Head for the peaks of Gastein!
Gastein offers excellent opportunities to enjoy the ultimate in alpine sports, mountaineering.
Why are we such fans of mountaineering? Well, it’s actually an umbrella term for various activities in the mountains, including climbing, of course, but also backcountry skiing, alpine hiking and trekking, leading you up to elevations far beyond the 1,000-meter mark.
A regular hike is nothing more than a “gateway drug”, so to speak, to full-blown mountaineering. For many, you see, at some point just ambling up the mountainside just doesn’t cut it anymore. You long for something higher, for more nerve-tingling excitement, for more challenges. In most cases, hiking and mountaineering only differ in terms of the route. The hiker mostly stays on established paths, while the mountaineer has to scramble in some places and occasionally diverges from marked trails.
If you want to switch from hiking to mountaineering, you should take it slowly at first. Don’t immediately try to conquer the first 3,000-meter peak you come across, since mountaineering puts added stresses on your body that you will need to get used to slowly. The higher the mountaineer climbs, the lower the air pressure and also the oxygen content in the air. When you are not getting enough oxygen, your body produces more blood cells, your blood becomes thicker and more viscous, and your heart has to pump harder. This can lead to exhaustion, dizziness and even to obstructions in blood vessels. But not to fear – through correct preparation and the right know-how, these risks can be avoided and you can enjoy your alpine tour to the full. Keep your first tour easy, insure steeper stages also have manmade safety features, and keep the difficulty just below your actual fitness level. When you are mountaineering, of course, you absolutely must be surefooted and have a good head for heights, especially since you don’t always have the opportunity to turn back if the going gets tough.
So, what does Gastein Valley have to offer mountaineers? A laurel wreath of 55 peaks surrounding Gastein invites you to enjoy leisurely hiking tours as well as true mountaineering expeditions to the top of one of the 3,000ers. There’s something here for everyone, whether rookie or pro. Everyone will discover an adventure to remember.
The 3,000ers between the Ankogel and the Tischlerkarkopf set the pulses of mountaineers racing in pure anticipation. The summits of the more remote Tischlergruppe demand a lot of experience. Caution is a must, since it is hard for people who don’t know the area to find their way back to the valley. We recommend engaging the services of a mountain- or hiking guide.
If you don’t want to get lost and it’s your goal to climb all 55 of those peaks, you shouldn’t set out without the “Gastein Hiking Book”. The new edition contains the 40 most beautiful mountain hikes, each one beckoning you to discover new adventures. Even in this age of the Internet and smartphones, the tradition of collecting stamps in a hiker’s passbook and ultimately earning a hiking pin continues to thrive. The Gastein hiking pin was actually designed by Gastein physician Hermann Greinwald from the Bad Gastein branch of the Austrian Alpine Association. Earning the hiking pin is hard work, no doubt, but it is definitely rewarding. During your mountain tour, you will press the stamp into your hiking book or passbook. Once you have enough points, you can stop by the local tourist office and pick up your pin! All proceeds benefit Alpine Association chapters located here in Gastein Valley. As you hike your way to the various hiking pins, remember that honesty is also essential to the spirit of the program.
So, it’s time to head for the Gastein peaks in your hunt for hiking stamps!