The Tux valley offers excellent hikes and walks, some are nice and easy and very gentle on geek legs, others are a bit more challenging and not for people who are afraid of heights. Here are some suggestions for hikes and excursions:
Nature’s Ice Palace
There is a natural ice palace (a naturally occuring glacial crevasse with mysterious ice formations) at the top of the glacier in Hintertux. It’s only a few minutes walk from the top station of the Gletscherbus 3 cable car. There are guided tours through this amazing ice spectacle. You can find ice stalactites up to 8 metres long, the famous Crystal Chamber, the red illuminated Ice Chapel and the Blue Chamber. The palace is about 25 metres under the ski pistes and can be visited in all weather conditions. More information: http://www.hintertuxergletscher.at/natureispalast/
We can take the Gletscherbus 3 cable car up to 3,250 metres and visit the panorama terrace. From there you have a stunning view of the impressive Zillertal mountains. In good weather conditions, it’s even possible to see as far as Italy (Dolomites). The terrace also offers wheelchair access. This excursion can be combined with the ice palace.
Experienced mountain guides provide interesting information about the eternal ice of the Hintertux glacier and take you on a tour where you can explore the 100 metres thick glacier ice. The Panorama Terrace (3,250 metres) is the starting point for the walk. You will need good hiking boots, sun glasses and a hat or some other head protection.
Waterfalls and Weitental
I’ve done this hike in September when I was scouting. We can go up to Sommerberg by cable car and walk up to the Tuxer Joch hut which takes about 1 hour. It’s not too steep and a wide enough path, so easy to walk. Up at the hut we can have lunch and enjoy the view.
After that we descend through the beautiful Weitental (Wide Valley). The route is very scenic, and you can see marmots and chamois if you’re lucky. We pass two waterfalls on our way down, one of them being the famous Schleierwasserfall with a drop of 40 metres. From there it’s possible to walk straight to the Bichlalm or down into Hintertux, depending on the time of day. This second part is not for people who are afraid of heights. There are some steep bits and some narrow paths to conquer. If you’re reasonably fit, it should be no problem. Good hiking boots and sun glasses are required; also, if you have hiking poles, it’s a good idea to bring them along, as they make the downhill walking a lot easier. People who want to join us on the first bit of the hike (up to Tuxer Joch) can take the same path down to Sommerberg and can skip the Weitental and the waterfalls.
In Hintertux you can ski 365 days of the year. One day of the LBW week I’m planning to take interested skiers up the mountain and show them around. We can rent skis, poles and boots up at Tuxer Fernerhaus.
The summer skiing area is not for beginners! Some of the slopes can only be reached by T-bars, so if you want to come along, you should be comfortable in this kind of lift. Also required: sun glasses, gloves, sun tan lotion and head protection.
They measure 10 km in length and are the largest caves in the central Alps. The guided tour (not recommended for claustrophobic people!) offers interesting information on the interior of caves (marble, accumulated limestone, crystal, marble seams, potholes, stalagmites and stalactites) and explains the cave flora and fauna, climate, age and formation. A visit of the caves is possible in all weather conditions. Next to the caves is a lovely hut called Spannagelhaus (2,531 metres) that offers fantastic food and a nice view. More information: http://spannagelhaus.at/
This is a nice and easy walk for everyone. We can go up to Sommerbergalm (2,100 metres) by cable car and take a gentle stroll to a hut called Bichlalm. They do nice food and drinks and from there you have a fantastic view of the glacier. We can take a trail down into the centre of Hintertux afterwards and get a bus back to Lanersbach. All paths and trails are wide enough and easy to walk.
Grüblspitze and Brandalm
This is another hike I’ve tested in September 2010. From Lanersbach you take the cable car up to Eggalm (2,000 metres). The walk up to the Grüblspitze (2,395 metres) takes a bit more than an hour and is not too difficult. As there are no huts above Eggalm (where we start), it’s a good idea to bring enough water and some food. Also, good hiking boots and sun glasses are required.
For those of us who want to do a little extra exercise, we can walk to Ramsjoch (2,508 metres) and back. This part is a bit more difficult and there are some steep bits. It takes about one hour to walk up Ramsjoch and back to Grüblspitze.
On the way down we can walk to a hut called Brandalm. For those of you who are afraid of heights and/or not fit — it’s possible to take a nice and easy stroll from Eggalm down to Brandalm on a wide path. There we can all meet up and have lunch and a beer!
… to be continued (more suggestions for hikes and excursions will be included soon!)