Schafberg Mountain Hiking Tour
Lakes' Tour & Fixed Rope Route:
A challenging mountain descent with two easy but exposed fixed rope sections and famous panoramic view. Extremely dangerous when snow-covered!
Every summer without fail the historic cog railway on the Schafberg Mountain puffs its way up the 5.85 km-long route from St. Wolfgang to just below the summit of the Schafberg Mountain. With its unhurried pace, there is plenty of time to admire the ‘sloping Alpine scenery’ from the carriage windows.
Right at the top, the famous view of the Salzkammergut region’s seven lakes can be seen from the summit hotel (built in 1906 on the edge of the Schafberg Mountain’s north face). Our Alpine adventure begins here, first with a descent through the narrow ‘Heaven’s Gate’ to the tiny Suissensee Lake (which is actually two small lakes). The tour continues on to the secluded Mittersee Lake and the Mönichsee Lake.
Then the second part of the adventure starts: the Purtschellersteig path.
This exposed rock route is dedicated to a P.E. teacher from Salzburg who, as one of the first solo mountain climbers of the 19th century, scaled eastern African mountains over 5000 metres in height. To begin, we hike up from the top station of the mountain cog railway to the nearby summit hotel, left over the west ridge to the Himmelspforthütte (‘Heaven’s Gate’ hut) and the rock crevice of the same name, where we head in a northerly direction.
Descending over secured rock steps into the corrie lying at the foot of the north face of the Schafberg Mountain, we then cross to the right to the depression containing the Suissensee Lake and refuge hut. Without a great difference in altitude, we continue to the concealed Lake Mittersee and over a saddle to Lake Mönichsee which is surrounded by trees.
Above the lakes, we cross a low ridge on which we turn off to the right onto the Purtschellersteig path. This leads upwards to the steep, at first wooded, Törlspitz south face and is followed by a rock face on which we walk with the help of steps secured by steel ropes. Finally the route takes us through a gulley and over the gently sloping Schafberg Mountain south face to the rail tracks and mountain pastures.
From here there are two possibilities to choose from: right takes you over many steps and a narrow, stony path back up to the Schafbergspitze Hotel on the summit. However, we go straight, crossing the tracks and finishing up at the Schafbergalpe station. From here a wide track (no. 23) leads over the pastures and left through steep forested slopes downwards to St. Wolfgang. Variants: those who do not want to take the Purtschellersteig path, walk above Lake Mönichsee and left over a wide, forested and meadowed ridge (route no. 27) to the Vormaueralm pasture and climb right onto the Vormauer way down to St. Wolfgang. Another possible descent is to fork off onto the Auerriesen route above the lake. Or, all the fixed rope routes could be avoided by descending from the summit of the Schafberg Mountain down the afore-mentioned steps to the Schafbergalpe pastures.
- Suitable for single travelers
- Suitable for friends
- Suitable for couples
1. The tours presented for hiking, walking, biking and road biking, mountain biking, motorbiking, horseback riding, climbing, cross-country skiing, and going on skiing and snowshoe tours etc. are to be considered non-paid tour recommendations and only serve as non-binding information. We have no intention of concluding a contract with the users of this website. The utilisation of the data does not lead to the establishment of a contract with us.
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The tour recommendations posted were created with utmost care; nevertheless, we assume no liability for the correctness and completeness of the information.
We point out that neither the tour recommendations included on this website nor the associated data and information were posted by us, but rather by third parties (Art. 16 Austrian E-Commerce Act). We have no influence on whether the details provided (e.g. distance, level of difficulty, change in altitude, description etc.) are authentic, correct and complete. We do not review these third-party contents. For this reason, we assume no liability for the authenticity, correctness and completeness of the information.
Construction-related measures or other influences (e.g. landslides and similar occurrences) can lead to temporary or permanent changes in a route (e.g. loss of a bridge and similar occurrences). Such occurrences can lead to part of the route or the entire route becoming impassable.
The use of the data as well as undertaking (riding, walking, taking etc.) the recommended tours or using the network of paths occurs at users’ own risk and on their authority. In particular, users themselves are responsible for the choice of route, outdoor orientation, adherence to traffic rules, supplies and equipment for tours listed in Point 1 (e.g. bicycle etc.), wearing a helmet, estimating their own fitness, recognising dangers and maintaining an appropriate velocity. We exclude ourselves from any liability whatsoever for damages, in particular accidents, that occur whilst taking part in the recommended tours.
2.Some of the tours lead over roads with normal traffic conditions. Please observe that there is an increased risk which can be avoided by means of appropriate attention and proper estimation and implementation of one’s own abilities. For this reason, please travel a route that is unfamiliar to you slowly and with special care. Pay constant attention to potential dangers and always observe traffic. Do not leave the routes featured in descriptions.
The potential use of private roads, in particular forestry roads and agricultural transport roads, can be subject to legal restrictions, which must be observed and adhered to.
The normal traffic rules apply. Each user (e.g. biker, motorbiker) is responsible for adhering to these rules and maintaining his/her bike/vehicle and its equipment (lights, brakes etc.) in good working order. Each user is also responsible for ensuring that he/she rides at a velocity that is appropriate for the conditions and his/her skill level and for maintaining sufficient distance to the rider in front. We explicitly recommend adjusting velocity to correspond to the respective field of vision, wearing a helmet, using reflective clothing (or similar) and employing bicycle lights in line with regulations.
3.Each tour requires good physical fitness as well as detailed planning. We explicitly recommend only taking the tours in the case of optimal healthiness.
We recommend that you conclude an accident and liability insurance policy. Use an onboard computer that displays the respective kilometres travelled per day and is calibrated for the front wheel.
4.Special for mountain bikers – Fair-play rules:
Mountain biking is one of the most wonderful outdoor leisure-time activities. Whilst biking or on a mountain biking tour, mountains and lakes, meadows and cabins are re-discovered in new ways. A couple of rules for fair play in the forest help to avoid conflicts whilst mountain biking.
a.Pedestrians have the right of way: We are accommodating and friendly to pedestrians and hikers. Upon encountering these fellow travellers, we alert them by using the bicycle bell and slowly overtake them. We avoid paths with heavy pedestrian traffic altogether. Take nature into account: We do not leave refuse behind.
b.The braking distance should be half of the total distance visible: We ride at a controlled pace, are ready to brake and maintain a braking distance half as long as the total distance visible, especially in curves, because we always have to count on obstacles on the path. Damage to the path, stones, branches, wood piles, grazing livestock, cattle grids, barriers, tractor-type forestry machines and authorised vehicles pose dangers that we need to be ready for.
c.Don’t drink and drive!: Do not drink alcohol when mountain biking. Take care at stop-off points (dealing with bike racks, dirty shoes or clothing).
It is obligatory to provide first aid!
d.Marked routes, closed paths and blockades: Keep to the marked routes, observe the blockades and accept that these roads are primarily for agricultural and forestry use!
Blockades can often not be avoided and are in your own interest. Biking beyond the intended path and outside of opening times is punishable and turns us into illegal bikers.
e.We are guests in the forest and behave accordingly, including vis-à-vis forestry and hunting staff. Whilst mountain biking, mobile telephones and music players are forbidden! Biking requires your full attention.
f.Avoid unnecessary noise. Out of consideration to the animals living in the wild, we only bike during full daylight. As a principle, we always wear our helmet (even when riding uphill)! Don’t forget emergency supplies: We always have a repair set and bandages along.
g.Don’t overestimate your skills: We should not overdo it when it comes to biking technique and physical fitness. Take the level of difficulty posed by the route into consideration and make a precise estimate of your experience and skills as a biker (braking, bell, lights)!
h.Close gates: We approach grazing livestock at a walking pace and close every gate behind us. We should avoid causing escape and panic reactions in the animals. Nothing stands in the way of the fun and athletic challenge in the mountains and forests!
i.Traffic rules: The general traffic rules (StVO) apply for all the mountain biking routes and we adhere to them. Our bike therefore needs to be in perfect technical condition and equipped in line with the traffic rules, including brakes, a bell and lights. We inspect and service our mountain bikes regularly anyway.
5.We assume no liability for the contents of external websites; in particular, we assume no liability for their statements and contents. Moreover, we have no influence on the design or contents of the websites to which hyperlinks on www.salzkammergut.at lead or from which hyperlinks lead to www.salzkammergut.at. There is no on-going review of websites to which hyperlinks on www.salzkammergut.at lead or from which hyperlinks lead to www.salzkammergut.at. We do not appropriate the contents of websites to which hyperlinks on www.salzkammergut.at lead or from which hyperlinks lead to www.salzkammergut.at.
1. Each of your tour recommendations for hiking, walking, biking and road biking, mountain biking, motorbiking, horseback riding, climbing, cross-country skiing, and going on skiing and snowshoe tours etc., along with other details and information, is free of charge. In particular regarding the correctness of the information, we assume no liability, nor do we assume any liability whatsoever for the consequences of the use of your tour recommendation by a third party (in particular by a user of this website). We do not review the tour recommendations you post, including other details and information, at any time.
We have no intention of concluding a contract with persons who post tour recommendations and/or other details and information on this website. Posting data (information) does not imply that a contract has been concluded.
By recommending a tour, we assume special responsibility vis-à-vis other athletes. Please take this responsibility seriously and describe your tour recommendation with utmost care and to the best of your knowledge and belief.
2.Your tour recommendations must therefore clearly and unambiguously include at least the following criteria and provide a sufficiently detailed description:
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4. We are not responsible for the contents of external websites; in particular, we do not assume any liability for their statements or contents. Furthermore, we do not influence the design or contents of websites that can be accessed from www.salzkammergut.at via hyperlinks or that use hyperlinks to refer to www.salzkammergut.at. The websites that can be accessed from www.salzkammergut.at via hyperlinks or that use hyperlinks to refer to www.salzkammergut.at are not regularly monitored. Furthermore, we do not assume any claims to the websites that can be accessed from www.salzkammergut.at via hyperlinks or that use hyperlinks to refer to www.salzkammergut.at.