Monday, August 8, 2016

Hike in Innsbruck: Hafelekarhaus to Pfeishütte

Left: Hike route from Hafelekarhaus to Pfeishütte topo map. Pfeishütte is in the lower left corner of the image. Right: Part of the Goetheweg trail - surprises around every corner.
Hike route from Hafelekarhaus to Pfeishütte topo mapPart of the Goetheweg trail - surprises around every corner

Hike Notes

Length: 12.2 km (7.6 miles) round-trip
Duration: 2.5 hours up and 2 hours down (4.5 hours total walking time excluding time for lunch)
Elevation: 1.139 m (3,737 ft) gain, Hafelekarhaus @ 2.256 m (7,400 ft), Pfeishütte @ 1.922 m (6,306 ft)
Location: Austria, Tirol State, Innsbruck.

Overview

Today we hiked the spectacular mountains that are the backdrop of Innsbruck, the Karwendel range of the Northern Limestone Alps. It wasn’t a long hike, but it was quite spectacular and a bit of a challenge for folks like me that don’t like heights. There were cable guides for some of the trickier parts of the trail. The cables are described as only useful in the winter; I made good use of them today as did a number of other hikers we encountered. 

To get to the start of the hike:
  • We took the chic Nordkette from Innsbruck center @ 574 m (1,883 ft) up to Hungerburg @ 860m (2,820 ft).
  • From Hungerburg, we took the cable car to Seegrube @ 1.905 m (6,250 ft).
  • Finally, we took the cable car to Hafelekar @ 2.256 (7,400 ft).
We paid about 32 euros per person for round-trip passage. It’s all described on the Nordkette site, if not a little obscured.

Here is a good overview of the hiking you can do from the Hafelekarspitze peak. Specifically, we followed the Goetheweg Trail 219 from Hafelekar station (Hafelekarhaus) to Pfeishütte mountain hut. At Pfeishütte, we ate a great lunch listening to the cacophony of cowbells. Another good overview of the trail is on tyrol.com.


Left: A shepherd along the trail. Right: Later in the day, a sheep cools itself on the trail. Innsbruck valley in the upper left of photo.
A man and his sheep - along the trailLater in the day, a sheep cools itself on the trail. Innsbruck valley in the upper left of photo

Examples of the Goetheweg Trail. Left: Cables to grab on to.
Example of the Goetheweg TrailExample of the Goetheweg TrailExample of the Goetheweg Trail

The fabulous futuristic funicular stations designed by Zaha Hadid. Left: Congress statioin. Right: Hungerburg station (topmost station).
The fabulous futuristic funicular stations designed by Zaha Hadid. Congress entrance.The fabulous futuristic funicular stations designed by Zaha Hadid. Hunberburg entrance.

Left: Pfeishütte mountain hut lunch. Center: Nordkette Geo Trail. Right: Signage along the Goetheweg Trail. Innsbruck in the valley.


Different views of the Goetheweg Trail.
View of the Goetheweg TrailView of the Goetheweg TrailView of the Goetheweg Trail

Left: View north of Innsbruck Town Square (Maria Theresien-Straße) with Seegrube and Hafelekar in the background. Center: View south back down to Innsbruck from the mountain. Right: View from cable car at Hafelekar.
View north of Innsbruck Town Square (Maria Theresien-Straße) with Seegrube and Hafelekar in the backgroundView south back down to Innsbruck from the mountainView from cable car at Hafelekar

Plants

Left: Saxifraga. Center: Saxifraga and Alchemilla. Right: Hieracium.


Left: Linaria alpina. Center: Unknown. Right: Adenostyles.


Left: Unknown. Center: Silene vulgaris. Right: Dryas octopetala seed head.
Silene vulgarisDryas octopetala seed head

Left and center: Scabiosa. Right: Phyteuma.


Left and center: Campanula. Right: Carlina.


Left and center: Rhododendron. Right: Pedicularis.


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