One hike - 3 highlights – peak conquests included
A summer’s day in the mountain straight out of a picture book - I don't think I'm exaggerating with this statement about my hike today! :)
My alarm clock rings early in the morning this Sunday. I open the curtains and look out of the window a little sleepily. But when the first rays of sunlight hit my face, I'm wide awake. Let's go - up the mountain! I have set myself 3 of my absolute "Best of Filzmoos" goals for today. The Hofpürglhütte at the foot of the Bischofsmütze, the Rinderfeld alpine pasture area and the summit cross (1,990 m) on the Sulzenschneid. The prerequisites for this tour are a head for heights, surefootedness and a good level of fitness. It is also important to take enough to drink. There are a few streams between Hofpürglhütte and Sulzenschneid, but there is no refreshment stop. And don't forget: sun protection and good sunscreen!

From the Hofpürglhütte to the Rinderfeld and on to the Sulzenschneid

The first stage: from the Filzmoos toll station to Hofpürglhütte

The temperatures in July can be quite warm, so I start my tour at 7.00 am at the toll booth in Filzmoos. I start the first stage of my mountain adventure today via the nature and hiking trail in the direction of the Hofalm. The hiking trail initially leads through the forest until I reach the path behind the Wallehen Farm. I continue to follow the signs in the direction of Hofalm and after about 500 metres turn left in the direction of "turn-off Aualm" or Hofpürglhütte. From the Aualm turn-off, I continue towards the Marcheggsattel, where I turn right at the signpost "Hofpürglhütte via Wiesenhöhe" (trail no. 34C). The trail initially leads through the forest and continues steeply uphill through somewhat overgrown terrain into the high forest to the "Wiesenhöhe". I take time to stop and admine the colourful variety of flowers just below the ridge line. I also find numerous wild strawberries along the way. With increasingly beautiful views, I continue along the back of the Marchegg. Arriving at the so-called "Wiesenhöhe", I even discover a small high moor and enjoy the direct view of our "Queen of the Mountains", the Bischofsmütze. From the Wiesenhöhe, a trail now leads steeply uphill, partly over rocky terrain, until the Hofpürglhütte appears in front of me. After a good 2 hours I’ve reached the first destination of today's hike.

The second stage: from the Hofpürglhütte to Rinderfeld

The Hofpürglhütte has existed at the foot of the Bischofsmütze since 1902 - a truly unique place, which was chosen for refuge back then. According to history, the plateau on the Hofpürgl was chosen as the best and most beautiful place. Hikers and climbers can still be convinced of this today, with the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains. I also enjoy the magnificent view and above all the soothing peace and quiet in the morning. I have the terrace of the Alpine Club hut to myself and treat myself to a snack there before continuing on to my next destination, the Rinderfeld.The hike from the Hofpürglhütte to the Rinderfeld is quite demanding and mostly leads along the impressive high-altitude hiking trail "Linzer Steig" (trail 47 A) with magnificent views. Although I have planned enough time and would like to enjoy the tranquillity of nature, the hike along the southern slope is very sunny and on hot days, like today, an early start is recommended - so let's keep going!The Linzer Steig leads across terrain that is very scree-like in parts, right through the lower walls of the Bischofsmütze and the Gosaukamm. I capture these incomparable views in numerous pictures, but it's best to experience it for yourself! The power of the mountains on us humans is always fascinating. Being so close to the Bischofsmütze makes me feel again how "small" we humans are after all. It’s almost as if to remind us to recognise the richness of our own lives. The ritual at the foot of the Bischofsmütze, in the course of the Salzburg summit game, helps to sharpen our focus on the small precious things in life.

Grateful for this beautiful spot, we continue to the next wonderful place, the alpine pasture area Rinderfeld (trail 47 B). As the name suggests, I meet many cattle here, but also sheep and horses. All around, the alpine roses blossom in an intense pink, the lush green of the alpine pastures, thousands of small flowers along the path - simply wonderful! Add to this the pleasant silence and the view of the surrounding mountains such as Bischofsmütze, Steiglkogel, Kramer-Spitzen, Hochkesselkopf, Torstein and Rettenstein. Arriving at the upper cattle field, I look for a nice spot where I fortify myself once more, because I still have an ascent ahead of me. It's not long before I'm spotted by Noriker horses with their foals, which nudge me curiously. Even though I'm not afraid of the beautiful animals, I still have some respect and therefore keep my distance.

The third stage: from the alpine pasture Rinderfeld to Sulzenschneid

So, the second goal of today's hike has been reached - only one thing is missing: the Sulzenschneid.Well-strengthened and full of energy, I also tackle the 3rd stage. After a good half an hour, the Sulzenschneid rises in front of me. A very steep path with many bends, leads up to the Sulzenschneid. On my last stretch, I am asked to do just about everything. I try to climb the slope slowly and at a steady pace. It is already midday, and the sun is strong, every now and then a lukewarm breeze comes, which I am very happy about. :) After another half hour, I have now also reached my third goal. I proudly take my first breath at the top and enjoy the breathtaking panorama. But it's not long before I'm asked to take a few souvenir pictures for some ladies. I move a little away from the summit cross at 1,990 metres and find a quiet spot where I survey the trail once more in peace. "It's amazing what distances you can cover on foot in a few hours' walking time," I think to myself as I again enjoy the pure nature. Of course, I can't miss taking a few photos, so I look for the perfect spot for my picture of the day ;) so that I can make my girls a little envious.But now my stomach is growling. From now on it's all downhill. "Thank God" - I think to myself, because my strength is starting to wane, I have to admit. It is therefore also important to wear ankle-high walking boots, because twisting an ankle can happen very quickly, especially when you are already a bit tired.

A cosy stop at the Sulzenalm - Wallehenhütte

Via the Sulzenhals, the trail continues downhill to the right to the Sulzenalmen (trail no. 638), where the smell of delicious farmer's doughnuts already wafts into my nose. At the Wallehenhütte I am warmly greeted by Babsi, one of the daughters of the Wallehenhütte. I think I have earned a lunch, so I treat myself to a farmer's toast and, for dessert, a delicious farmer's doughnut with fresh apricot jam, accompanied by wonderfully fragrant coffee.The hut is bustling with activity and the whole "Wallehen family" helps out on this picture-book Sunday. Children romp around the small playground right next to the hut, music is played and there is the view of the surrounding mountains - a perfect end to my hiking day.After dinner and many nice conversations, I start my way home via the path to the Hofalm, which first leads along the forest road and then across the alpine meadows. From there I take the „Fidibus“ back down the valley.

Already a little exhausted, but still overjoyed, I arrive home. As I said, it was a hiking weekend to my taste. PS: At the Wallehenhütte you will not only enjoy numerous homemade specialities and warm hospitality. You can also experience the most beautiful sunsets from the rustic hut.

Walking times: Toll booth Hofalm – start of Wiesenhöhe: approx. 40 minutes
Start of Wiesenhöhe – Hofpürglhütte: 1 hour 30 minutes
Hofpürglhütte via Linzersteig to the Sulzenschneid: 3 hours

Alpine huts along the route:
Hofpürglhütte 1.705 m
Wallehenhütte 1.611 m
Krahlehenhütte 1. 580 m
Oberhofalm 1.268 m & Unterhofalm 1.280 m

photo credits: Sabrina Reisenberger