Hiking around the Wilder Kaiser massive in 5 days- part I
After 5 months in Costa Rica, I still wanted to do a small journey in Austria. Nothing too long or too far away. So, I decided to do a hiking tour of 5 days in the Tyrol at the Wilder Kaiser near Kitzbühel. The trail is called “Kaiserkrone” and is about 60 kilometres long and contains 5000 metres in hight. It is rated medium (classification red), which means alpine hiking should have been done before.
How to get there?
The first stage starts at a parking called “Wanderparkpklatz Hüttling” which is near the small village Going. You can get there by public transport. From Salzburg you basically have to take a train to Wörgl and from there to Kitzbühel. There is one bus going from Kitzbühel to Ellmau, from where a shuttle brings you directly to the mentioned parking. I know, it sounds difficult but it isn’t and especially the bus drivers can also give you the needed information.
I began my first hike at around one p.m. The trail started at the parking and went along a gravelled road upwards. After thirty minutes I passed the first alpine cabin. (Graspoint Niederalm) From there the trail continued in a forest for another half an hour. After then I crossed the first cow pastures and saw the mountain, I wanted to surround for the first time. From there on I continued walking in cow pastures and enjoyed some impressive views at the mountains around me. At the end of the pasture the trail went downwards and I crossed another forest. This was the last part going upwards of the trail and I also saw the place where I wanted to stay for the night. But it was on the top of a mountain and I was in a valley. So, I went upwards an after 15 minutes there was a ladder. It was not a big one, just about 4 metres long, but without any mountain experience it can be really difficult there. After the ladder the trail continued going upwards very steep between huge rocks and some climbers above my head. But when I finally arrived at the highest point of this stage at around 1600 metres surrounded by majestic mountains, that didn’t matter a lot anymore. And from here the alpine cabin was just 200 metres away. On my last metres I even spotted a chamois near the just some metres away from the Gruttenhütte, where I stayed. I have slept there for the first time in shared dorm and I haven’t had any problems with it. The cabin is newly renovated and they used a lot of light, well smelling wood. Moreover, they even have vegetarian broth, which is sadly still not spread in Austria. Because of the high price of 1 euro per 20 second of showering, my budget didn’t allow a long and hot shower.
After enjoying a really calm sleep, I got up at half past six and had breakfast at 7, so I could start the day early. At 20 past seven I began to hike on the dirt road for a bit and after 15 minutes the trail went up and along mountains, sometimes in the forest, sometimes just surrounded by mountain pines. Between the clouds, the trail offered great views down to the valley, the villages and on the mountain massive. After climbing up some stairs, I passed a cow pastures with some old wooden houses and then continued on a dirt road. Shortly before the end, I took a break at the Steiner Hochalm, where you can get something to drink. From there I went down to the hotel Bärnstatt, while watching the light blue Hintersteiner lake. I stayed at the guesthouse Bärnstatt which is officially not the end of the second stage, but I adapted the tour because of the availability of hotels. Anyway, I don’t have something to criticize about this hotel and I also want to recommend you having dinner there.
I again ate breakfast at seven, which they prepared especially for me at seven, because it usually starts at half past seven. At this point a big thank you to the Bärnstatt team:) I started on the road and walked down to the Hintersteiner lake from where the trail went along the water for one hour. I sometimes was a bit above the lake and sometimes immediately at the bank. From there, the trail turned to the right side and started going up between cow pastures until a small “village”, where I had a coffee break. After the mentioned tourist village, I hiked up a bit more and then the trail continued in a forest. There was also a fountain, which I used for refilling my bottle. After a short part upwards, I arrived at the top of a mountains and then continued going down through a valley, where you can take a break. Near from here, a steep path started. It´s called Bettlersteig and you see it on all the indicators. Please also make sure, if this path is transferable, which might change every year. The path was very steep, stony and went downwards at the beginning and then upwards again. I also crossed some small rivers. In the middle of the steep path, I arrived at a hunting box, from where the trail would have continued, but was closed, because of some damage. So, I turned to the left and went down to the river in a forest and continued walking along the river until a bridge and then walked up to the Hans Berger House on a dirt road. The Hans Berger House was also the end of this hike. Luckily, because it had started to rain 20 minutes before my arrival. I again stayed at a shared dorm and was amazed by this alpine cabin, which was also newly renovated. Moreover, the menu was really diverse and the hallways were decorated with Tibetan cloths. After dinner, the sun went down and illuminated the mountains around the terrace.