Pleasurable tour or heroic trail? Sightseeing trip or training course? Your own physical condition and ambition alone decide the characteristics of this undertaking. As either the Stoneman Taurista is undertaken in one go or split into two or three stages. Those completing the course, receive as a reward a trophy in gold (day tour), silver (2 days) or bronze (3 days) and are added to the official finisher list.Six access resorts (Flachau, Wagrain-Kleinarl, Radstadt, Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Forstau und Obertauern) and 25 various accommodation partners along the circular trail ensure freedom of choice with regard to starting and finishing points, route allocation and budget requirements. In perfect tour weather conditions, I start off on my personal Stoneman adventure in Altenmarkt. Last wafts of mist swirl through the valley, whilst I slowly wind up higher up towards the sunshine. Just as I’ve finally found my rhythm, the little red Stoneman signs point me in the direction of the forest. It smells of dark earth and blueberries. Conifers and opulently growing ferns line the trails in all colours of green.
When it says 4,500 m, then there are naturally some mountains included. The Stoneman Taurista essentially encompasses three ascents. Each of which has its own individual traits.The Rossbrand counts as the ultimate mountain for views. More than 150 (!) alpine peaks are visible from its highest point. As this lies amid a high moor, it gives Radstadt’s local mountain an archaic-mysterious feel in addition to the sporting challenge.
Due to the pace of the course, the alpine huts along the route are real places to yearn for, real oases. Of course, the possible time slots for refreshment stops varies. “Gold bikers drink an alcohol-free wheat beer standing up. Silver bikers sit down at least and bronze bikers enjoy a snack too“, grins the owner of the Vögei-Alm. For me breaks on sunny terraces and viewing points are all an indispensable part of the tour. How gentle the rays of sun tickle your face at these opportunities… how honest the taste of home-made bread, smoked ham and cheese feel on the palate… and boy you’ve earned it.
As Roland Stauder drew up the first Stoneman in his home, the Sexten Dolomites, he was following a vision – everybody should be able to cycle the trails, everyone should experience a feeling of success and everyone should get a trophy. After my circular tour amid the fantastic backdrop of the Salzburger Sportwelt and Obertauern, I dare to assert, you can feel this spirit along every kilometre of the way along the Stoneman Taurista…
Info & Tips:
Length of trail: 123 km/4,500 Hm
Highest point: Seekarscharte, 2,110 m
Time required: 1, 2 or 3 daysTime of year: mid-June to the end of September
Here you can find more information: www.stoneman-taurista.com