High on the mountaintops, you truly feel a sense of freedom!
If you wish to head for higher elevations and discover a feeling of incomparable joy, if you want to enjoy nature in places that are otherwise not easy to reach, plus you need a real challenge and even a bit of an adrenaline rush, then climbing is probably “just what the doctor ordered”. As a climber, you have to become one with nature, use your hands and feet to find the right path through the rock, and are generally rewarded with breathtaking views. Here, you can experience places which, as a hiker, you would never get to see. That said, climbing is definitely not for the weak-of-heart or tender hands. And long fingernails are an absolute taboo in climbing. You have to be conscious of the rugged conditions, though once you reach your destination, you are more than compensated for your efforts by the amazing scenery and the sense of accomplishment. Climbing is also a sport which demands great trust in your climbing partner, since he or she is responsible for your safety. If the person responsible for securing you fails, it can have serious consequences. Nonetheless, through constant improvements in equipment, climbing has developed into a very safe sport and can be enjoyed without the slightest hesitation. Though a head for heights is, of course, an absolute must.
Gastein Valley has something to offer every avid “rock jock” or aspiring mountaineer, with a via ferrata here sure to appeal to everyone.
In this regard, the Schlossalm has much to offer. Here in Gastein Valley, you will find six different via ferrata climbs ranging in difficulty from easy to expert, as well as one climbing route dedicated to practicing the correct climbing techniques as well as finding safe hand- and footholds. The offer also includes a practice climbing area with seven different routes for rock climbers to inch their way up.
The Hirschinger via ferrata offers two variants, making it suitable for true “pros” as well as rookies with big aspirations. It leads up the north ridgeline to the summit of the 2119 meters-high Hirschspitze. You also have various alternatives available to you, making it possible to bypass all of the difficult passages whenever you wish. Highlights of this via ferrata include a small rope bridge, a rocky hole and a zip line (where you might occasionally have to wait to take your turn on sunny days!). In addition, by riding the Schlossalm lift you can shorten your journey to the start of the climb to just a few minutes.
You will then continue up the Weitmoser via ferrata, a climb that is rich in variety, minimally difficult, but which does demand alpine experience. The climb takes you up short sections of rock faces and simply ridgelines, ending at the summit of the Mauskarspitze.
The Mauskarspitze via ferrata is an intermediate climb, featuring a number of steep sections and, as a highlight, a 30 meters-long rope bridge, also ending on the summit of the Mauskarspitze.
The Hochalmblick via ferrata, one of the toughest in Gastein Valley, is a little deceptive at the beginning, since you might think you are just on a regular hiking path, yet towards the end it reveals the real climbing challenges it has in store.
On the practice via ferrata, a number of shorter climbs, varying in difficulty, allow you to practice, test yourself, and try out everything you have learned.
Located right next to the mountain station of the Schlossalm lift is the Kleine Scharte via ferrata, with three different options, also ranging in difficulty, for your ascent.
If the weather ever chooses not to cooperate 100%, another option for you is the Silver Bullet via ferrata in the center of Bad Gastein. This is actually a short climb located in the fun park next to the Silver Bullet bar. Aside from the via ferrata, there is also a playground as well as slacklines, where you can have some fun and work on your balancing skills.
And so, there’s nothing left to do but strap on your helmet, grab a rope and head for the mountaintops of Gastein Valley!