Saturday, September 17, 2011

Alpine Hiking

Hiking: it's the Austrian national pastime.  We've certainly done our share of it over the past months - around Vienna, around Innsbruck, and at points in between.  But the hike we did last weekend was altogether different, a proper Alpine experience.  We and some friends rented a car and drove roughly two hours southwest toward the Rax and Schneealpe (a.k.a. Schneealm) mountain groups.  Our task was to climb the Windberg, a 1903 meter high peak on the Schneealpe side.  Not a particularly high mountain and only 1100 meters of elevation gain from the valley floor.  But with steep trails and some fairly technical sections, we definitely got our exercise for the weekend.

To anyone in or around Vienna, we can certainly attest that the Windberg is well worth a visit.  Just make sure you wear good boots and leave yourself enough daylight hours for the hike back down, especially in the off-chance that you or someone in your party sprains an ankle.  It's been known to happen.  :-(

We started in the tiny village of Hinternaßwald, our base camp.  Five hours to the top.

Thanks to the incline, it didn't take very long to reach some amazing vistas.

Indecision 2011

Reaching an Alm (mountain pasture) and hearing the cowbells always feels very alpine.

On top of the Windberg, mountains as far as the eye can see

All smiles (after just having woken up from a short nap)

Our hiking buddies.  This should be an advertisement for REI or Patagonia.

Lindsay + David = Lindsay & David in the exact same spot


Jennifer said...

Every time I think your pictures can not get any more beautiful... You show us, YET another, even more beautiful scenes. Looks like a remarkable climb and descent at times. Glad that someone didn't break an ankle.... See you very soon.

Lydia @ See Beautiful said...

This is so special. I look at these pictures and realize smelling the air, and touching the grass, and hearing the bells, is a piece of what makes this experience so surreal. Thank you for sharing the pictures, as we can appreciate a tiny snapshot of a majestic experience. It's left me inspired.

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