This time, the summit of the big Priel (der große Priel), the highest mountain of upper Austria, was the goal. Not only that the planned route was 22 km long, it covered also 2000 m in height – in one day.. the Sunday of 25th September, 2016. It turned out to be more challenging than expected in the beginning.
Due to a pretty long travel, the journey started only at 8 am. Right in the beginning, we were already rewarded with an extraordinary view on a little pond next to the parking space. This beautiful picture was offered to us at a height of ~600 sea meters and our goal was to reach the summit cross of the big Priel at 2.515.
As it was a fresh morning and the trail started in a forested area, we wrapped ourselves up accordingly. But right after a short distance, we reached a sun-flooded clearing and got the chance to sneak a first peak on our destined mountain.
Just for a better understanding – the second peak from the right was the one we were heading for. At this point we realised that the upcoming hike could be more demanding than expected. Still not bounced back, we kept looking forward to an amazing experience.
After a little walk we reached the first ascending part of the trail, which took mainly place in the woods. Again, we had an amazing scenery around us. The forest offered so many beautiful moments – here are just a few of them.
After 2-3 hours of hiking, we reached the cabin. It was located at a sea level of about ~1.400 meters. So at this point, ~800 meters of height and a distance of 6 km were put back. The second time concerns came up, if we will even made it to the top, as we still head to cover 3-4 km’s of distance and more than 1.000 meters of height. Just one quick Skiwasser (water with shot of raspberry syrup) at the cabin and we immediately continued our trail. Our quickness was one of our mistakes, as we discovered later.
Pretty soon after we had left the cabin, we reached the tree line. From that point on a proper footgear was needed. I was actually glad about that circumstance as I anyway wanted to test my new hiking shoes properly.
What I have not mentioned so far is that we were following a specific hiking route with our bergfex app, but as you can imagine, we were not constantly checking our smartphones. So it happened as it had to happen, we missed a turning and found ourselves on a different trail. After a bit of research with our phones, we found out that we were heading to a via ferrata.
So, stuck in the middle of nowhere, we had to make a decision. Either going back a distance of more than half an hour and risking not to reach the peak anymore or finding an other solution.
Attempting not to give up, we checked once more the bergfex app to see where we actually were. We figured out that we were not that far away from our planned route and potentially could reach it if we hike freestyle in its direction. After we have studied the digital map as well as our surrounding area, we decided to give at a try.
Long story short – we made it to our route. It was not easy as we had to hike trough a pretty steep area and also partially climb up our way. Kind of invalidated of this action, we decided to have a little rest and refill our batteries with a little snack and drink. This is where we figured out, what we had forgotten at the cabin – we did not refill our water bottles. They were not empty at that point, but they were far away from full and we still had about 5-6 hours hike in front of us. At this point we had already hiked for about the same time. So a bit depressed, we had our break and enjoyed the breathtaking view.
The amazing view encouraged us. Now, back on the correct route, we looked forward to our next chapter – see below what expected us at that point of our trail.
The route in front of us was an official route and we also met other people. Just that noone was going up, but down.
Nevertheless, about an hour later, we mad it up to the ridge. Most of the last hour we were almost climbing. The route was secured with steel cables for additional support.
Up at the ridge, the point of destination was in near reach.
It was written on a little sign that the summit cross can be reached within 30 minutes. Truly, not that long later, we were finally sitting next to the cross and enjoying the amazing few. Even a few birds were keeping company with us.
Unfortunately, we again had to hurry and enjoyed the view only for 20-30 minutes as it already was almost 4 pm and we had to head back. Otherwise we would have run into danger to get stuck in the mountains as the night breaks in. So we again we pulled ourselves together and made our way back down.
Until half 5 pm we made it to the cabin. Again we only had a quick Skiwasser and continued our descending. But this time we filled up our bottles 😉
About 7 pm we finally reached the clearing and had one last and respectful peak back towards the big Priel.
If this post should have encouraged you to hike to the big Priel, please consider the option to do it within two days. In our case, we almost did not make it within one day.
However, here is the bergfex link to the route – Hinterstoder – Großer Priel.