At a glance:
Start: Sonnschienalm, Tel.: +43 664 5112474 , www,sonnschienhütte.at
GPS grid N 47° 35' 11,7" E 15° 2' 21,0"
Destination / overnight stop: Schiestlhaus am Hochschwab, Tel: +43 699 108 121 99, www.schiestlhaus.at
GPS grid N 47° 37' 19,5" O 15° 8' 54,2"
Stage length: 11.3 kilometers
Total walking time (without breaks): 5 hours
Meters of ascent: 940 meters of ascent
Meters of altitude descent: 300 meters of altitude
Difficulties: technically easy hike across the Hochschwab plateau, in bad weather / fog orientation not easy!
Get on - from Wildalpen over the Eisenerzer Höhe to the main trail
The second stage of the Hochsteirische BergZeitReise can also be easily reached from the beautiful Salzatal valley via the north side of the Hochschwab. For this we start in the idyllically situated village of Wildalpen (rafting center, hiking and ski touring area, www.wildalpen.at).
A panoramic hike of the special class with distant views from the Dachstein glacier to the land of hot springs and spa's.
From the lake, which by the way is a few minutes' walk off the main trail, we continue via the Sackwiesenalm to the Häuslalm, a real Hochschwabin institution. This alp, which is open all year round (with the exception of the hunting season!), is a popular day hiking destination from Gasthof Bodenbauer.
But we turn left uphill to start the ascent towards the Hochschwab summit behind the alpine hut. Through mountain pine alleys and over the so-called Hundsböden, the trail continues upwards to the high plateau (be careful in fog!).
It now becomes somewhat flatter and soon we stand, following the pole markings, in front of the Fleischer bivouac box. By the way, the well-known Hochschwab ascent over the "G'hackte" comes up from the right.
For us, however, it is now only a short climb in an easterly direction (there is usually a small snow field to cross here) and we are standing at the highest peak of the BergZeitReise, at the 2,277m high Hochschwab.
A magnificent panorama awaits us - and in order to be able to name the numerous peaks, there is also an orientation disc in the immediate vicinity of the large summit cross.
From the summit, after an extensive rest, we descend (caution, a short exposed passage) over the small Schwaben to the already visible Schiestlhaus.
This was completely rebuilt as a pilot project for ecological and energy self-sufficient refuge construction at the end of the 1990s in place of the old refuge built in 1884.
We have reached our overnight destination.
Decades later, the search for water resources that could be used in the future and were suitable as drinking water also reached the Hochschwab mountain range from the south. After preliminary work beginning in the early 1970s, drinking water was finally transported to Graz in 1993.
The alpine pasture economy, which is very pronounced here in the western Hochschwab region, must function in harmony with the use of drinking water. The prerequisite for this is, on the one hand, a regulated grazing operation and, on the other hand, a secure supply and disposal of drinking water, waste water and waste to the huts. Often alpine pasture sites have existed for many centuries. In the time of the industrialization it came to a strong decrease of the Almwirtschaft . The reason for the abandonment of many alpine pastures was the strong migration of workers from agriculture to industry. Other major changes occurred after the Second World War. The economic functions of the alp shifted to the permanent settlement area and certain labor-intensive tasks were - due to the lack of alp personnel - now carried out from the valley or not at all. Today, targeted alpine pasture promotion measures counteract the dramatic decline of this economic form.
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From glacier to wine
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