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The Alps in Austria
|OBERGURGL, JULY 1996 - Most people in Europe visit the Alps in France, Austria, Italy or Switzerland in winter on their ski break. I visited the Alps in mid summer and even then you encounter snow, provided that you go high enough. Obergurgl is situated in Otztäl, in the Austrian Alps, at an elevation of 1930 metres. No village in Austria is situated at higher altitude than this one, making it an ideal startpoint for hikes in the high Alpes nearby. Many peaks of 3000 metres and up are situated in this area, including the Wildspitze, Austria's highest mountain, rising 3772 metres above the wonderful alpine landscapes.|
First goal of the hike was reaching the Breslauer Hütte, at an altitude of 2840 metres. This is the startpoint for hikers that go up the Wildspitze. I didn't climb the Wildspitze - although this is not a technically difficult mountain, it should not be undertaken without a mountain guide. And most importantly, the weather is king of the mountains... the weather decides whether or not to go on a particular hike.
But I made another fantastic hike in the Vent area, crossing mountain ridges and wonderful passes,... unforgettable mountain beauty ! From the Breslauer hütte, I continued my hike to the Vernagthütte, a few more hours away from the Breslauer Hütte, located at 2766 metres. The ups and downs on this hike are not much, as one walks on a the side of mountain slope ranging between 2600 and 2900 metres, the sights are magnificent ! Most of all, you are above the tree level here, there's nothing but rocks, ice and snow - this is my favorite part of the mountains. On the way back to the town of Vent, one descents quite gradually, and on the lower grassy meadows, sheep are a common sight. Also spectacular is a hanging bridge over a river gorge, nearly at the end of this hike.
When I arrived back in the village of Vent, drinking a beer (or a glass of butter milk if you prefer) was absolutely heavenly. And while sitting on the terasse, you can still enjoy the splendors of the Austrian Alps...