The summer holidays are just around the corner and with them a lot of time for family, friends and shared experiences – preferably in the great outdoors. My family and I are big hiking fans and therefore spend a lot of time on the mountains around Zauchensee. As a father of two schoolchildren, I make sure that our hikes are varied – for example, by choosing tours that offer exciting experiences for the kids. There’s a wide range of activities for my two explorers at the Gamskogel adventure mountain in Zauchensee – with new attractions this year.
Sliding down the cow’s hump
One of my children’s favourite destinations is the large adventure playground at the Gamskogelhütte in Zauchensee. At the so-called Master Cup of Alpine Animals, the kids can not only live out their urge to move, but also discover the super talents and secrets of animal mountain dwellers: For example, how fast a bee can fly, how far a hare can jump, what it looks like in a marmot’s burrow and much more. The adventure stations are made of wood and natural materials, which additionally promotes the experience of nature.
At the start of the holidays, three new circular trails await little explorers around the adventure playground: the ForestMaster Trail, the AlmMaster Trail and the MountainMaster Trail. The trails lead to four new animal adventure stations. My kids are already excited about the new cow hump slide, the wing ladder, the antler scrambler and the “chamois” climbing wall.
A good place to stop – at last!
Exercise makes you hungry – it’s good that the adventure playground is right next to the Gamskogelhütte. The mountain restaurant is open until 19th September on Gamskogel lift operating days (i.e. every day except when it rains) from 9 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm. I’m already looking forward to stopping in after the hike: to the first sip of ice-cold, sparkling apple juice, to coffee and quark strudel, to a hearty snack platter and above all to soaking up the sun and just doing nothing on the large terrace.
For my children, the highlight is the barbecue station at the Gamskogelhütte. In the mountain restaurant you get a barbecue basket with sausages, meat, potatoes, salad and bread after booking by phone the day before. At the grill station on the sun terrace, my kids can then be active as grill masters themselves.
Tip: To kick off the holidays, there is a children’s festival around the Gamskogelhütte on 11th July – with fun and games and great surprises for the kids. For us parents, this is a good opportunity to enjoy the Pongau delicacies from the mountain restaurant and the wonderful sun terrace 😉
Power spot Seekarsee Lake
When we want to take it easy or just make a short trip up the mountain, we like to walk to the Seekarsee Lake. Yes, even my children! Because the path between the Gamskogelhütte and the Seekarsee Lake, the so-called Seekarmeile, not only offers wonderful mountain panoramas, but with a bit of luck also the opportunity to observe the free-living marmots. The walking time of around 30 minutes from the Gamskogel lift mountain station to Seekarsee Lake is also very child-friendly.
For the way back to the Gamskogelhütte, we like to hop on the Zauchi slow train. The chugging, brightly coloured slow train travels back and forth between the Seekarsee Lake and the Gamskogelhütte every day in dry weather during the main holiday season. The ride is really relaxing and we enjoy the view of the lush green alpine landscape.
The Seekarsee Lake itself is a beautiful sight when the sunshine sparkles on its blue-green surface. A walking path leads around the lake with activating energy refuelling stations that invite you to join in exercises and relaxation loungers that are wonderful for relaxing and sunbathing.
Tip: Every Wednesday in July and August, yoga classes are held directly at Seekarsee Lake. My wife and I tried yoga on the mountain the summer before last and hope to find time for it again this year. It’s a very special experience when you don’t practise the exercises in the studio, but out in the open at 2,000 metres above sea level. In front of an impressive mountain panorama, with the scent of alpine herbs in your nose and the tickle of sunrays on your face. After the yoga session, all participants have a vitality snack at the Gamskogelhütte, and the Gamskogel cable car takes them up and down.
Those who complete the 4 Summit Tour receive a reward
The 4-summit tour connects the four highest peaks around the Seekarsee: Gamskogel, Schwarzkopf, Tagweidegg and Arche. The start and finish is the mountain station of the Gamskogel Lift. My children are experienced hikers and therefore manage the round tour, which takes about 4.5 hours. Nevertheless, we pay special attention to the kids in the Schwarzkopf area, because surefootedness is required here.
To save energy, we take the Gamskogel Lift up to the starting point of the hike. At the lift ticket office you get the 4-summit tour pass when you buy your ticket. On each of the four summits there is a checkpoint where you can make an entry in the tour collection pass. Those who have collected all four summit markers receive the 4-summit tour hiking pin as a reward at the lift ticket office or in the Gamskogelhütte. The checkpoints on the summits have been redesigned this year and are cool motifs for the summit photo.
Tip: A ride on the Gamskogel Lift in summer is always an experience for my children. Instead of floating up the mountain with skis and winter clothes in hiking gear and enjoying the finest convertible feeling while the cows graze on the summer alpine meadows has a very special charm. The Gamskogel Lift runs daily in dry weather from 9 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm until 19th September.
I wish you a beautiful mountain summer! See you soon in the hiking paradise of Zauchensee!
Photo credits: Bergbahnen Zauchensee