En route in the Lechtaler Alps on the Anhalter Höhenweg – day 2
The second day starts under Carmen’s strict regimen with breakfast at 7:00 am. At 07:30 clock we already start into a long, lonely day. We are the only group to tackle the hike on the Anhalter Höhenweg from the hut on this day.
After a first ascent to the Grubigjoch we cross the impressive flank of Namloser Wetterspitze. Here, it becomes clear why the tour can only be done in dry and safe conditions. In wet conditions, the thick tufts of grass on the steep slopes would be slippery and a crash hardly avoidable. In the beautiful valleys we hardly meet any other hikers the whole day and cell phone reception can only be dreamt of. The trail continues through flower meadows and we cross some trenches. Now we continue pathless to the Sattele. Our clambering is eyed critically by a chamois and some marmots. The animals are much more sure-footed on this ground than we are. From the yoke, our hike leads to the first real peak of the day.
We fight our way along the grassy cliffs until we exhaustedly lay in the sun on the summit of the Egger Muttekopf (2311m). But as there are three more summits on the program, the break is rather short. The climb over the grass is strenuous, downhill the still somewhat damp grass is slippery and some of us unintentionally land on their buttock.
At the steep points there are chains, to facilitate the descent. You keep on following the ridge to reach the finale of the tour. Once you arrive at the Bschalber Kreuzspitze (2462m), you follow the ridge over the Mittlerer Kreuzspitze (2496m) to the Elmer Kreuzspitze (2480m). Before starting the descent of 1,500 altimeters, that lies ahead of us, we take one more break and look back over the ridges to the Anhalter Hütte, which is hardly recognizable from here.
After the long, force-consuming descent it is advisable to walk the few meters to the Stabalpe. On the terrace, we are welcomed with some apricot schnapps after a long day and are looking forward to our cold drinks and a Kaiserschmarrn. We end the day here before we walk the last 400 meters to the car. At 17.30 we arrive at our car exhausted and happy and think back to a great weekend. In order to tackle the Anhalter Höhenweg you need absolutely stable weather. Furthermore, you should be able to orient yourself very well in pathless terrain and must be sure-footed. Very fit mountaineers can also ascend the summit of Namloser Wetterspitze, but I advise against doing so.
Source of title image: Stefan Weindl
From the parking lot, we walk to the community center of Elmen. The small shop at the bus stop offers the possibility to stock up on provisions for the weekend. The Anhalterhütte is a simple Alpine Club hut and there is no place to stop for refreshments on the Anhalter Höhenweg. The bus chauffeured us in 35 minutes to the Hahntenjoch at 1903 meters of altitude.
Up to the Steinjöchl, we are accompanied by the constant roaring of motorcyclists on the pass road. There are still some hikers on the trail, who take the short climb to the Anhalter Hütte (1-1.5 hours) as a day trip. Instead of going to the hut or climbing the Falkenkogel as most hikers do, we turn right to the Maldongrat. Always well-marked, we scramble through nice and solid rocks. At the summit cross, nothing more is to be heard from the pass road and you can already guess the way of the coming day. Experienced mountaineers can climb the ridge from the Maldon Ridge (2544m) to the Gabelsitze (2581m) in about one hour before returning by the same route.
After the descent back to the Steinjöchl we hike back to the Anhalter Hütte and enjoy the afternoon sun on the terrace. The cottage hostess Carmen welcomes us and we take our sleeping berths for the night. To get away from the hustle and bustle of the hut, we hike to one of the local mountains. The path to Tschachaun leads through beautiful alpine pastures, on which surprisingly trusting Haflinger horses spend the summer. At the summit of the Chachaun, a huge flower meadow awaits us, in the middle of which stands the summit cross.
After an easy return, we enjoy dinner on the sun terrace of the Anhalter Hütte. After the day-trippers disappeared, the atmosphere is much more relaxed. The shelter is supplied with the helicopter only once at the beginning of the season. All fresh food is carried by the cabin staff from the top of the pass to the hut. We are lucky and a gas bottle was brought up, so there is a barbecue. With full bellies and after one or two beers, we lay in our beds full of anticipation.
Source of title image: Stefan Weindl
On this tour, you will be hiking in an impressive mountain world and meet only a few or no other mountaineers, even on a sunny Sunday. I highly recommend this challenging ridgeway.