For a little overnight adventure and #microexploration, I went onto this slow approach to Hallstatt. These sections of the Berge-Seen-Trail, the 350 km long-distance hiking trail to the mountains and lakes of the Salzkammergut, are part of the trail’s Alpine variant.

Normally, one would leisurely walk these three sections with overnight stays at the huts/villages at their respective ends, over three days. In fastpacking spirit, I used their 30-some kilometer distance for an overnighter.

Of course, this being Time and Tours, I also used the tour for a look at time(pieces) – so, here is the (complete) track from the Suunto 9:

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View towards the beginning, over the Gosausee towards the Dachstein

Berge-Seen Trail (Alpine) Section 23: Gosau – Adamekhütte

Section 23 actually starts in Gosau-Hintertal, farther down the village. I started from the bus stop at the Gosauseen lakes, however, to avoid some of the roadside hiking, especially as I set out rather later in the day.

The first part along the “front” lake is wide and easy a trail, popular with day-trippers who just want some mountain views. (And the views of the lake/s and mountains are amazing.)

Between the “front” and “back” lakes, the trail starts to climb a bit more, still in forest.

Then, at the “back” lake (Hintersee), the trail veers off into stunted birch trees and starts to climb rather steeply up the mountain slope of few trees, much more rocks.

Look back towards the Gosauseen lakes
Look back towards the Gosauseen lakes

It continues like that, basically, all the way up to the Adamekhütte mountain hut, with more and more scree and less and less vegetation.

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This section has an official length of 13.5 km with middling difficulty, climbing 1430 meters to get from the lowest point (when starting at Gosau-Hintertal) of 767 m to a high point (at the Adamekhütte) of 2196 m.

Most of that climb, from 1200 to almost 2200 m of altitude, only comes in the last 3 km of the mountain trail!

The official description of the stage can be found here on the website of the Salzkammergut Tourism agency.

Berge-Seen Trail (Alpine) Section 26: Adamekhütte – Simonyihütte

Never far below 2000 meters of altitude, this Alpine section of the Berge-Seen Trail follows the slopes of the Dachstein massif from one to the other of its major huts.

The trail is only 7 km long, only covers an (official) ascent and descent of some 500 meters each. Starting (and ending) at 2200 m of altitude, dipping down to 1994 m and going up to 2359 m at the highest point, over rock and scree, makes for a difficult hike, though.

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At the beginning, the main issue is just the turn-off from the trail to the Adamekhütte one has to find while descending the way one had come. Then, the first part (in northerly direction) goes over comparatively flat terrain overall, with rocks polished and scarred from glacial activity. It is necessary to be somewhat careful not to step into any crack there, but rather good – if very lonely – going.

Dachstein Trail Markings
Trail Markings Galore!

As the trail turns onto the Northern slopes of the Dachstein, though, there are icy patches even at the end of summer. And the trail is much less visible, much smaller, on the loose scree and rocks it often twists and turns over.

Caution is very much advised!

Official description of trail section 26 from Salzkammergut Tourism: Here.

Berge-Seen Trail (Alpine) Section 27: Simonyihütte – Hallstatt

Section 27 of the Berge-Seen Trail is one long downhill from the Dachstein’s scree into forest and on down to Hallstatt. The entry into this over-touristy Alpine village from its hinterland, through the adjacent settlement of Lahn, is quite unusual.

The trail continues from the Simonyihütte at 2205 m altitude to descend 1750 m to a low point, at the Hallstätter See lake, of 511 meters. It is on pretty wide and well-maintained hiking paths with only one danger: They look so well-maintained, it is all the easier to be careless and slip or slide on the rocks and scree that still continue to form the dominant surface.

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LIghtpath on the BergeSeen Trail section 27
LIghtpath on the BergeSeen Trail section 27

Further down, there are some more, and more comfortable, forest trails. But even here, some descents down meadows are quite steep, meaning that one can easily hit one’s toes against the front of one’s shoes – and there are still some stones on these paths that can start rolling just as one steps on them.

In comparison, the forest roads and asphalt at the end, just before and when entering the villages of Lahn and Hallstatt, come as quite the relief after the long downhill.

The Hallstätter See lake’s water is always cold, but if you can handle it, I highly recommend getting out of your hiking shoes down there and putting your feet in the water!

Official description of stage/section 27 of the BergeSeen Trail: Here.

All in all, this was a very nice tour; I talk and show more of the experience of it over on www.zhangschmidt.com