European Wilderness Volunteer DiaryThe Diary of the European Wilderness Society Volunteers

2-days of Alpine adventures

The best weekend so far, I spent with my friend in mountains. We had the plan to go hiking a few days long ago, but exactly this week she had an opportunity to come to Lungau. We were inspired by photos from previous volunteers’ adventures. 

My friend had an opportunity to come just for three days, so we decided to spend two of them on mountain trails. Then we checked the Lungau map and find several appropriate routes. As I learn before from Respect Nature materials and my personal hiking experience, the planning of the trip is one of the most essential parts. You need to choose your route and area wisely to avoid some surprises such as bad weather, getting lost, or staying in mountains under the sky for the whole night.  All touristic routes are marked by different colors depending on the complexity of the path difficulty. Blue is light and short paths, red for international long routes with medium difficulty and if you choose black, better prepare equipment for alpinism. 

We decided to take the trail through Tweng. The small village is 15km from Tamsweg. When we came there in the morning, we faced fresh air and didn’t find the route that we suppose to take. In this case, we took a decision just to take another one. There were Alpine houses as well. 

The first stop on our way was Blau See (Blu Lake), a fabulous mountain lake 1800m above the sea. We reached on the first day in the afternoon. The landscape was breathtaking. We didn’t go to the water, because the hill is pretty steep. After a short photo session, relaxing on the grass, and chatting with another passing tourists, we had to choose our next destination. 

Alpine houses are a comfortable opportunity to stay for the night in the mountains if you don’t want to carry a tent, but a sleeping bag is better to take. They work as hostels and can belong to one of the associations or be private. In the house, you can rent a sleeping place or private room and have dinner and breakfast. Altogether it can cost up to 30 euros. Some houses can provide special meal options for vegans and vegetarians or additional cultural, and sports activities. I highly recommend contacting owners before you will go to ensure that a house is open and has places for a certain number of visitors. 

We passed a few Alpine hoses on our way but decided to move forward and I contacted one of the houses. Fortunately, they had two places and the owner said it is just a 2,5h walk from our location. So, we set off. 

The way to the house was hard enough. None of us is a professional hiker or native Austrian, so it took us 5 hours to find the place. The path was stony and steep, in some places you had to walk right over the precipice. Only at that moment, I have understood why so many hikers prefer boots rather than sports. My shoes almost died on the second day, the sole was worn and I could feel every pebble under my feet. Also, I added walking poles as vital for high mountain tracks. 

We stayed in the house for a night. The owners were friendly and hospital. The impossible thing was we couldn’t catch the stars in the sky. The sky stayed dark blue till 11 pm and we were too tired for waiting for more. After a mouthwatering breakfast and a short chat with the owners, we continued our trip.

Our final goal was to end in Obertauern and take a bus back to Tamsweg from there. We visited one more lake on our way back. We had a chance to go down and try the water. The weather was plus 30 degrees and swimming sounded like a great idea. The water was freaking cold, which is not surprising for the lake at almost 2000m in height. 

I enjoyed this adventure and these 2 days felt like a week of hiking. I highly recommend experiencing the Lungau region in mountains.

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