Felbertal

Mittersill

Summits and crossings

Summits:

  • Zwölferkogel (2.446 m)
  • Landeggkopf (2.900 m)
  • Teufelspitze (2.848 m )
  • Hörndl (2.852 m)
  • Hochgasser (2.922 m)
  • Tauernkogel (2.988 m)
  • Hoher Herd (2.824 m)
  • Pihapper (2.513 m)

Crossings:

  • via Alten Tauern (2.493 m) to East Tyrol
  • via Felbertauern (2.481 m) - St. Pöltner Hütte zum Matreier Tauernhaus

Mountain lakes and alpine streams

The Hohe Tauern National Park is home to more than 550 lakes. many of these are located in the area of Felbertal valley. Hintersee lake is a relatively young lake and was only formed in 1495 as a result of a major rockslide from the Hohe Herd. It has been a Salzburg natural monument since 1933. Lake Plattachsee, Langsee Tauern-(Ober)see lakes are located on an elevated trough shaped by glaciers in the north-west of Felbertal valley. Amertaler lake, outside the national park, with its abraded whalebacks at the northern shore is dammed and used to feed the power plants in Stubachtal. Nearby are many natural streams with shallow sections and waterfalls. The carry varying amounts of water depending on the time of day and season. In rear Felbertal during snowmelt and after rainfall, numerous streams plunge down the cliffs of Geisskopf mountain. The curtain falls drop down 80 metres from Geisstein into the high valley at Hintersee lake. Felberbach stream as well as Ammerbach are largely fed by snowmelt, which comes from snow cirques and to some part also from headwaters. They can be clearly distinguished from the western Tauern streams by their clearness, exhibiting the milky-murky colour typical to glacial streams. The Pembach waterfall is located to the north of the Schösswend Tauern lodge (today just an alpine pasture) and is lined by a typical ravine forest. Nearby Schösswend gorge is also a popular destination for family outings with the Felberbach stream running through it since 12,000 years.

 

Living alpine pastures

Transhumance is of great importance in Felbertal valley. Mid-June / beginning of July, grazing animals are herded up, first sheep and goats, then young cattle and cows. Sheep graze freely in the elevated regions. The "Pinzgau nanny" is native species of domestic animal. It is gaining in importance, as goat milk is getting more and more sought after. Rams can reach a weight of up to 100 kg. Other native livestock include the Pinzgau cow, Noriker and Haflinger horse.

 

Tauern - a historic crossing

 

The Felbertauern were long an important transport route from north to south and vice versa. Salt and metals were traded for wine, spices, velvet and silk. The Tauern Houses (Schösswend, Spital and Matrei) were obliged to provide travellers and traders with shelter. In return, they received grain from the Archbishop of Salzburg. With the Tauern having been made accessible to traffic, trading by pack animals came to an end. The Felbertauern road has provided fast access to the south through Amertal valley since 1967. The Tauern House Spital has been preserved with its original furnishings and is well worth a look.

 

Where the water rushes - Schösswend gorge

 

The Pembach waterfall is located at the entrance to Felbertal valley, just after the first junction. It is 25 metres high and the volume of water rushing down is particularly high after strong rainfalls. As it flows over hard greenschist, the water cannot erode the streambed. Nearby, however, the Felberbach stream has forced its way through the hard rock. Here in the Schösswendklamm gorge we can find lovely eroded shapes, potholes and small waterfalls. The gorge is easily accessible, particularly interesting in autumn at low water levels when the eroded shapes in the rockface can be seen especially well.

 

Walking time: can be reached from the road in 2-3 minutes.

 

On easy paths - Hintersee Nature Trail

 

This impressive nature trail leads past the north side of the lake and up to knoll with views of the lake and cliffs. Lectern displays provide details and open visitors' eyes to the nature of the lake and its surroundings. A wildlife watchtower beckons to observe the alpine fauna. On the western cliffs, ibex are frequently spotted but also alpine wallcreepers. Deer, water pipits, ring thrush, grey and white wagtails can be observed nearby with some luck. Marmots, golden eagles and other typical highland animals are often spotted during treks in the area. The birdlife of the mountain forest is described on a board along the Hintersee nature trail as is the biocoenosis in Hintersee lake.

 

Walking time: Circular trail approx. 1 hour

 

On ancient paths - mule tracks across the Felbertauern

 

Pilgrims and mountaineers today use the old trails of the freight haulers to get from Hintersee to St. Pöltner Hut (2,481 m). From here you can descend in 2 – 3 hours, depending on the route, to the Matreier Tauernhaus. The trail at first leads along Felberbach stream, winding its way up to the Nassfeld – a cirque with a winding stream and swampy spots, continuing to Plattachsee lake and across alpine meadows with alpine sedge and fairy primrose, through rubble and rock vegetation (red saxifrage) and finally to the hut. Alpinists can go on great tours starting at the hut (incl. Hochgasser, Messelingkogel, Tauernkogel).

 

Walking time: to St. Pöltner Hut approx. 3 ½ hours

 

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