Hike to the Saukarfunktel The “Poet“ in the Salzburg Summit Game

From Flachau you head up on the lift – past the Hermann-Maier World Cup run – up to an altitude of 1,750 m. The onward climb to the Saukarfunktel (2,028 m) then resembles an alpine stroll amid an imposing mountain panorama. The huge rock boulders around the summit make wonderful resting places.  
Saukarfunktel – doesn’t the name of this summit just make you prick up your ears? But don’t let yourself be misled: it’s not the name that makes the mountain a “Poet”, but completely different qualities. Yet, let’s hike to the “Poet” one step at a time. The tour, as I undertook it, starts with an extremely comfortable lift journey: directly from the resort centre of Flachau - Starjet 1 and 2 transport you up to an altitude of 1,750 m. Those who are particularly keen, can of course undertake the whole route on foot.
From the mountain station of the Starjet 2 lift the path leads – past the Latschenhof – a good 30 minutes through the ski area. Then you leave the road and climb up to the visible, 1,991 m high Griessenkareck, along a somewhat steep trail. And then at last you discover the Saukarfunktel hiding behind it: the summit is the shape of a small pyramid and consists of massive rock boulders, which are covered in lichen. These, however, will only be discovered when you get nearer.
The Saukarfunktel owes its name to these rocks: there is quite often lightning during stormy weather, making the rock spraying sparks, which can be seen for miles around.
The unusual shape of the summit, the location of the Saukarfunktels – almost hidden – behind the Griessenkareck and its uniqueness assign it the role of “Poet” in the Salzburg Summit Game. Its symbol is the bright-blue spring gentian, which is also called the “shoemaker’s nail“ in our region. The “blue flower“ of romanticism is a symbol for wanderings, yet also stands for yearning, love and the pursuit of eternity. And now we’re back to the pyramid shape of the summit: the mystical form of the pyramid is also a symbol of the heavens, it stands for eternity, strength and energy.
The poet unites all these qualities: it keeps itself hidden, finds inspiration in nature, lives its individuality and its talents. And thus, bears an amazing variety, which you don’t discover until you reach the summit. And that’s exactly what the Saukarfunktel wants to teach us summit gamers: do what you are on the earth to do. Find your vocation. Live your talents!
The ritual is a little breathing exercise, which helps us to ground ourselves, but also let us be inspired: as both – roots and wings – are important to live as oneself completely.
The scenic panorama hiking trail leads over green meadows from the Griessenkareck to the Saukarfunktel amid a spectacular mountain panorama: you can take the same path back or you can choose to take the longer version of the circular tour via the  Frauenalm. From here too, you come back to the starting point of the hike at the mountain station of the Starjet 2. And you can glide comfortably back down into the valley – inspired and energized.

Tips & Info: Here you can find out everything about the Salzburger Summit Game

And here you can find more information about the Saukarfunktel.

photo credits: Elisabeth Hartl, Salzburger Sportwelt - Michael Grössinger