If the snow is still a long time coming and can only be found in the higher shaded areas, we will keep an eye out for good alternatives. We found what we were looking for in the Ennstal Alps near Admont. The 1778 meter high Lahngangkogel is a popular winter destination for both touring skis and snowshoes. A signposted ski route shows the way, which also offers a lot of variety on foot.
You start at the parking lot in Kaiserau at the crossing of the road from Admont to Trieben. The access road takes you to the paid parking lot at the small ski area. Only the sparse last remnants of the artificial snow were still on the slopes at the beginning of January. The signposting of the marked path and also the ski route up towards Wagenbänkalm begins at the barrier. The marking follows the course of the piste, the ski route runs a little off the beaten track in the forest. After a somewhat steep climb at the beginning, you reach a forest road at the end of the slopes, which you follow. In a distinctive right-hand bend, the Gustlsteig branches off to the left for mountain hikers. Soon after, the ski route, and it goes up through sparse forest to the beautifully situated Wagenbänkalm.
Several huts stand on the wide Almsattel with magnificent views of the Gesäuseberge with Hochtor and Planspitze as well as the striking Reichenstein. The Rottenmanner Tauern also present themselves above a foggy valley. After the extensive viewing pleasure, you climb over a wooded hilltop in serpentines up to the summit of the Lahngangkogel. The view is even more impressive, and Grimming and Dachstein can be seen far behind. From here you first follow the ridge, and via a larger slope down you finally reach the Kallinggatterl. Here the view up to the rocky peaks of Sparafeld, Kalbling and Riffel dominates. You descend further through a high valley and soon reach the Klinkehütte, which is closed in winter.
If there is enough snow, you can ski through wide forest lanes in an almost direct line down to the Kaiserau. Follow the markings on foot, which also lead down through the forest in this area. It becomes flatter and across a meadow you come back to the car park by the lifts. If you’re lucky, the Sportalm with the large sun terrace is open for a stop. Then you follow the wide farm track to Kaiserau Castle. From there you head for the starting point, and past the reservoir you have reached the car park again.
- Starting point: The starting point in Kaiserau can be reached by car from Trieben or Admont via the Kaiserauer Landesstraße. The parking lot next to the street is free of charge. You can still drive to the paid lift parking lot and start from there. The arrival by public transport is very thinned out, especially in the winter months.
- Characteristic: Depending on the snow conditions, a beautiful winter tour with touring skis, snowshoes or mountain boots. The ski route is signposted throughout. The hiking trail too, and this is additionally marked. The Gustlsteig deviates from the ski route from the forest road and only reunites with it at the Wagenbänkalm.
Information about the tour
walking time: 4 to 5 hours
Length: 12.5 kilometers
Altitude: 740 m
Route: Kaiserau car park (1100 m) – Lift car park (1130 m) – Wagenbänkalm (1565 m) – Lahngangkogel (1778 m) – Kalblinggatterl (1542 m) – Klinkehütte (1486 m) – Kaiserau Castle (1130 m)
- Internet: gesaeuse.at, kaiserau.at
By the wayside
contemplation: At the lift car park in Kaiserau, the Sportalm invites you to stop off when the weather is nice. In Admont we had an excellent meal in the cozy Gasthaus Kamper. In addition to traditional food, there are also some innovative international dishes. The offer also depends on what the local producers are currently offering. There is hot food all day with a reduced afternoon menu. Sun and Mon day off (gh-kamper.at).
Kaiserau Castle: First mentioned in a document in 1160, the name comes from the Almwirtschaft, a “cheese dairy”, and was acquired by Admont Abbey around 1550 and expanded into the monastery’s Maierhof. It was later rebuilt as a hunting lodge for imperial hunting guests. During the Nazi era, the castle was a research institute for Alpine agriculture. After a fire in 1942, the building was rebuilt and is now a listed building.
Wels hikes – on five paths
An eventful history with a vision
Overview from Damberg
To the Hochplettspitze and Hollerberg view
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