Thursday, October 10, 2013

Scaling The Alps! Stunning Vistas & A Climb To The Top Of The Largest Falls In Europe!

Good Morning Everybody,

Alpine ClubLike I said before –this area has to be about the most beautiful in the world!  Everywhere you look the scenery is breathtaking!  We have been pretty lucky with fairly good weather during our visit.  Tuesday had to be the best of the week.  The temperature was holding in the mid 60’s with slight breezes, rich blue skies, and soft white clouds.  It was the perfect day to do some hiking.

At Tonya’s suggestion, our friendly receptionist at the Alpine Club where we are staying, we decided to set out for Planai and walk the panoramic trail around the top of the mountain.  Once again the views were stunning!



LaDawn did a little research on the area:

Planai is a ski area in central Austria, the home mountain in the Schladming area.

Vertical - 1,144 m (3,753 ft)   Top elevation - 1,894 m (6,214 ft)   Base elevation - 750 m (2,461 ft)

It is one of four adjoining mountains, which includes Hauser Kaibling, Hochwurzen and Reiteralm, connected under the name Schladminger 4-Berge-Schaukel. LaDawn and I took the panorama walk and were offered amazing, breath-taking views of this beautiful landscape.

Planai is the host venue of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2013, held in early February. Schladming previously hosted alpine skiing's major biennial event in 1982, with the men's events at Planai and the women's at Haus im Ennstal.

It is a regular stop on the World Cup circuit, usually with a men's night slalom in January prior to the Hahnenkamm races at Kitzbühel.

Into The Valley

After our exhilarating walk around the Planai we jumped into the car and headed for the valley just a few kilometers away.  We stopped so many time along the way to take photos, I didn’t think we were ever going to get there.  That’s one of LaDawn’s photographs below.  LaDawn soon shouted that there was a car coming up fast behind us and we had better get moving.  Turns out that car stopped too to get some fantastic photos.


One thing I love about this part of Austria in the fact that it’s easy to spot a scenic view.  It seems every time we discover a beautiful view, so have the Austrians and they’ve put up a park bench at just the right spot to enjoy the view.

Excursions Up The Fifth Biggest Waterfalls Of The World

The Krimmler Waterfalls count amongst the most visited sights in Austria and are the fifth biggest waterfalls of this world, and the tallest in the whole of Europe. So thinking of ourselves as young and adventurous we decided to see for ourselves and make the 1247 foot vertical climb.  Yes, we definitely climbed the Alps ;~).


The thunderous Krimmler Waterfalls lie in the National Park Hohe Tauern. The Hohe Tauern or High Tauern  are a mountain range of the Central Eastern Alps, comprising some of the highest peaks. The waterfall begins at the top of the Krimmler Ache Valley, and plunges downward in three stages. The upper stage has a drop of 140 meters, the middle of 100 meters, and the lowest a drop of 140 meters. The highest point of the waterfall is 1,470 meters above sea level.

LaDawn and I started with a simple 10-15 minutes walk from the car park in Krimmler on an easily accessible hiking path. We effortlessly reached the lower waterfall tier to the thundering, cool waterfalls. From here the waterfall hiking path became much more difficult, narrow with rocks to climb over, tree roots and stumps to avoid, very steep steps and Indiana Jones type suspension walking bridges.  I need to mention that it got much, much steeper as we made our way up to the highest Krimmler Waterfalls tier and further into the Krimmler Achental Valley.

LAke at top

DAZ and beerWe finally made it to the top of the falls about 2 hours later and every, and I mean every muscle and bone in my body ached.  The view at the top opened into a mountain vista with a hidden lake right at it’s base –  about the prettiest place in the world,  and a great place to celebrate the climb with a cold Schladminger beer – the local favorite ;~)

After the falls, the river joins the Salzach, which flows to the Inn, then into the River Danube and finally to the Black Sea. What a fantastic day we had!  Here are a few of our favorite images from the day’s adventures.  Please enjoy!


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  We heading to the town of Werfen and Eisriesenwelt, home to the largest ice caves in the world today, are just about 30 minutes up the road. 

Auf Wiedersehen for now,  David

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mr. Ziser,

    being Austrian myself, it made me feel good when I read what you wrote about our country. Of course you are staying in a part of Austria that is truly spectacular. I live in the northeast in a part of Lower Austria which is called Weinviertel. The views are not as stunning as in the Alps. You might have to look twice but if you keep your eyes open you will be rewarded nevertheless.
    I am a hobby-photographer and I have been following your blog for quite a while and I want to seize this opportunity to thank you for all the information and for all the knowledge you have shared with us.
    Here is a link to some Pictures I have taken in the "Weinviertel"

    All the best and have a good time in Austria
    Christian Gennari