Murtal

Muhr

Summits and crossings

Summits:

  • Großer Hafner (3.076 m)
  • Kölnbreinspitze (2.934 m)
  • Weinschnabel (2.754 m)
  • Schöderhorn (Gr. Mureck, 2.475 m)
  • Kleines Mureck (2.402 m)
  • Weißeck (2.711 m)
  • Silbereck (2.810 m)
  • Oblitzen (2.658 m, „Hausberg“ von Muhr)

Crossings:

  • via Wastlkarscharte (2.721 m) to Kattowitzer Hütte/Maltatal
  • via Muritzenscharte (2.386 m) into Maltatal
  • via Schmalzscharte (2.444 m) to Schwarzseen lakes
  • via Murtörl (2.260 m) to Kreealm/Hüttschlag

Alpine forget-me-not and Alpine swift

 

Murtal valley is located on the south-east sloping area of the Hohe Tauern at the crossing to the Niedere Tauern. Large glaciers are lacking (Rotgüldenkees, Muritzenkees), instead wonderful and partly very deep tarns shape the landscape. Their silting zones are exceedingly beautiful and sensitive areas. Special natural history tours are offered. Obere Rotgüldensee Lake, at 1,996 m altitude, is a true gem with its extensive silting zone. Untere Schwarzsee is the deepest in the national park with 56.7 m. Murtal valley differs from the other Salzburg national park valleys in terms of climate and geology. At Muhr you will come across interesting steppe slopes, featuring special vegetation and a large number of different insect species. Thermophilic species such as Alpine swift and crag martins can be found here. Deciduous forests are mainly lacking in Murtal, instead subalpine spruce forests can be found with wonderful larch and Swiss pine forests above. Only at the very highest altitudes will you find the Alpine forget-me-not, a high alpine cushion plant which is very rare.

 

Arsenic and Gold

 

Mineral ores have been found, dug for and mined in several locations in upper Murtal. At the entrance to the valley, Schellgaden with its historic gold mining and Silbereck and Rotgülden (silver, gold, arsenic) were of great significance. Rotgülden was one of the oldest and longest active mining sites of Lungau and lastly the only place in the old Austrian monarchy where arsenic was produced. The arsenic (Hüttrach) was exported all the way to Asia Minor.

 

Source of a European river

 

The Mur River flows 444 km from Lungau across Styria to Slovenia and flows into Drava River in the Croation-Hungarian borderland. Its source lies in the Hohe Tauern National Park in innermost Murtal valley in the Schmalzgrube at 1,898 m. The still small Murbach stream picturesquely winds its way through Trogtal valley with its swampy meadows full of sedges, kingcup and swamp lousewort. Heading out of the valley, you'll see the magnificent Weisseck mountain. The water in this area is used for the energy sector and piped through pipelines and pressure tunnels to Untere Rotgüldensee and the Hintermuhr power station. In doing so, great value is placed in eco-friendly design.

 

The deepest mountain lake in the national park.

As far as you want - source of the Mur and Schwarzsee lakes

The Lower Schwarzsee with its depth of 57 m is one of the deepest alpine lakes. Obere Schwarzsee, declared a natural monument, is located amidst deserted alpine landscape. Untouched vegetation and blocks of land line the shores. From Sticklerhütte lodge Trail no. 711 leads past the source of the Mur (approx 1 ½ hours) through the Schmalzgrube and across the Schmalzscharte (2,444 m) to Untere (2.221 m) or Obere Schwarzsee (2,339 m). Just under the Schmalzscharte you'll find the Albertbiwak bivouac. On the way you'll come across high alpine plants such as Rudolph's saxifrage or glacier buttercup.

 

Walking time: from Sticklerhütte approx. 4 to 5 hours, from Schmalzscharte only for experienced climbers. Return on the same way.

For the inquisitive - Nature Trail Rotgüldensee

 

This trek in teh forelands of the national park begins at "Arsenhaus" in rear Murtal valley. Information boards detail mining, the cultural landscape and vegetation on the way Untere Rotgüldensee, a reservoir well integrated into the landscape. Stopping off for a snack at the Rotgüldenseehütte makes you fit for the descent, for which you can choose the road leading along the other side of the stream.

 

Walking time: max. 2 ½ hours go and back

 

For those with a head for heights - Grosser Hafner

 

This challenging tour up to the highest peak of Lungau rewards us with fantastic views. Several safety ropes (Oberer Rotgüldensee, Wastlkarscharte, Marschneid) secure the way up. The way to Oberer Rotgüldensee leads across the rocky escarpment in small bends to the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park. On wooden ladders, over ledges and couloirs secured with ropes, past scattered Swiss pines you'll get to Oberer See in an hour's walk from Rotgüldenseehütte. The silting zone by Oberen Rotgülden lake is a pristine natural area. Wild chive, star gentian, cottongrass and horsetail grow here. It's an important spawning ground for grass fogs and a habitat for the dragonfly. The climb continues along the steep but secured Wastlkarscharte wind gap and a small glacier (Wastlkarkees) to Marschneid. From here we climb over the steep south west ridge through terrain, difficult to walk in sections, up to the Grosse Hafner. Botanists' eyes may spot the Alpine forget-me-not. The last climb up to the peak is strewn with cairns.

 

Walking time: from Rotgüldensee lodge to Hafnergipfel summit: approx. 5 ½ to 6 hours (1,341 m elevation gain).

 

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