After several vacations by the sea or tours through the flat, eastern regions of Austria, it was time for adventures in lofty heights and to visit my beloved mountains again. Originally we planed an hiking and climbing trip near the Bavarian border but the weather thwarted our plans. So we spent a weekend in Zell/See – close to the beautiful national park Hohe Tauern.
Austria contains many wonderful national parks but Hohe Tauern is one of my favorites. You can also find Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner, there. The Grossglockner is 3.798 meters above sea level and consists of two pinnacles, the Grossglockner and the Kleinglockner (3.770 meters), separated by a saddle-like formation known as the Glocknerscharte. All together a very impressive rock massif – with an even more impressive outlook! In 2012, I made to the top of the Grossglockner and still need to make it there again someday.
This year, as said before, the weather wasn’t on our side and so we decided to drove up the Grossglockner High Alpine Road to the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is one of Austria’s most famous routes and was built during the years from 1924 to 1935. One end of the road starts in Carinthia (Heiligenblut), the other one in Salzburg (Ferleiten). The road has a total length of 48 km, with 36 bends and an altitude ascent to 2,504 meters!
At the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe we made a panoramic hiking tour (Gamsgruben Trail) next to the Pasterze glacier. Along the path you can find small waterfalls, many wild flowers and with some luck you can also see marmots and capricorns. This time we were lucky and saw both – especially the very close meeting with several capricorns was a breathtaking moment…