The Saalbach hiking challenge
Simply walk! Put one mountain boot in front of the other, allow for your breathing to gently flow through your nose and let your eyes peer into the distance. Up and down the mountains from the crack of dawn to the late afternoon. With every conquered summit in the Home of Lässig, you can quench your thirst for the mountains a little more. Dream or nightmare? For all fans of long-distance hiking definitely a dream, because challenging full-day hikes are popular right now!
Saalbach Hinterglemm answers long-distance hiking dreams with several challenging routes amongst the 400 km hiking trail network in the home of lässig. Enchanting alpine meadows, rugged mountain ridges, rocky terrain or sure-footed sections, quiet mountain lakes and breathtaking views included. Animal encounters are not uncommon on these routes – sometimes a marmot might whistle in front of its den, sometimes you hear the hungry call of the golden eagle in search of prey, sometimes you might see see a pack of chamois high up on the rock. Those who have enough strength in their calves and are able to complete all three long hikes with a total of 70 kilometres and 3,970 metres in altitude difference within a single summer, and furthermore can digitally (with the Summitlynx app) or analogously (with a control pass and punch mark) prove it, will win the hiking challenge trophy!
Pinzgauer walk – the classic
The classic among the three long-distance routes is the "Pinzgau walk". But beware! The name is deceptive, because perhaps only marathon runners would call this 28-kilometre hike a walk. From the Schattberg-Ost summit, it runs close to the ridge with a mere 650 metre ascent to the Schmittenhöhe summit in Zell am See. Refreshment stops are – as on all long-distance routes in the home of lässig – not available. So have enough food and water in your backpack! Another tip for this hike: go up with the first Schattberg gondola and start early, otherwise you will miss the last descent with the Schmittenhöhe cable railway and might even in this case have to cover the hike to the valley on foot.
Seven Summits of Saalbach Hinterglemm – legendary and tough
This long-distance hike has already made it into the tour book of the perennial summiteers. Seven summits along the route do not only require stamina but also surefootedness and good preparation. From the Schattberg-Ost summit you will reach Stemmerkogel, Hochkogel, Hochsaalbachkogel, Bärensteigkogel, Manlitz- and Mittagskogel and finally Geißstein at 2,363 m. You will need your power reserves for the descent, because all your muscles will get a good workout across the Birgel down into the valley. Nine hours of hiking with 1,413 metres in altitude difference in varying terrain is quite the challenge of its own! The route continuously runs above the 2000 metre altitude height and there are no rest stops here. Those who want to face this mountaineering challenge should already know what is involved in this adventure. Experienced hiking pros advise to pack at least two complete meals and four litres of liquids and ideally also bananas or other similar energy suppliers! Checking the weather and planning alternative descent routes must of course also be part of your tour planning.
The Home of Lässig Walk – a borderline experience
Those who crave a tough and snappy challenge will take on the Home of Lässig Walk. 22 kilometres and a whopping 1,700 metres of altitude difference across five summits is the daily routine here. No cable car shortens the ascent or descent as the route runs through the quiet Glemmtal valley. Up over Birgel and then along a U-shaped route around the basin until you descend on the other side of the valley below Staffkogel. A true nature experience, especially since some sections of this route are rarely crossed. In between, however, the Gamshag or Tristkogel summits are a popular destination for guests and locals alike. Here, too, it is vital to check your own level of stamina, pack your backpack with plenty of provisions, choose solid mountain boots instead of trail running shoes and watch the weather. Let’s be clear: this hiking challenge will be long and tough! But the Home of Lässig Walk rewards you with brilliant views of the border between Salzburg and Tyrol and the odd sighting of the eagle couple that live nearby.
Information on the hiking challenge and the long-distance hikes can be found here.