The Rossbrand, Radstadt’s local mountain, is always worth a visit. It doesn’t matter if you arrive by car, wanderbus or bike – or like myself on foot. The panoramic view that you get of the many peaks around is unbeatable. No wonder, that this almost 1,770 m high mountain belongs to the ‘7 most beautiful peaks in the Salzburger Sportwelt’. My aim, which I’ve almost achieved, is to climb all of them during my holiday. So come on, let’s go! The next peak’s waiting.
A 360 degree panorama of 150 distinctive peaks. The view into the High Tauern to the Grossglockner and the Grossvenediger. Dachstein and Bischofsmütze to almost reach out and touch – all of which from a high alpine plateau lying at an altitude of 1,768, which can not only be reached on foot and by bike, but also by car and wanderbus. The Rossbrand really is an extraordinary mountain. Radstadt locals describe it as “their“ home mountain and visit it themselves gladly. For me it’s one of the ‘7 most beautiful peaks in the Salzburger Sportwelt’, which I have resolved to climb during my holiday here in the mountains. Thus I leave my car in the charming old town of Radstadt, fill up my water bottle and head off in the morning sunshine in a northerly direction towards the peak. However, the tour takes least three hours, on which I will not only experience great hiking pleasure, but also discover a number of natural gems.
Radstadt’s local mountain
It’s certainly a different catergory of mountain. Whereas during the past few days I got to know solitude and tranquility on the Penkkopf, the Hochgründeck and the Spirzinger, there’s much more going on here on the Rossbrand. What a welcome change! Children run alongside their parents up the path, mountain runners overtake me now and again and from time to time mountain bikers kindly request me to move out of their way. Radstadt’s mountain really seems to be popular and I’m quickly infected with the upbeat atmosphere. Whilst at first I walked along roads through the town, path no. 462 is narrow and scenic and leads gently uphill through shady forest. After approx. half of the way the Bürgerbergalm hut appears idyllically in a clearing. Due to its large playground and quietly grazing animals in the meadow, it’s a paradise for families and already the final destination for many of my hiking companions. I drink a steaming mug of tea, fill up my water reserves again and head off once more. After all, I want to be up on the peak by lunchtime.
In general, the hike on the Rossbrand is categorised as easy to medium-difficulty and easily accomplishable for families with sure-footed children. However, many take the very popular wanderbus, which runs up to the car park beneath the peak several times daily. You can also drive up the toll-free panorama road and then you only have to walk 15 minutes. Of course that’s nice and easy, but despite this fact I still prefer the hike through the wonderfully-clear forest. Now and again I come to clearings, where I often get a glimpse of the imposing 94 m tall radio tower, which in grey, stands out scenically from the grey-green background. What must the view be like from the top? Soon, at the peak I’ll know. The path crosses the forest trail several times, to disappear a little later into the thicket. Hiking like this is really fun. A good hour after my last stop I reach the ridge and the path changes character again. From now on it’s only gently uphill, passing the smooth, deep-black ponds and the forest seems to withdraw slowly. Although it’s still a way off, the peak and its cross are right in front of me and I can almost reach out and touch them.
“God, how beautiful our homeland is“
After another half an hour I’m finally there. I take off my rucksack, stretch up towards the sun and let my sights roam over the wealth of peaks. There are groups of people everywhere, laughing, taking photos of each other or just lying in the warm meadow and sunbathing. I’m quickly drawn to the wooden peak cross and whilst I slowly march barefoot over the grass, I contemplate the engraved saying “God, our homeland is beautiful”. Who wrote that? They were right for sure, as everyone, who can call this blessed piece of earth home is really blessed. Behind the cross two monumental mountain peaks appear. They seem within grasp. Dachstein, Bischofsmütze and the Gosaukamm. I think mountains couldn’t more beautiful. Anyway I’ve got a date with the Bischofsmütze. But that’s another story.
Slowly but surely, my stomach starts to rumble gently and I put my boots back on, head off and bag a table on the terrace of the nearby Radstädter Hütte. A three hour hike is strenuous and I’m more than happy when Ilse and Manfred welcome me to their realm and spoil me with their Pongau specialities. Heart, what more could you desire? Afterwards I treat myself to a dessert and after a short nap in one of the deck chairs, it’s time to head back down to the valley. At the peak I read the panorama boards with interesting facts about the geology and the formation of the alpine landscape, enjoy a last look at the High Tauern range and head off. As the wanderbus left shortly before from the car park, it’s quite quiet now and I enjoy the peace and tranquility here up on the mountain. And tomorrow? The Gerzkopf with its legendary “Schwarze Lacke“ (Black Pool awaits). Also one of the ‘7 most beautiful peaks in the Salzburger Sportwelt’. Oh, how I’m enjoying this adventure!
What I take with me from the Rossbrand:
- It doesn’t matter how you get up the mountain, the main thing is you get up there
- It’s wonderful, when there’s something happening on the peak
- It’s also wonderful to hike again in the peace of the forest
- “God, how beautiful our homeland is“
Photo credits: Peter Zeitlhofer