Hiking pass Challenge: Riemannhaus

The first hike of the hiking pass challenge is done! And I got 5 points all at once. I planned to start with the easy hikes, because I could manage to hike them after work, however - like always, everything came different than i planned it. But it was definitely worth it!

Initial difficulties

On the 10th of June, I presented you my hiking pass challenge and it actually took me one month and three days until I could go on my first hike. I am afraid that it won't be so easy to accomplish all 16 hikes over the summer, eventhough I live and work here. As mentioned before, I wanted to start with the easy hikes, however something always came in my way and so I was never able to go hiking. However, one day my colleague Bella asked me if I wanted to hike to the Riemannhaus and cross the massif Steinernes Meer with her and Lukas - you maybe still know him from the Skicircus Challenge. I definitely couldn't say no and so I could finally put the first stemp into my pass. 

The plan 

The plan sounded super easy: On Monday after work we hike to the Riemannhaus and book an overnight stay. At the next morning we would stand up at 4 o'clock, hike up to the Sommerstein and enjoy the sunrise. Then we would have breakfast and cross the massif Steinernes Meer until we reach the Kärlinger Haus. After that we would hike down to the lake Königssee in Berchtesgarden. And just sometimes everything goes as planned - nearly ;-).

The hike up to the Riemannhaus (2.177 m above sea level)

The starting point of the hike up to the mountain hut Riemannhaus is the car park Sandten in Maria Alm. According to the sings, it takes us approximately 3 hours to reach the hut. We made it in 2,5 hours. We started our hike after work, at about 6.15 p.m. at the car park. This was not so bad, because it was really hot the whole day and the majority of the way is exposed to the sun. So it was exactly the right time for our hike. The start of the hike is not really special, because the hike leads along a gravel road. But the second part of the hike is definitely worth all the exhausting way before. The path is rocky and you have an absolutely stunning view! However, you should not suffer from vertigo and should be surefooted. But I must say that the whole path is in a really good condition and is also super safe. An advantage is that on one handside you always have the mountain and that is is just steep on one side. This fact calmed me a little bit and I felt safer. For this hike you do not need a via ferrata set. By the way this hike is tremendously typical for our region: At some point you already see your destination - in this special case the mountain hut Riemannhaus - however, it takes a really long time until you finally reach it then. Just so you know ;-).

An overnight stay at the Riemannhaus

We reached the mountain hut Riemannhaus at 8.45 p.m. and the last sunrays just reached the summits Breithorn and Schönfeldspitze. We told the owner of the hut that we arrived and fortunatelly we still got a typical Austrian snack, because there were no warm dishes anymore, as it closed already at 7 o'clock p.m. However, this was the best snack I have ever eaten - maybe also because the ascent was really exhausting. After the snack we went up to the second floor and moved into our room with four beds inside. The view over the valley of the city of Saalfelden was simply amazing. As we were all really tired, we went to bed immediately, as we planned to get up at 4.00 a.m. to see the sunrse at the summit Sommerstein. Keep in mind to bring a sleeping bag, which is suited for mountain huts or a normal one. At the Riemannhaus you can get an additional blanket and a pillow for a small amount of money. What else there is to consider for a hiking tour and how to pack your backpack correctly is listed in the blog article "How to pack your backpack correctly". 

Sunrise hike up the Sommerstein (2,308 m above sea level)

I surprised myself the next morning. I opened my eyes at 4:00 a.m. and was awake - that doesn't usually happen. Must be the mountain air. We dressed warmly - the hour around sunrise is always the coldest on the mountain. Our destination: the Sommerstein. Our equipment: headlamp, muesli bar & camera. Well, and then one of the three of us couldn't read the signpost correctly. We got further and further away from the Sommerstein and slowly began to have doubts. The sky was already turning dark red on the horizon and we kept going in the wrong direction. At some point, we decided not to go any further. I assumed that we were on the way to the Schönfeldspitze and that this hike would take three hours rather than the half hour to the Sommerstein. As it turned out later, my assumption was correct. So we lingered in the middle of the Steinernes Meer and watched the colors on the horizon change from dark red to red, orange and yellow. The clouds also changed color and although we weren't on a summit, it was still beautiful. On the way back, we found the aforementioned signpost and as we could now see the right path, we decided that we wanted to do another summit. So we climbed up to the Sommerstein in the first rays of sunshine of the day. The path is well marked and you really can reach the summit in 30 minutes. Once at the top, you have a wonderful view of Maria Alm, the Saalfelden basin and Leogang, Zell am See and the Hohe Tauern with the Kitzsteinhorn. On the other side, you can see the expanse of the Steinernes Meer. What I want to say is that this panoramic view was easily worth the 30 minutes! Back at the hut, we had a delicious breakfast. Then we packed our rucksacks and set off to cross the Steinernes Meer towards Germany and the Königssee! But that's another story, which Bella will tell you ;-)