The 7 most beautiful peaks in the Salzburger Sportwelt
The greatest summits

The 7 most beautiful peaks in the Salzburger Sportwelt

The greatest mountain adventure in SalzburgerLand

No other region is as diverse and multi-facetted as the Salzburger Sportwelt in the heart of  SalzburgerLand. 7 resorts, Flachau, Wagrain-Kleinarl, St. Johann-Alpendorf, Radstadt, Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Eben and Filzmoos are all very different, yet united in their alpine beauty and create a world of opposites, in which each individual can experience the exact downtime he needs. This region is entwined with its many mountains and peaks, which seem omnipresent and have stimulated people’s longing forever. A longing which is familiar to me as I check in to my cosy pension in the alpine summertime and for the first time in ages breathe in the clear air of the region. Again and again I keep returning, I can’t keep away from my beloved mountains for long. And these mountains make up the centrepiece of my coming week. For I’m ready to experience a very special adventure. One, which I can talk about for I’ll be able to talk about for ages and, without exaggerating, can be described as one of the greatest in SalzburgerLand. I want to, no I will, conquer the 7 most beautiful peaks in the Salzburger Sportwelt.

The Penkkopf – peaks as far as the eye can see

Standing at the foot of the peak cross you are completely overwhelmed and can’t get enough of the panoramic view. Again and again you hear hikers raving about the Penkkopf and its view, yet the experience of savouring it for yourself, surpasses all accounts by far. You’re surrounded by countless peaks, reminiscent in the light of the setting sun of a wavy, glittering sea. The Hohe Tauern range with its first of 3,000 m peaks on the one side, the Tennengebirge and Hagengebirge ranges on the other. And in the centre the Hochkönig thrones above in quiet grandeur. Marvellous! The extraordinary thing about this mountain is that, in addition to its unobtrusive beauty, it can be conquered from many sides and it’s in no way overcrowded. Today I chose the route from Kleinarl, heading up along the well-prepared gravel track to the Kleinarler Hütte through deep-green forests and over lush alpine meadows. From there I hiked for around 1 hour over somewhat steep alpine terrain until I finally reached the peak at 2,011 m. Even though the hike is not classified as particularly difficult, you should possess a certain amount of sure-footedness. Particularly the gully below the peak is actually quite steep. Those not wishing to hike all the way up to the Kleinarler Hütte, can undertake the forest trail by e-bike or mountain bike. From the peak you can hike on to the Schaflkopf and the Gründeck.

Walking time: approx. 3 hours
Starting point: Kleinarl
Level of difficulty: easy to medium
Exposed spots: no

Hochgründeck – the 300 mountain experience

The Hochgründeck is a perfect hiking mountain for the whole familiy. Several easy paths lead from four resorts up to the peak, which with its 1,827 m belongs to the highest wooden mountains in Europe. With a view over a sea of over 300 peaks I quickly forget the effort required and enjoy the view of the Hochkönig, Tennengebirge, Dachstein, Niedere and Hohe Tauern, Kitzbüheler Alps and Dientner Schieferberge to the very full. From the Hahnbaumalm in St. Johann-Alpendorf (accessible by car) I hiked through forests and along a beautiful, well-made path, finally reaching the Gründeck Bründl. From here the peak was easily conquered in approx. 10 minutes. Before you take on the descent along the same path, you should be sure to stop for refreshment at the Heinrich-Kiener-Haus and fortify yourself for the return hike. The hut, which also offers overnight accommodation, is not just extremely comfy, but due to its sophisticated technology, one of the most environmentally-friendly in the Eastern Alps. Right nearby you’ll find the St. Vinzenz Chapel, where mountain masses are often held. Each year in August people meet up on the Hochgründeck to determine the County Champion wrestler.

Walking time: approx. 3 hours
Starting point: St. Johann-Alpendorf
Level of difficulty: easy
Exposed spots: no

Spirzinger – a narrow ridge to the top

If you’re hiking the 7 most beautiful peaks in the Salzbuger Sportwelt, then the Spirzinger –  with its 2,066 m – is certainly not to be missed. For the approx. 5 hour hike from Flachau is worth it for many reasons. After leaving my car by the chapel next to the Gasthofalm at the end of the valley in Flachau, the tour starts off through thick, shady forest towards the Unterbichlhütte. From there it’s on to the Südwienerhütte and finally along a steep path up to
the peak. The last few metres are along a narrow, yet completely safe ridge, opening up unbelievable views of the surrounding countryside. From the Unterbichlhütte you should keep an eye out for marmots (or manggei, as the little rodents are known in Pongau). But take note, only those who are particularly quiet and cautious will really get a glimpse of these shy animals. In order to reach the peak in the rising sun and to watch the mountains awake, I hiked up to the Südwienerhütte yesterday already and spent the night in one of the cosy dormitories. Those fancying adding another peak to the Spirzinger, can carry on along the ridge to the Spatzeck. My tip: a refreshment stop at the Scharfetthütte is a must. The snack platter there is sensational and is reputed far and wide.

Walking time: approx. 5 hours
Starting point: Flachau
Level of difficulty: medium
Exposed spots: no

The Rossbrand – Radstadt’s mountain

The Rossbrand, which can be described without any exaggeration as Radstadt’s local mountain, is a different category of mountain altogether. For this 1,768 m high panoramic mountain can not only be reached by mountain bike and on foot, but also by car and wanderbus. Yet it doesn’t matter how you get up the mountain – it’s definitely worth it. The unique 360 degree panoramic view allows visitors to dip into a world of 150 mountains, of which the Dachstein and Bischofsmütze – also one of our 7 most beautiful peaks – seem to be so close you could reach out and touch them. On clear days you can even see as far as the Hohe Tauern with the Grossglockner and Grossvenediger. After I’ve thoroughly explored the fabulously green high plateau and read the panorama boards with interesting facts about the geology and creation of the alpine landscape, I stop in the cosy Radstädter Hütte and enjoy tasty Pongau specialities made by Ilse and Manfred, the hut landlords. I contemplate the  saying I read on the peak cross: “God, how beautiful our homeland is!“ Whoever wrote that was right… it’s really wonderful up here.

Walking time: approx. 3 hours
Starting point: Radstadt
Level of difficulty: easy
Exposed spots: no

Gerzkopf – the mountain of the legendary black pools

From far away I keep hearing a deep, sonorous ringing of a bell and on my way up the 1,728 m high Gerzkopf, I wonder where it’s coming from. The mountain itself is a genuine natural gem and due to its unique alpine flora has been declared a European nature reserve. The path is almost totally in the sun and it’s a real pleasure to walk along. On the upper third of the  hike you come to a large mountain pine field and the Gerzkopf moor including the black pools, reflecting the surrounding mountains in their dark moor water. The peak rewards walkers for their efforts with an imposing all round panorama of the Gosau ridge, Dachstein, Tennengebirge range and the momumental Bischofsmütze. And here too the mystery of the ringing bell is solved. Every hiker, reaching the peak of the mountain, rings the large bell, which was originally used to call the many sheep on the extensive pasture areas. These mainly congregate around the cosy Schäferhütte, which is situated a little way beneath the peak and where a stop for refreshment a is real must…

Walking time: approx. 3 hours
Starting point: Eben
Level of difficulty: easy
Exposed spots: no

The Lackenkogel – Guardian over the Lackenalms

The imposing Lackenkogel gets its name from the pools (Lacken) that are centrally located on the Lackenalm, making it one of the most popular excursion destinations in the region. The ascent from the Sattelbauer to the alpine pasturee is along well-signposted paths, which can be circumvented if required along pushchair-friendly forest roads. Although the alpine pasture with its pretty huts and peacefully grazing cows tempts me to linger, I only stop for a short rest and head off to conquer the pyramid-shaped Lackenkogel. This can be categorised as an easy peak, however, you do need to be sure-footed, so as not to trip over the mighty tree roots. After a picturesque junction, uncovering for the first time a fabulous 360 degree panoramic view, it’s just a short hike along the ridge until you reach the magnificent peak cross. The view of the Dachstein range is really breathtaking. The descent is back along the south side to the alpine pasture area. Back at Sattelbauer, where you can park your car, you should definitely stop for refreshment at the mountain restaurant and savour some regional specialities. You’ve earned it after your hike. By the way: the Lackenalm is also accessible by mountain bike from Flachau and the Zauch Valley.

Walking time: approx. 3.5 hours
Starting point: Altenmarkt
Level of difficulty: easy
Exposed spots: no

The Bischofsmütze – the highlight of the 7 most beautiful peaks

If you want to conquer all 7 of the most beautiful peaks in the Salzburger Sportwelt, then the Bischofsmütze is surely the highlight of this undertaking. Again and again I’ve glimpsed it from the peaks of other mountains. Sometimes so close you can almost reach out and touch it and majestically beautiful in its grandeur. As the local mountain in Filzmoos it is also is the landmark of this Pongau village and life of the people here could not be imagined without it. Traditionally, locals climb up to the peak every year on the 15th of August, drink from the‘Kamplbrunn’ fountain of youth at its foot and generally adore their Queen Bischofsmütze, which as together with the King Dachstein protects the area. There are lots of climbing tours on the 2,458 m high peak, of which the easiest is rated 3+ on the level of difficulty. Even though this just arouses a tired smile from experienced mountaineers, it poses a real challenge for me. For this reason a mountain guide is recommended. In addition to your safety, which is of paramount importance on any tour in high alpine terrain, he knows lots of stories about the mountain and makes the ascent and descent an unforgettable experience. One which you should definitely treat yourself to. The normal routes, the easiest of all ascents, leads through the Mützen gorge to the top. A head for heights and absolute sure-footedness are essential, if you want to stand on the Large Bischofsmütze and enjoy the view to the very full. The descent back down to the Aualm, the starting point of the tour is along the same route and requires controlled abseiling in some places. What an unforgettable experience.

Walking time: approx. 6 hours
Starting point: Filzmoos
Level of difficulty: difficult
Exposed spots: yes

“Peak Joy Package“

– 7 nights with breakfast

– Salzburger Sportwelt Card

– 1 alpine snack

– Free wanderbus

– 1 hiking rucksack

– 1 hiking map of the region

Bookable: from mid-June to mid-September 2018

from €  339,00/person sharing a double room

go to booking

Photo credits: Peter Zeitlhofer, Salzburger Sportwelt

Driven by curiosity – these words describe me perfectly. Whether on a sailing boot, in deep snow, out and about in the city or in the country, or on one of my many travels – I’m constantly on the search for something new, something special, I’ll try anything and I love talking about things and reporting about them.

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