7.24.2015

Der Untersberg | Weinsteigspitze

 
 

 


After pottering around in Salzburg for nearly a month, we decided to take advantage of the mountain ranges at our doorstep. Out first stop was a hike on early Monday morning on the Untersberg. I had wanted to get a sneaky shot of your typical The Sound of Music scenery (filmed on the Untersbeg!) to send home, much to Seb's chagrin – a note on Salzburgians: do not mention The Sound of Music, ever – but unfortunately (fortunately?) we veered completely off the beaten path and ended up elsewhere entirely.

There are countless trails up the Untersberg, two of which are the most frequented. The first: a thin, precarious stone staircase that follows a rocky face of the mountain, where you support yourself by holding onto an old metal chain, and from which you can see magnificent views and the jagged rocks that await you were you to tumble off the path. You also pass by a beautiful ice cave. Understandably, this trail is suggested for advanced hikers and has many warnings meant to dissuade tourists. The second: an easy meandering hike up what is alternatively used as a ski run in the winter. 

As it was to be our first hike in roughly four years, we decided upon the easy path, even though that would mean to miss the exciting thrill of our possible and imminent death. 

But as we all know, the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. 

We should have seen the hypothetical signs – 1) we saw zero human faces on the way up, though we did see many a slug, and 2) about a quarter of the way there was an area of construction, due to a rock slide. Even more indicative of our inevitable failure, we should have seen the literal signs. Is trail #461 left, or right?

Either way, we ended up in a very clear dead end, where our only options were to turn back or to continue onto imminent death (so you see, the thrill was not avoided in the end). On our way back, while we were commiserating the abrupt end of our excursion, we noticed a sign pointing seemingly into the middle of the woods. A sign of which we made fun of on the way up – how ominous. What is it pointing too? Shall we break free of the path and free-style? On a whim, we poked our heads into the dark, dark woods and saw that indeed, there was a path. Or was there? It was so faint that it could have been a deer trail.

We decided to follow it. After 2 hours of hiking, traipsing, hacking and pushing our way through the wildlife we did make it to a peak, with only a few bug bites. On the way we did actually see deer, as well as wild strawberries (unfortunately not ripe yet). It was not the most panoramic view, compared to some of the other trails, and there was no beer house waiting for us at the top with cold, crisp beers, but it was really quite rewarding. Serendipitously, from the peak we could see where we veered off the initial path (around the construction site), and where we should have continued. 

Maybe for next time.



Turns out, if you google Weinsteigspitze, you will only get a lone German man posting on a forum, equally confused as us on the legitimacy of this path.


dani

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