You won’t find high mountains in Lower Austria. The highest peak – Hochschneeberg (Klosterwappen) is only 2076 m high but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth to visit. I had beautiful weather and views were so lovely, that today I had serious problem with choosing which photos to show you :)
My trip to Schneeberg started at Hohe Wand. After night in Hubertushaus, opened only for me, I went out in the morning to find some place, where I could eat good breakfast. Nearby Wilhelm-Eichert-Hütte was closed because it was Monday, so, in heavy rain, I went further. It took me pretty much time to descent because of wet stones and roots but finally I reached guesthouse Seiser Toni. It was still heavy raining but according to forecast it should stop in the afternoon so I was glad I would wait out the worse and appease my hunger. My face fell when I saw that on Mondays it’s open from 2 pm… so I went further to Grünbach, took a train to Puchberg and finally ate tasty meal in a bar at the station :)
From Puchberg I set off to Edelweisshütte when I was planning to spend a night. On the way, in Sonnleiten there is Sebastian Waterfall. This day there was actually waterfall from the sky since morning, but I went to see another one. I didn’t regret :)
From that point I wanted to go by yellow trail to Losenheim. Not first and not last time in Austria I had difficulties in finding trail marked on my map (it’s map by Kompass) but I managed to spot it. It is narrow path near a household, which further leads through the field. The sun has just started to coming through the clouds when I was walking this trail :)
Nice trail through the field is only about 1 km and then you have to go further on asphalt road until lower station of the ski lift. From that point the trail leads to the upper station of the ski lift and next to it you can find Edelweisshütte. The clouds have already gone away ;)
After two days of sleeping in empty or nearly empty hut, this time I came to a school trip and the hut was full. 5 minutes further there is another mountain hut – Almreserlhaus but it was closed, although according to their website there’s work-free day on Tuesdays, not Mondays… The nearest open hut was Fischerhütte, 3 km further and 800 m higher, but the staff from Edelweisshütte told it could be dangerous to climb there alone after rain and two hours before sunset, and it would be better for me to sleep on the floor. I was glad they told so because I was already tired and I wouldn’t be happy to do such trip in the evening.
Next day teens from school trip woke up at 6 am (on holidays at 6 am?!), so did I… After breakfast, with no rush I set off to Hochschneeberg peak which is nearby Fischerhütte. The trail – Fadensteig is quite demanding. It leads through rocks and it’s steep in some parts. Just in case I wore my helmet there.
Difficulties are rewarded by beautiful landscapes. Mountains are everywhere. Countless peaks until the horizon… That day I did many breaks to soak up the views.
After I’ve reached Hochschneeberg I turned to blue trail leading to Turmstein. It’s small peak located near Kientallerhütte (open only on weekends). There is via ferrata leading to the top of the peak but I was a bit disappointed by it. It’s very short – it took me about 15 minutes to go up and down, it wasn’t enough challenging (it’s B-C according to my guidebook) and the views weren’t breathtaking. After carring since morning heavy ferrata equipment I was expecting something more exciting.
Next place I wanted to visit was Weichtalklamm. It’s a narrow, about 3 km long ravine, leading to Weichtal Haus. I’ve read that it’s very nice and it attracts many tourists. I was there alone ;) And I didn’t walk the whole trail. After heavy rain the day before it was wet and slippy and I had to be careful on every step. It took me 40 minutes to walk about 500 m. I got to the point where it was steep, slippy and few metres lower I saw a river flowing on the trail.
I decided to return because it was too late to spend 3 hours or so on that trail. I went to Weichtal Haus by yellow trail leading through the forest. It was slippy too… My shoes are still in orange ground after I slipped on trunk lying in orange pool. I wasched a bit in a brook and few moments later I decided to make a small shortcut instead of walking zig zag. It ended up sliding on my butt ;)
I was dirty and tired but I was happy that soon I come to Weichtal Haus. After my experiences with mountain huts from previous days I had also slightly concerns if it’s open, but I’ve checked this earlier in internet so I didn’t expect any problems.
It was 7:30 pm when I got to the hut. And guess what… Yeah, it was closed.
Now I know it was my fault, because it is written on their website that they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but when I was visiting their website before my journey, I didn’t realised this information.
OK. 2 hours to sunset. Next mountain hut – Otto-schutzhaus about 4 km further and 1100 m higher. Being tired and having 10 kg rucksack I didn’t have a chance to get there before sunset. I had a head torch but walking in the dark on places I didn’t know was scary though. Other possibility was finding some hotel in Reichenau an der Rax. A small city about 15 km further but I could get there by a road, so it was more safe than walking in mountains. However, the prospect of paying for a hotel didn’t fill me with joy… The staff from Weichtal Haus told that in Kaiserbrunn, about 4 km further there is a guesthouse and probably they have good prices. I decided to check it. Pleasant guy, who I met on a parking brought me to Kaiserbrunn but “good price” turned out to be 42 euros. Expensive as for me.
On my map I found two places marked as mountain huts in Edlach an der Rax, about 10 km further. Of course I didn’t know if they were open, so I went in this direction to check it. Fortunately hitchhiking is easy in this region. Or I just had a luck :) A guy who stopped to bring me told that he knew the cheapest place in this region – private rooms in Edlach an der Rax. He brought me there and it turned out it was “mountain hut” which I was looking for. I paid 28 euros for comfortable room and big breakfast and I’m happy I found this place.
I didn’t find their website but it’s located here: