A hike with a fantastic view of the snow-covered mountain landscape of the Salzkammergut.Älgbert Elgson
Due to circumstances that we unfortunately cannot influence, we have not been on the road for a long time to experience new adventures. The New Year was reason enough for us to change this, because after all the Christmas cookies it was time to move out in the fresh air again.
Because of the long periods of inactivity, it should be an outdoor exercise, but because of the lost stamina and pounds gained during the Christmas holidays, it shouldn’t be too demanding.
So we started looking for a winter hiking trail in the Austrian Alps and quickly found it.
The Zwölferhorn is a 1522 meter high mountain in the state of Salzburg in Austria. The mountain got its name because exactly at noon the sun is between the peaks. As early as 1957, the pioneering days of alpine tourism, a cable car carried passengers almost 900 meters in altitude from the valley station in St. Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang to the viewpoint on the Zwölferhorn. The original cable car was in operation until 2019 and was completely renewed due to changed regulations and requirements. The lift, which was completed in 2020, now also offers barrier-free access and comfortably brings visitors to the summit in just under 10 minutes.
Once there, an alpine world of almost unlimited possibilities reveals itself – in summer with countless hiking trails or with a flight with a paraglider near the summit and in winter with cross-country high-altitude trails and ski tours.
The Pillstein Panorama trail is also prepared in winter and can also be mastered as a non-alpinist or as a family with small children. The hike takes about an hour, depending on the snow and your own condition, and leads along a wide path.
These conditions were perfect for us. The cable car was a quick and easy way to get up the mountain and the weather was beautiful – as if it was made to look down from a mountain into the valley.
Our „alpine“ hike on the four-kilometer circular route started with plenty of provisions. Armed with gloves, hats, hot tea and biscuits, we started our round trip to the summit cross of the Pillstein with big steps. Without much effort, although there was plenty of snow, we made rapid progress. After every bend of the path we met another sight that was worthy of being immortalized on a postcard. The ice crystals on the snow cover glittered in the sunshine like the Wolfgangsee in the valley below – kitschy, but beautiful.
Arrived at the summit cross of the Pillstein after just under an hour due to the many photo breaks, the hot tea tasted all the better when we let our gaze wander into the far distance of the Alps.
The way back turned out to be a little more difficult than expected. Not because the path was too steep or difficult, but because the biscuits we ate with tea also challenged our already barely existing stamina. There was something with too many cookies and the resulting need for more exercise in the fresh air … Well, it doesn’t matter! The excursion was an unforgettable experience with many new impressions of the alpine nature. The cable car brought us safely and comfortably back to the valley and we could start our journey home.
We will definitely come back.