After closed mountain huts in previous days, this time I came across closed trails and overgrown paths, which looked like noone walked there for few years. The route ended at Habsburghaus located in beautiful scenery of Raxalpe.
I started my trip in Edlach an der Rax village and I was planning to go by blue trail to Ottohaus (Otto-schutzhaus). Close to this hut there are two via ferratas: Alpenvereinssteig and Teufelsbadstubensteig. According to my guidebook both are pretty easy (grade B) but have attractive landscapes. Actually better starting point to these ferratas is Weichtalhaus, but as I described in my previous post, I was forced to change my plan and spend night in Edlach.
I was forced to change my plan again when I got to this…
Both trails to Ottohaus were closed. I returned to village Knappenberg, went in west direction and was planning to get to Ottohaus the other trail, which should connect further to one of these closed.
Knappenberg probably isn’t often visited by tourists. Shortcut through the forest, although it is marked on my map and on trees as a trail made impression that noone was there for a long time.
Unfortunately I had to change my plan again when I came to the crossing where I wanted to turn in direction to Ottohaus… I decided to go further west and instead of Ottohaus, spend a night in Karl-Ludwig-Haus or Habsburghaus. Later I found out that the path which I went was also closed but on the crossing there was only one table and I understood that it was closed to the right so I went straight.
The path looked normal. It was wide and empty, as many paths which I was walking during my journey in Austria. I had to stop when I came across two lumbermen with some machine to pulling cut trees. I asked them if they knew where was some open trail but it turned out they were one of a few people I met in Austria who didn’t speak even basic English. I speak a little German but it turned out they speak German neither :) In sign language I showed them I wanted to go further this way and they had nothing against.
Further, I turned right to red trail leading along a brook Großaubach. It was well marked but looked like nobody walked that way for a few years. Two ticks tried to suck my blood but to my surprise there wasn’t any mosquitos. The narrow path through the thicks in some point disappeared.
I’m not good at botany but these big leaves were similar to Sosnowsky’s hogweed – a dangerous plant which makes skin oversensitive to ultraviolet light (sun) and it can cause serious burns. In case my concerns were justified I wore long trousers and with hands up, trying not to touch anything, I walked this “path”. The trail leading through the thickets wasn’t long. It was about 1000 m long and 200 m of ascent but I spend there pretty much time and I didn’t like it…
Some time later I got to Waxriegelhaus, where I ate lunch and met a girl from Poland who was working there. It was nice to meet someone from Poland. We spend nearly one hour talking before I went further, in direction to Karl-Ludwig-Haus. From that point a trail was easy. Karl-Ludwig-Haus is located at 1804 m – 440 m higher than Waxriegelhaus but you can get there by easy ferrata or wide comfortable path.
It was about 6:30 pm when I got to Karl-Ludwig-Haus, so I decided to go further, to Habsburghaus, which is cheaper. The path from one hut to the other one was the best in this day. It’s beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and in the evening I saw there many chamoises.
With no rush I came to Habsburghaus in 1,5 hours. It was my 5th day in Austria and again I was surprised how little people were there. I was sleeping in large dormitory with 65 beds and there were two persons, including me. Official price for a bed in dormitory is 20 euros for persons who are not Alpenverein members and 10 euros for those who have membership in Alpenverein. I bought membership but nobody asked me if I had the card and the staff gave me price of 10 euros. The disadvantage is lack of shower in this hut. There are only washbasins with cold water.
This is my trip from this day:
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