This trail route is an impressive, high alpine crossing of a karst plateau which is almost devoid of vegetation. The trail should only be accessed during extremely stable weather. Orientation will be enormously difficult during foggy or snowy conditions.
From the Pühringer Hut to the Rotkögel Saddle (1 ½ hours)
From the hut, the route follows path No. 601 to the east (the Schrofenwand Cliff of the Rauen Elm Mountain can be seen on the right side) until arriving at the spring at the Geiernest Mountain. At this point, the difficult Sepp Huber Path (secured with cables) to Lake Almsee turns to the left. Soon thereafter, the trail to the vista-rich Rotgeschirr Peak also turns to the left. Our route ascends over rock steps to the Rotkögel Saddle (2000 m), where hikers will get their first views of the enormous karst plateau in the direction of the Great Priel Mountain.
From the Rotkögel Saddle to the Fleischbank Saddle (1 ¾ hours)
From this point, the trail follows the well-built ‘Ausseer’ Path down to the ‘Aufghackert’, a corrie littered with huge boulders. The route continues towards the east to a junction. To the right, the path heads over the Temlberg Saddle and the Klinser Gap to the Prielschutzhaus Hut. However, our route continues straight ahead and after a kilometre reaches another junction. The trail to the left ascends the mighty, 2386-metre-high Schermberg (1 hour). To the right, the path leads to the Temlberg Saddle and Prielschutzhaus Hut. Our trail continues to lightly ascend and after 30 minutes arrives at the Fleischbank Saddle (2123 m). This flat saddle lies between the Sauzah Peak to the left and the south-western ridge of the Great Priel on the right side.
The summit of the Great Priel Mountain is accessible via this initial ridge with another narrow and somewhat exposed ridge to follow. Approximately 2 hours are needed for this moderately difficult ascent and descent along the same route.
From the Fleischbank Saddle to the Welser Hut (1 ½ hours)
The trail now descends into a deeply grooved, rugged corrie. Afterwards the sloping, layered cliff bands of the so-called ‘Fleischbänke’ must be navigated. Hikers are provided assistance in the form of ladders and fixed cables to conquer the ‘Hansbauernband’. Hard snow fields below could make the descent more difficult. Finally the terrain becomes gentler, and the trail crosses patches of meadow to arrive at the Welser Hut. This splendid mountain refuge hut sits at 1726 metres directly below the northern wall of the Great Priel Mountain and has majestic views of the Schermberg Mountain and Hetzautal Valley.
Many prominent figures have explored this region: nobles like Archduke Johann and Empress Elisabeth, scientists such as Friedrich Simony, poets and authors like Nikolaus Lenau, painters like Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, musicians and composers such as Johannes Brahms. Did they ever think that hiking in the Salzkammergut might have no end? That they could tramp from one lake to the next and then onward to yet another? Day by day along the shores of crystal-clear waters? Week-long excursions through quiet valley forests, over sunny alpine meadows and up mountains fuelled by the anticipation of the next destination? Further information…
Safety Tips for Hikers
Admittedly, the landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut is the absolute pinnacle for hiking fans, mountain enthusiasts and nature lovers—unforgettable tours to incredibly beautiful mountain lodges and meadows, panorama views as far as the eye can see and cherished moments that will last a lifetime! However, you should remember that while hiking you might find yourself in high-alpine terrain. We’ve put together some resources to assist you: how to best prepare for your tour, recommended items for your backpack and steps to take in an emergency situation. Remember to always play it safe and enjoy your hiking adventure in the Salzkammergut!