If you love mountains, then a sunrise walk to a peak is an experience not to be missed. Hiking through the tranquillity of the morning hours up the mountain whilst nature wakes up around you, with the fascinating panorama of the Kitzbühel Alps and the Hohen Tauern creating a unique atmosphere that you can cherish forever.
Together with your host and hiking guide Toni
Your host Toni Hasenauer is a qualified hiking guide, and knows his way around the Salzburg mountains. Once a week during the summer months, he takes any interested guests staying at the 4 star Hotel Unterschwarzachhof safely and with expert knowledge about flora and fauna on a demanding mountain hike up to the Tristkogel at 2095 m, at the head of the valley in Saalbach Hinterglemm.
Well prepared for a summit experience
On the evening prior to the hike, all participants meet in the lobby bar to find out from host Jacky what is required for the walk, and how the day pans out. Then, it’s time to enjoy a night in a snuggly bed before getting up early the next morning.
Early wakeup for sunrise on the mountain
What time the day starts depends on when the sun is due to rise. The hiking group meets at about 03:00 in the lobby where Toni is already waiting with packed lunches. Then, the hotel boss takes you to Lindlingalm, the starting point for the hike.
A mystical atmosphere prevails in the darkness and stillness of the early hours, as the group, equipped with head torches, starts out towards the Tristkogel whilst it starts to get lighter and lighter and nature begins to come to life. Birds greet the new day with their song, marmottes are already on the lookout, and hikers often spot chamois moving nimbly through the scenery.
True summit sensations at sunrise
If not before, all efforts and tiredness are now forgotten and in an almost meditative silence the group heads up to the cross at the summit. Once arrived at the highest point of the mountain, you feel so close to the sky. Arrival at the Tristkogel summit cross is celebrated with a schnapps and names are entered in the summit logbook.
As the mountains start to gain an orange-red hue from the rising sun in the early morning hours and darkness starts to rescind, new views open up. The show put on by nature here inspires feelings of gratefulness and humility. The efforts of the night hike have certainly all been worth it, and a feeling pride grows within you. What you experience here will stay with you forever.
Happily back down to the valley
The walk back takes you across lush Alpine pastures via the Hochtorsee lake, past an Alm with a “Sennerin” herdswoman. After a short break here to watch the farmer making cheese, and of course the chance to have a taste, you enjoy a snack in amongst the tranquil, deep green pastures around the Hochtorsee, giving you renewed energy for the rest of the descent.
Back in the valley, Jacky awaits the guests with a tasty Alpine breakfast at the farm, or a brunch on the hotel terrace. All hungers are sated as experiences are shared together and tired feet can relax at the pool, on the comfortable loungers, or with a pleasant foot massage. Meanwhile, you can let your thoughts drift back to the peak of the Tristkogel.
Once you’ve experienced elation once, you’ll probably want to do it again, maybe even next year.