You can’t miss the tips of the Zahmer and Wilder Kaiser as you pass by the borders to Austria. The Hintere Goinger Halt is one of the many peaks there. The Kaisers prominent summits and steep cliffs soar high into the blue skies. The region offers you a bag full of ideas to spend a few days or weeks outdoors, with a gigantic panorama of the Wilder Kaiser massive around you. Snowfields, scrambles and steep passages, adds a little spice to some of the excursions here. A long weekend I have been looking forward to.
Our tiny influencer reunion on the first day was celebrated with a small tour to Schleierwasserfall – a sports climbing playground for extreme climbers in winter, and a famous goal for hikers in summer. The waterfall lunges like a veil curtain (when the wind blows) 60 m onto the base. Hence the name “Schleier”. The overhanging walls make it possible to walk behind the waterfall making this place a wonderful corner to reside while you soak in the rest of the panorama and take a sip of the water that comes from the “secret” source. Equipt with a LifeStraw bottle, collecting the water was an easy game.
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My heart hammered a little stronger, as I sighted some of the routes that I have redpointed many years back. Ooh, those days when I was still young, strong and silly! All that’s left now, is just, silly. The Schleierwasserfall houses some of the hardest climbing routes in the Tirol region. Uli from aufdenberg.de was there recently and published an article about this.
Following the trial till the end of the massive, it brought us over a “Leiterl” , a short passage over a steel ladder and secured ropes up before we reach a romantic meadow that was in full bloom.
We had to spend a few crazy moments modelling under the shadows of Ackerlspitze and the Maukspitze.
Over the crackling firewood oven later that evening, we took a last look at the map, planning on the best route to take the next day. Corinna from Outdoormädchen found a nice short cut that would save us 300 m elevation. The mountain cottage was cosy and warm by now, as the aroma of “Bolognese del fueco ala Outdoorgourmand” by Nico filled the place. Hunger!!
The weather couldn’t have been better as we sipped on various versions of our self-made Cafe Latte, American coffee and Espresso Machiatto from the firewood oven, on the sunny terrace of the Obere Regalm. A cosy and lovingly refurbished lodge at 1315 m altitude, it had a magnificent view over to the Kitzbühler Horn and the Going village below.
Punctually, like almost all typical germans, we stood there putting on our last most important piece of equipment on our nose – the sunglasses. The trial started just behind the Obere Regalm. It led us in little serpentines quickly up to Baumgärtnerköpfel where the grave of the late alpinist (Michael) Much Wieser lays. From here, a bird’s eye view to the Grüntenhütte perched on the other end of the massive appeared lonesome and inviting. To the right of the refuge, the mighty peaks of the Wilder Kaiser hinted that it was going to be still a long way to get anywhere near them. We continued on the Much-Wieser-Steig, a small and narrow trail, leading us directly into the base of the Ellmauer Tor. This trial was still in the shade in the early morning, which made the heat tolerable.
Some exposed parts of the narrow trial were secured with a steel rope. It helped to cross rocky sections of a boulder or two easily. We crossed 4 snowfields altogether before we finally reached the junction of the Wilder Kaiser Steig. The snowfields came in different sizes and gradients but with the sun warming up the slush, it was easy to use the footsteps that have been there already. Trekking poles were a big help to keep the balance as we crossed them.
The entrance to Ellmauer Tor
We arrived at the main crossroad to all directions and took the one up to Ellmauer Tor. The Wilder Kaiser Steig, soon turned into another steep rocky passage that was secured with steel ropes before the way zig zacked up to a bundle of loose gravel. I was glad that the sun hid from time to time behind the clouds as we made our way up to the next level. Lo and behold, the last steep ascend before we reached the Ellmauer Tor was covered with another snowfield! Many other hikers who were already making their way down again, took the fun and pleasure to slide down the slushy passage, some making painful tumble landings at the base of sharp rocks. It was really better to take this field step by step – note to myself.
We stood at the Ellmauer Tor gazing to the left and right of the valley to the other side of the mountain. From here, I suddenly realized that there were many alpine climbers, working their way up on the tantalizing wall on the opposite – the famous Fleishbank and the Christaturm. Their colourful attire helped to pinpoint them on the wall as they climbed pitch for pitch.
A sneaky Hintere Goinger Halt
We continued on our way to the right of the massive after a short break. The path started almost immediately over little rocky boulders. We followed the red dots that was painted all over the rocks now using hands to scramble over the different passages before arriving at the base of another steeper passage secured by steel ropes. At this moment, Ute reminded me that it would probably be a good idea to put on our helmets before we continued on our way.
I was concentrating hard on the path, looking for sturdy ground, avoiding loose gravel and stones as much as I could and started to a crossing across a rocky passage. Three steps later, we heard from right on the very top of the mountain… “Achtung! Stein!!” (>>Look out! Rock!<< ) followed by a few more times of “Steinschlag!! ” (>> rockfalls !!<<) echoing in my ear. I looked up and saw a little rock flying towards me.
Plong, plong, plooooong…
I was – paralyzed, not quite sure if I should jump and risk a slip into the gravel and into the deep or close my eyes and wait for the stone to disappear in thin air. Thank goodness, I gathered in time it would be a good idea to move on quickly.
… the stone flew past my head. Close, really close.
Rockfalls are like magnets looking for the missing end. Just like the jam bread that always falls and lands on the jam side. I was thankful that we had our helmets on even though I figured the terrain wasn’t too steep. The two that came down from the top later apologized for the scare and said that their trekking poles were the culprit. All good. Nothing happened. We went on.
The rest of the way went on silently. Each of us was focussed, looking for the best way to scramble up to the top. Every now and then we found the next red dot, showing us the best way up.
We took in the panorama, surrounded by rugged and exposed limestone summits. The Totenkirchl, Karlspitze, Predigtstuhl surrounded us. Far below, the Stripsenjochhaus could be seen. Far left, showed a hint of our descend later on. We took in a last breath of the good views and headed then down, down, down. Time was running.
All a matter of training?
We stopped at the Gaudeamushütte for a beer, Schnitzel and Kaiserschmarrn before ascending the last 300 m altitude up to the Baumgärtnerköpfl. A last gaze around on the top made up for the last sweaty efforts before we reached our cosy Regalm cottage after almost 11 hours on my feet. With so little time for the outdoors the last few months, endurance was missing in my blood. I was done for the day.
Did someone call my name? Did I miss a game? That night I slept like a bear. The stars appeared just in my dreams, far, far away.
Note: Times may differ depending on snow and weather conditions. Times differ too, depending on your condition and experience.