the expansive views!
For an even better view, I can recommend hiking a few extra vertical metres to the Naunspitze, where the sunset is simply magical. Overlooking the Inn river on the one and the Wilder Kaiser on the other side, the 360° view from the top is the perfect end to the first day of the trek.
Back at the hut, you better take it easy on the Whitebeer and instead get a good night´s sleep, because the next day is going to be a long one. In the first three hours, the path leads us past the Naunspitze, via the Petersköpfl, Einserkogel and Zwölferkogel to the highest point of the trek, the Pyramidenspitze.
At an elevation of 1998m, we enjoy our lunch at the summit that offers views as far as the Salzburger Land!
But thinking that it´ll get easier from there would be a bad mistake – the next 400-500 metres vertical down a steep, rocky path are tiring both physically and mentally. Watch your step, or you might slip! If you´re a more experienced hiker or just take your time down this trail, you might be able to spot some mountain goats in the boulderfields!
And even after that, there is a long way to go until we reach this night´s hut. But the hike along the south side of the Zahmer Kaiser treats you with breathtaking sights of the Wilder Kaiser. Additionally, the further away we get from the Inntal, the quieter it gets, and the flowers along the way make you feel like you´re in some version of a Heidi – movie.
In the three to four hours that are left we gain and lose about 500 vertical metres before finally approaching the Stripsenjochhaus (1580m). Whatever you order for dinner, make sure there is room for a real tyrolian treat – a legendary Kaiserschmarrn!
After that, sit down and enjoy yet another wonderful sunset! No need to rush to another peak, the views from the hut are insanely beautiful!
The next day starts with a relaxed walk back to the Hochalm – it´s your choice if you hike back the same way or take a slightly different route via the Feldalm. The interesting part of the day starts once you´ve reached the Hochalm! Take the steep trail up and the traverse right through boulderfields and bushes on a very narrow path that leads us to the “Heubergsattel”. If you are keen on another peak, you can climb the Heuberg relatively fast. On the way down towards Durchholzen, we pass a small creek that invites us to take a rest and have lunch. Almost there, you´d think. But in order to get back to the parking lot, we´ll have to ascent another 300 metres vertical, which might really get on your nerves. At least the reward for last ascent through the forest is another nice view towards the Geigelstein, the Walchsee and Reit im Winkl.
Considering that we climbed up to the Jöchlalm just to hike back down on the other side, that very last bit of the hike is the most annoying part, and once you´ve reached the Aschinger Alm, you deserve that Whitebeer that you´ve been waiting for! Prost, to a great hike!
Check out the gallery for more impressions, and download the .gpx file for the trek here.