Hiking the Backyard of Innsbruck

by Christoph Gassner

Hiking is still one of my favourites. Since years I have been planning to hike the Karwendel – a beatifull uninhabitated valley north of Innsbruck. On Saturday September 23rd 2006, I started early in the morning, directly in front of my home. Climbing higher and higher, soon the first ridge was passed and busy Inn valley was left behind to finally reach a typical alpine “Huette” – the Halleranger Haus. “Huetten” usually offer good and hearthy local food and dorms with mattresses. This reliable Alpine-wide “service” allowes enjoyable lightweight backpacking.

Crosses usually mark the summits of the mountains in the Euro-alpine regions and stand for the Roman catholic religious orientation of the inhabitants. Somebody told me that most of these crosses have been errected by men coming back from the fronts of the 2nd worldwar.

The second day, I reached the highest mountain of the Karwendel – the “Birkkarspitze” with 2.749 m in altitude (up from 575 m in Innsbruck the day before). Since weather forecast for the next days turned nasty, the final and actual “Karwendel-tour” was cut to only one 3rd day – leaving Karwendel-Haus early in the morning for an exhausting 27 km and still another 1.200 m in altitude hike to the little town of “Schwaz” – back to the Inn valley. From there public transportation and a Taxi (!) brought me back to my sweet, sweet home.

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