There is nothing I love more than traveling to beautiful destinations and seeking adventures. I am currently in Tirol, Austria to conquer wonderful mountains, to take a dive in the many natural lakes and of course to take a lot of travel photos in this area. I have never really been above the tree line, but there is a first time for everything. The Hochzeiger mountain was on my to-do-list during the two weeks I am spending in Austria, a mountain with a height of 2560 meters! I expected it to be quite an adventure, but this experience exceeded my wildest expectations.
Our day started in a ski resort near Jerzens, where we bought tickets for the mountain elevator to get to Hochzeiger Mittelstation in no time. The sun was shining, the people were friendly and it was quite calm from above. Except for some mountain cows and a few birds of prey there wasn’t much movement in the area, which is awesome because I don’t like tourist attractions.
We started the climb on a gravel road, but soon we left this standard path and took a steep, rocky pathway instead. As we climbed higher, the scenery transformed and got better and better. This was quite exhausting in the high summer temperatures that day, but it was so worth it. My dog, Odin, was amusing himself too, obviously. Every time I took a break to wait for the others, he would look for the biggest rock in his vicinity to sit on. Then, he just stared. It’s like he was proud to be so close to the clouds, like everything beneath him belonged to him and that he was the king of the world. I realized that he must have been so happy that day, so much space and freedom.
After a short break to eat and to drink, my mom wasn’t that sure if she wanted to continue the hike all the way to the top, but we convinced her to keep up and so she pursued her adventure with us, back on track. The road got tighter, steeper, rockier and quite scary at some points too. We came across mountain flowers and beautiful pieces of stone, almost fell a few times, but then we reached it… we reached the cross on the top of the mountain! What a feeling.
I almost can’t describe the joyful feeling that burned though my body when I reached the top. A magnificent 360° view of the surrounding mountains filled my eyes with tears. I took a deep breath to never forget the thin air. The sun heated my skin and for a few seconds I forgot anything or anyone I had ever known. It was breathtaking, literally breathtaking. We just sat there, enjoying the view with a few other adventurous hikers who made it to the top.
Then there was the descent… For a moment I was afraid that we had to call the emergency service (which is a helicopter over there, especially when you are located ‘on the roof of the world’) to get my mom back down. I have to admit that it was a rather scary road. To begin with, we had to grab a rope that was attached to a craggy rock to descend over loose stones, but then out of the sudden there was no rope anymore, so we basically had to slide on our buttocks or on our feet (for those with a good balance) through a maze of rocks. I loved every second of it. The adrenaline increase was immense.
When we were past the greatest danger, we continued our hike over the mountain range of a few other mountains across jaw-dropping views and rock formations. Odin started running and jumping like a foal’s first run in a juicy meadow. When we arrived at the alm next to the mountain elevator though, he had no choice but to give in to his tiredness. We ordered something to drink, while Odin was sleeping under the table. I gazed at the mountains for a few minutes, hoping that I would be back at such a great high soon. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big.
What a day, what a life. I can’t wait to conquer the next mountain top.