Holidays at the mountain hut "Neue Bamberger Hütte"
A family holiday at home and yet away from everyday life
For my family and me, the mountains are our home and retreat. Maybe this is because we've been favoured by fortune and live right in the heart of the Kitzbühel Alps or it is just the way we are. Quite some time has passed since our last holiday together. Sure, my siblings and I are rather the exception when it comes to holidaying with our parents at the age of 16,19 and 21. But this summer we managed to find 3 days everyone of us was free and we decided to set off to the mountains, up to the Neue Bamberger Hütte. 3 days of hiking, mountain hut life and no mobile reception (except on the summits).
The Neue Bamberger Hütte in the hiking area Kelchsau
A cloudy start
We started our tour in moderate weather conditions on Tuesday morning in Kelchsau. From the Wegscheid parking area we walked on a forest path uphill along a rushing mountain stream. With every metre gained in altitude, we hoped for a little bit of sunshine or at least that the fog would lift. However, the Neue Bamberger Hütte (also known as “ski hut” among us locals) remained invisible. The fog was swallowing all nature sounds and even the person in front. Despite everything we were looking forward to being finally back at “our” mountain hut – the place I owe some of my most beautiful childhood memories. Exhausted but content, we finally arrived and were happy about the comfortably warm room and the friendly reception. After the strengthening, very delicious lunch we left most of our luggage at the hut and got ourselves ready to go again.
The weather hadn’t become better. So what? We wouldn’t melt, would we? So we set off for „Schafsiedel“ mountain. A well-signposted path leads right behind the hut to the first of three lakes, the Wildalmseen. Even though this time we hadn’t been granted the breath-taking sight of the lakes as usual, I took pleasure in the quiet and unusual scenery in the mystic fog. “It is a little bit just like in Ireland – only on the mountain”, said my mom. I hadn’t been to Schafsiedel before and I totally enjoyed the tour. At the upper Wildalmsee we were surprised that the lake was still partly covered by ice and snow. From there it was only a short but steep bit more to go until we saw ….. nothing 😋
However, we had reached the summit and our target of the day. Quickly, we had a small but mandatory shot of schnapps to celebrate our conquest of the summit before we headed back to the hut. True that we hadn’t melted away so far, but the cosy atmosphere of the hut was simply enticing.
Back there, we moved into a 5-bed room in the new build. It was spacious, cosy and simply amazing, with showers and toilets right next door. Hot water showers!!! Nothing beats a hot shower after a long hike. Thank God the owners had thought of that when rebuilding the hut in 2015. Dinner, card-playing, Ludo and planning the tour for the next day …. and then? Exhausted we fell into our beds.
Wednesday morning and the sun was shining. Still a little bit tired from the day before, we refilled our batteries at breakfast. Then we shouldered our backpacks, took our poles and set off.
Accompanied by a gentle breeze and amazing sunshine we walked to the chapel Markkirchl from where we enjoyed the view into the Pongau valley. We already saw our first target of the day ahead of us: the impressive summit of Salzachgeier. The climb seemed steeper than it actually was though. On winded paths over alpine pastures, partly across small snowfields, we steadily walked uphill. Before the final spurt we had to cross a steep snowfield and then- finally – we saw the slightly crooked summit cross. Happiness, a rush of adrenaline and all powers and strength are back again. We’ve made it! We were at the top of the mountain and felt so small and yet so great at the same time. Small considering the amazing natural scenery around us and great because up here we were able to see and feel so much more than down in the valley. We took in our reward - the view of the source of the Salzach river, Königsleiten and all the other surrounding peaks. After a short break with tea and biscuits we left the summit to the next mountaineers – another peak was waiting for us.
Tristkopf was the second target for today. Back at Markkirchl, we first enjoyed a well-deserved snack in a windless spot amidst alpine roses. During the ascent to Tristkopf, which is not long from Markkirchl, my brother and dad sped up to demonstrate that they were the summiteers. Of course, we girls got there too.
Back at the hut, we enjoyed coffee and cake in the sun. This cake alone is worth the way up there. After that day tour we could see that we all had gotten some tan too. In the evening we looked forward to a delicious dinner and all of us five “had” to share the yummy Kaiserschmarren for dessert. There’s hardly a better way to end a day.
Home sweet Home
Thursday, our day of departure: room cleared, backpacks packed, breakfast for the last time and again, we set off on our tour. Although the sun rather hid itself behind the clouds, it was calm and very pleasant. From the hut we headed towards Streitfelden, but this time we turned to the left and walked on to Kröndlhorn. For me, one of the most beautiful routes and summits. We once more had the pleasure to come across the horses which spend the summer there every year. Leisurely we walked uphill. Our legs had needed a great deal of persuasion for this third mountain tour within three days. But again, our motto was:” the journey is the reward.” Faster than we had thought we made it up to the peak, to – as we locals say – the “Greal” or Kröndlhorn. There was no summit cross but a small, wooden chapel with memorial pictures of some deceased brought by their relatives. The weather meant well for us and we decided to climb down to Lake Reinkarsee before heading back to the parking area. Along this route you hardly ever meet someone. Once at the lake , a flock of sheep kept following us persistently but evenutally they understood that we were not their herdsmen.
The flock of sheep at Reinkarsee
Once in the valley we were all exhausted, happy and also a little sad. Of course, Kelchsau is not far from home and we can go there on a day tour anytime, but for us a few days on the mountain hut feel like real holidays. At the mountain there are no conventions, there is peace and quiet, down-to-earth people, you get into a chat with anyone at once. The fact that we can experience all this as a family so easily, without a far journey, means a lot to me. The mountains are my home, they ground me and when I return back to town I can imagine how Heidi must have felt like. 😊