One-day circuit above the lake
In the very south of Austria, close to the Hohe Tauern National Park, we found this trek in a radius of about 16 km with less than a kilometer of elevation gain. At the top, we stopped for refreshments at the cottage, admired the view of the turquoise lake, got really sweaty while climbing the hill and at the end jumped over the fallen footbridges over the river.
Up the serpentines to the hut
We drive from Lake Millstätter See up to 1,150 meters above sea level and leave the car parked by the roadside just before the toll. We will start the ascent along the serpentines of the Wanderweg 194 route, which after about 6 km of ascent will lead us to the Alecanderhutte cabin.
Views through the clouds to the lake
As we gradually climb, we can see beautiful views of the lake and the village of Millstat below us through the clouds.
Cow inspection on the way
On the way, I often hear cowbells tinkling, and after a few turns on our way, we come across a herd that comfortably rested on our way and had great views on top of that.
Our first destination today is the Alexanderhutte hut, where we will have something to eat. Before the food is brought to us, we enjoy the views of the lake, over which white clouds pass in quick succession. The hut is located at 1,750 meters above sea level, so we have climbed about 600 meters.
Up past the herd of horses
After refreshments and drying of sweaty T-shirts, we climb further up along our route 194 around the herd of horses. Our next goal is the top of the hill above us – Tschierwegernock (2010 m).
Tschierwegernock (2010 m)
After another 260 meters of steep ascent along the ridge, we reached the highest point of our trip – the summit cross on Tschierwegernock at 2010 meters above sea level. The rain is not so much, but the wind is quite strong, so it rains horizontally.
From the cross, we continue along the ridge along the route Adria Trail E12 or also route 1931. We descend slowly and the surroundings again offer incredible views of the surrounding hills and the lake.
Riegerbach river valley
We pass the Millstatter Hutte and Schwaigerhütte huts, where we no longer build and continue our descent further along the blue route number 193. Lower in our descent we encounter the Riegerbach river, along which our path winds like a snake.
Over collapsed footbridges
On the way down, we passed a couple of road closure signs. But we didn't have much choice, because another way would mean going back uphill, so we risked it. Finally, we found out why the road was officially closed. Several footbridges were partially or completely torn down. We managed to cross or jump over the stones. I believe that when you follow the route this year, the road will be repaired again.
Final view of the lake
Then we only had a few altitude meters left and we were back at the parked car not far from the toll gate. We had about 16 km in our legs and in the end we were rewarded with the last view of the lake in a beautiful ghostly color.
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