×
Bike & Hike in Maishofen

Bike & Hike in Maishofen

29.05.24 08:22 261Text: NoMan (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin HaidenGstallneralm, extended version: From the prime viewing spot of Mitterpinzgau, on foot to the even more breathtaking 360° panorama at Sausteigen. 29.05.24 08:22 314

Bike & Hike in Maishofen

29.05.24 08:22 314 NoMan (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden
  • AI generated translation
  • AI-generated translation refers to the process of using artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning models, to automatically translate text or speech from one language to another. These systems, such as neural machine translation models, analyze large datasets of multilingual content to learn patterns and associations between languages. The generated translations are based on statistical probabilities and context learned during training.
Gstallneralm, extended version: From the prime viewing spot of Mitterpinzgau, on foot to the even more breathtaking 360° panorama at Sausteigen. 29.05.24 08:22 314

It's autumn in and around Maishofen, as beautifully and tastily as autumn could ever be. Even the inn "Gasthof zur Post" had served seasonal specialties the evening before: such as fried goat cheese with pear, bacon, and plums; tender venison ragout with red cabbage and bread dumplings; or lukewarm walnut brownies with homemade pumpkin ice cream on plum ragout.
Early in the morning, such frosty temperatures and mystically swirling fog that we had to pause several times for our brief visit to Lake Zell including the castle and branch church Prielau. And now we stroll in the mild light of the warming midday sun over the red-colored slopes of the Sausteigen - above us a flawless blue sky, around us the most kitschy mountain panorama, beneath us sinfully good blueberries.

I have never eaten such large, delicious blueberries so late in the year. And rarely before was I so glad to not have a bike with me. For how else could I have picked the dark blue, sweet spheres undisturbed?
Instead: Step left, step right; just squat down a little, and comfortably pick the next handful from the knee-high heather carpet. Continue leisurely, popping berry after berry into the mouth. And when the supply is exhausted, simply bend down briefly again and harvest the next fruits, until the stomach thankfully gives up.

 We stroll in the mild light of the midday sun over the red-tinted slopes of the Sausteigen. 

Hike & Bike High Above Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

Usually, I'm not really into "hiking". Too little action, too small a radius, too much muscle soreness after the boring descent. But here and today it seems fitting to explore this gently curved mountain ridge on foot. Especially since we didn't leave the bikes at home completely.
Starting from Maishofen, the mountain bikes were indeed saddled first. E-mountain bikes, to be precise. A smart move, as it would turn out not only during the brisk descent over the forest road in view of the threateningly darkening clouds. After all, this way, the 740 meters of altitude to the Gstallneralm could be accomplished remarkably quickly and above all, without expending too much energy.

Gstallneralm? Does that ring a bell? Indeed. In late summer 2021, we had already been on this prime spot of the Mitterpinzgau. Somewhat impressed and sustainably delighted, we reported back then about the 16 turns to happiness, which the rustic Ă–rgenbauernalm embodied. And about the almost unbelievable panorama that was offered to us a little later at the said, completely still lying alpine pasture.

  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

 As if from a textbook for postcard kitsch 

At the risk of repeating myself... the scenery around Gstallneralm & Co.
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

Gstallneralm - Extended Version

For our recent visit to the grass mountains of the KitzbĂĽhel Alps, TVB managing director Thomas Weissenbacher had now suggested an extended version of the tour we had taken before, just as the locals like to do it: First by e-bike to the Gstallneralm, then on foot to the Sausteigen.
This is the ridge that arches high into the sky at 1,912 meters just above the alpine pasture, thus forming the northern gateway to the Glemmtal and the geographical counterpart of the Schmittenhöhe. Easily accessible from various directions, the popularity of this peak, located on the Saalach Valley high-altitude trail, stems not only from the fact that it is almost an all-year-round easy target, also via touring skis. The Sausteigen is also and especially a fantastic viewpoint mountain.

  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

Was that not our neighbor?" Surprised, watching a dark pickup, Sarah turned to her husband Robi. He had used our stretching break after the short single trail and pushing intermezzo at HĂĽhnerbach for a first glimpse into the wide basin of the Saalach valley and consequently could not contribute to the local traffic on the now reached JahnhĂĽtten forest road. Or could he. "Could well be. He has a cabin around here somewhere," replied the handsome man in his mid-thirties.
Actually, the athletic couple – he a recently retired "football lower league legend", she a fit gym manager – accompany us as living props for our photos. That they could also become door openers to the neighbor's alpine allotment garden ten kilometers north of their hometown Schüttdorf – agreed!

  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

And indeed: Six kilometers, 500 vertical meters, and a few amused presses of the turbo buttons later, we saw the SUV again – parked behind the "most beautiful hut of the Gstallneralm," as neighbor Erwin will claim later during drinks with justifiable owner's pride.
What a greeting, amidst the impressive backdrop of the Steinernes Meer, Hochkönig, Zeller See, and Hohe Tauern!
Almost our day's plan was about to waver due to the hobby alpine farmer's emphatic invitation to "come over". Equipped with Erwin's detailed descriptions of which ascent routes to the Sausteigen were the most beautiful, flattest, longest, or best, we agreed to first climb the summit before we would stop by his place. We left our e-bikes with him as a sort of pledge.

  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen

 It's autumn in and around Maishofen, as beautifully and deliciously autumnal as it could possibly be. 

A trip to the Sausteigen is worth it in any season!
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen

And now, therefore: step left, step right, briefly bend down, pick. In this way, even someone who dislikes hiking like me can be sweetened to the task.
Apart from that, this mountain, this area truly make it difficult not to indulge in radiant revelry and appropriate enjoyment.

  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

From the start, the climb up to Sausteigen appealed with attributes suitable for a wide range of bikers: nice, simple gravel path with a pleasant incline, fantastic views, and a manageable amount of about 400 vertical meters.
We found no traces of the prehistoric copper ore mining that had taken place here long before the birth of Christ. But how would one spot remnants of presumed smelting sites on the ground when one always has their nose in the wind and eyes on all the stony splendor that rises all around?

  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen

Graywacke and slate zones, specifically the Kitzbühel Alps and the Dienten Mountains with their forested ridges à la Schmittenhöhe or Hundstein, form a pretty contrast to the high and highest peaks of the Tauern window, where bald, gray gneiss, rugged, crystalline slate, and finally white, eternal ice reign: for example, in the Sonnblick group with the Glodberg Glacier or the Grossglockner along with the Pasterze and all its associated horns, heads, and peaks.
As the vast karst block of the Steinernes Meer, the Hochkönig with its bright Dachstein limestone, and – newly, in the north – the also karstic Leoganger Steinberge push into the 360-degree panorama upon reaching the Sausteigen summit, my reservations about hiking are finally done for.

  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

We linger at the summit cross for two, three, many moments and then stroll a bit through the herbaceous meadows towards the north, where with the slightly lower Haiderbergkogel the decision would be pending for the Saalachtal high trail heading west, towards Asitz and Glemmtal, or northeast towards Biberg and Saalfelden.
As beautiful as it is up here, it will be neither of the two options. After all, we still have a few e-bikes to pick up from neighbor Erwin!

  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen

Saturday is magazine day!

Following the tip of the hut owner, we choose the eastern, steeper variant for the descent over the Sausteigen southern slope, thereby practically tumbling right into his front garden.
Table and bench on Erwin's sunlit terrace with a sensational view of the mountain, lake, and other huts are already occupied: An alpine neighbor, whom we had previously seen doing some logging with a tractor and trailer, is visiting after finishing his work.

We do as we are kindly and firmly instructed, and join them. The sociable chatting on the bench outside the house is so common in the Salzburg region that it has its own name: "hoagaschtn". In small biotopes like this one up here, these gatherings form the perfect social glue: the guests bring news and variety, the neighboring hut owner often brings food, "because he is a chef", and Erwin contributes the drinks and shows interested inquiry.
Since the chef is not there at the moment, our hunger eventually drives us after one or two spritzers to our originally intended rest stop, the Ă–rgenbauernalm. Or is it primarily curiosity? For unlike our last visit in 2021, today is Saturday, and on Saturdays, this roughly 200-year-old hut has "Bladl-Day".

  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen

We are by no means the only ones who know this. The cozy terrace, from which the view once again sweeps across the entire valley basin and the associated mountains, is well attended.
"I don't have any more," initially shocks us host Kathi after the short three-kilometer transfer to the popular mountain pasture tavern when we ask for the legendary dish. But then the all-clear: Seven pieces are still available. Yes, please, all to us, and just as it is customary here: with lingonberries and sauerkraft.

Based on the descriptions from 2021, we initially thought that the "Bladln" were Hasenöhrl, but after the first investigative bites, we must revise our assessment.
Yes, lard is also involved, and plentifully so. It is not for nothing that the hosts use the olfactory unobjectionable outdoor kitchen in the shed for the Bladl production. And visually, the half-round fried dough pockets also resemble this specialty, which is usually served sweet. But what soon swiftly disappears into our stomachs tastes somehow more tart, is more brittle.

 No, we don't roll anything here! 

No, we don't roll anything here! Sarah from Pinzgau doesn't appreciate the Ennstal way of eating Krapfen.
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen

The subsequent research clarifies: What native Burgenlanders and Upper Austrians understand by Hasenöhrl can vary significantly from the Salzburg or Styrian interpretation, as various types of flour (usually wheat, but also rye) and dough types (shortcrust, puff, choux, quark, or even noodle dough) are common in both regions.
Fixed and firmly established are also certain ways of consumption. When we tell Pinzgau local Sarah about the tradition on the Viehbergalm of rolling up the Krapfen around the cabbage (and there also Styrian cheese) filling, she decisively states: "No, we don't roll anything here!"

However, we know exactly how to tackle the further ordered delicacies from cheese dumpling soup to Brettljause, apple bread, and plum cake, from years of Almsommer experience: enjoyably, but quickly, before our stomachs realize that our heads are hopelessly overindulging again.

  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen

More than full and pleasantly lulled by the quaintly simple, yet very detail-oriented and tranquil atmosphere of the Ă–rgenbauernalm, we finally leave its viewing terrace heading downhill.
Over Gerling and Schloss Kammer, with its attached chapel a popular wedding location, it's a brisk descent through the 16 bends, then flat along the Saalach back to Maishofen.

The church spire of this small holiday resort juts out sharply from the lush green meadows below. However, the sky above has since darkened considerably, and the gentle breeze from the morning has turned into a stormy wind. Such is autumn.
But with the Gasthof zur Post, the birthplace of the renowned painter Anton Faistauer, our saving shelter is near. And our next, sumptuous meal as well...

Useful Links and Addresses

General Information
TVB Maishofen, SaalhofstraĂźe 2, 5751 Maishofen www.maishofen.com

Tour Download
Interactive Tour Map

Refreshment Tip
Ă–rgenbauernalm open Wed-Sun in summer, weekends and public holidays in May, June, and October

Service/Rental
Big Time Sport, Saalhofstr. 4, 5751 Maishofen

Accommodation
***Inn & Restaurant zur Post, Anton-Faistauer-Platz 1, 5751 Maishofen; charming rooms, fine cuisine

  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in MaishofenBike & Hike in Maishofen
  • Bike & Hike in Maishofen