Hiking in Austria's Pitztal with My Buddy Jente
At the age of 29, I had my first summer experience in genuine mountains. This was only my second encounter with the Alps, with the first time being a ski trip during my sixth year of primary school.
There's something undeniably magical about the Alps, with their impressive peaks, green meadows, and crystal-clear alpine lakes. But experiencing them in Austria's Pitztal, and that too with a good friend, takes the experience to an altogether different level. This is a short impression of a week-long hiking adventure in the Pitztal with my buddy, Jente.
Pitztal is one of Austria's most picturesque valleys situated in the heart of Tirol. With over 380 kilometers of marked hiking trails (read more), the Pitztal offers an array of routes ranging from leisurely walks to challenging mountain tours.
Building up our alpine leg strength
Our adventure started in the village of Weißwald, where we settled into a fantastic hotel that became our central hub. This spot was perfect for embarking on milder hikes as a warm-up. The Rifflsee Lake, for instance, was a serene spot perfect for a warm-up hike. Its turquoise waters reflected the surrounding peaks, creating an almost surreal scene. Additionally, the proximity of Weißwald to the ski facilities (e.g. Mandarfen) made it convenient for accessing higher elevations, paving the way for more demanding hikes.
What became particularly evident during our week of hiking was my underestimation of the demanding nature of continuous uphill and downhill trekking. In flatter terrains, I'm accustomed to covering an average of 30 kilometers during hiking expeditions. However, in the Austrian landscape, our daily average was roughly 15 kilometers, even with just a lightweight backpack on our shoulders.
One of the highlights of our trip started at the Wildspitze, Tirol's highest peak. Standing at an impressive 3,774 meters, the panoramic views from the summit were nothing short of spectacular. Descending from there, arguably one of the most rigorous hikes of our expedition, rewarded us with captivating views of the glacier and a demanding trail leading to the Taschach haus. The accompanying photo, capturing a moment of my absolute tranquility :) features the backdrop of the Taschach glacier.
Looking forward to new Alpine adventures
Reflecting on the photos from our trip, I'm amazed by the sheer number of breathtaking places we encountered during our hikes. This wasn't solely because of our good fortune with the great sunny weather (which was unusually warm for September), but also due to the diverse and enchanting landscapes inherent to mountainous regions. As mentioned before, this was relatively new to me, and I already know that I can't get enough of it!
The Pitztal is a great place for hiking and discovering Austria's immense natural beauty. I'll definitely return for more adventures in the heart of the Alps!