Hike to the Hochgerach Summit

After relaxing for almost 2 weeks (due to the weather) we finally went outdoors again and planned a hike for the weekend. On Saturday we had brilliant autumn weather and great conditions for a nice hike. Since we wanted to be in the sun as much as possible, we quickly decided for a tour which follows along the sunny side. We quickly found a peak that we wanted to reach. The Hochgerach is a wonderful destination for an autumn hike. We packed our backpacks and prepared a can of tea. We expected the temperature to be pretty cold on the summit, so something hot to drink would be really nice to have.

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Gigi, my mom and I left with the car towards the small town called Schnifis where we parked and took the cable car to the Hensler. The Hensler is very well known by paragliders since it is a very good starting point to jump off. On days like these you can see many of them in the sky.

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At the Hensler we followed the wide trail to the right in direction of the alp called Äussere Alpila. The trail starts very wide and super smooth. We met some young goats on the way and quickly made friends with them 🙂

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Until the alp the trail stays pretty wide and in some little parts it gets a bit steep. After about 30 minutes we arrived at the Äussere Alpila and enjoyed the nice view from here for a bit. The temperature was around 10°C but from hiking in the direct sun plus the hiking effort we got very warm and had to take off some layers.

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From the alp forward, the trail turns into a small hiking path. The first part is pretty flat and you follow the path through meadows and grass covered hills. At some point the trail turns to the right and becomes pretty steep. The sun does not really reach this area and so we met our first snow of the season.

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With some little breaks to catch our breaths again, we made it through this steep part and found ourselves on the top of a hill from where we could already see the peak of the Hochgerach. The view was fantastic and we took the opportunity to take some pictures. From here you can also see other summits which you can reach from the Hochgerach. Since the area is pretty steep, many mountains are packed with protections to avoid avalanches.

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The sign at the intersection stated that it is 20 minutes until the summit of the Hochgerach. The trail continued pretty steep on loose rocks but we were motivated and could not wait to reach the top and enjoy the view with a hot tea and some chocolate 🙂 The effort was soooo worth it and we got rewarded with a spectacular view from the top of the Hochgerach. We enjoyed to see the mountain tops all around covered with snow with a blue sky. Wow!

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(can you find Gigi and Sabine in the next picture? 🙂 )

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Only the wind was very cold up on the top, like ice. So we decided to sit down and rest a few meters down where it was not that windy. We found a very nice spot and luckily we had our outdoor blanket with us. The hot tea with some chocolate, cranberries and apples were a delight! We felt so happy to be here together, to have managed that hike and to enjoy the view from up here.

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After our well deserved rest, we went back up to the top to take some more pictures.

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Since we did not have sandwiches or some other proper food, we chose the another direction for returning because there is a nice alp with a restaurant on the way. With the thought of a warm meal in our heads, we packed our things and followed the very tight path to the left in direction of the so called Älpele. Going down turned out to be a bit of a challenge. The snow was melting under the sun and turned the path into mud which was so sticky that we had a few centimeter of mud glued on the soles of our shoes! It almost felt like skating and in the steep parts it became extra slippery. We had to be careful but we all managed to get down the very steep parts without big problems. After a while the path followed into the shade where the terrain was slightly frozen. So after sliding in mud, it became sliding on ice 🙂 Only the last 20 minutes before the Älpele were non slippery and easy to hike.

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The Älpele is visited by lots of people who come up to enjoy the beautiful view, while sitting in the sun and enjoying a good meal, a snack, coffee and cake or just a drink. We ordered a drink, Gigi and my mom had a very good soup and I felt like having a Lumpasalat (meat and cheese salad with onions, pickles and black pepper). Yummy!

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While sitting there, suddenly the fog came up from all sides and covered everything in fog! The view changed from beautiful into spooky! Would have been perfect for Halloween dressed people 🙂

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Afterwards we followed the hiking path from the Älpele through a forest down to the cable car station at the Hensler where you have to draw a number to get into the cable car. We have never seen such a complicated system before! Normally you just stand in line and wait your turn but here you had to draw a number to know how many cable cars you have to wait until its your turn. We guess that they invented that to make the people order another drink to pass the waiting time. Very annoying as people kept walking in front of us! We had to wait for 50 minutes before it was our turn. If we come back here, we won’t use the cable car anymore and instead we´ll start hiking from another starting point.

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But all in all we had a fantastic day! A great hike with great memories 🙂

 

Some information:

Country: Austria

Province: Vorarlberg

Area: Schnifis / Dünserberg

Time: 4h (walking time)

Distance: 10.5 km

Vertical meter: ↑ 647m / ↓ 647m

Weather: sunny 11°C / cloudy 6°C

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