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Austria: Secured Trail in Johnsbach

Published: 10.6.2017
An amusement park in form of a secured trail, this is Johnsbach Klettersteig. This secured trail is situated close to the newest Austrian national park of Gesäuse which is situated between Admont and Hieflau in Styria.

If you ride through the park from Admont, 10 kilometers further down the road there is a right turn to Johnsbach. Suddenly, you find yourselves in a quiet leafy valley. Vistas to the sharp rocky towers and debris fields open on your left. Continue upwards and  when you ride through a short tunnel inside a rocky tower for it is a part of a via ferrata. You can park in front of or behind of the tower.

a tunnel in a rocky tower

a part of the easy section   entering the via ferrata

The start of the Johnsbach Klettersteig via ferrata is on the other riverbank. The secured trail includes various climb options - starting with the easiest to the most difficult. Let's take a look at the individual sections. The entrance is right at the river. There is a ladder meaning this part is of C/D difficulty making it the most difficult part along the easy option. Once you finish these section you get on the crossroads where the trail goes up and another rope is goes to the right along the side of the rock. First, we go up along the B difficulty section until we reach the first seat. There opens a vista over Johnsbach. Then we get through a B/C section to another seat offering a vista over the mountain oposite to us.

vista from the seat   vista over Johnsbach

Upon a short break we get on the rock wall again. Couple of meters up we spot the endings of steel ropes. THese go along the more difficuls section of the secured trail. Then we continue through a B section to a wooden platform and a net. There ends one of the three Flying Foxes which are steel ropes crossing a valley. In this case it runs from a forest to here. If you have the necessary equipment, you can fly over the valley. The vistas here are also great. YOu can see the mountains of the Gesäuse national park. Several meters in the upward direction get us to the top where it is quite windy but we can see the valley from there as well as Johnsbach. The descend it secured.  There are couple of C sections and we cross another Flying Fox. To get back to our car we can either go to the left along the rock down to the river; or we can get on another secured trail, get back down to the crossroads and take another branch of the secured trail. 

Nepal Brücke

So, let's get back at the crossroads situated close to the point of entrance. This time we go right. There is an iron platform along the rock. To the right at about the waist height  there are iron chains you can use to rappel down to the Nepal Brűcke bridge. The bridge goes across the river to a rocky tower with the tunnel on the oposite side. This was helpful for us because we knew we found the trail. The bridge is made of steel ropes. We can't get there other way than just by rappeling down. Therefore, don't forget to take your own rope and rappeling equipment. The bridge is out of the question for faint hearted. Even the courageous will tremble before this bridge. It is an amazing experience and add to the variety of the trail. We reach the road again by rappeling down with our own equipment; alternatively we couldcross the river and reach another Flying Fox and then take the secured trail bove the river, then climb down back to the point of start. If you don't want to enter the cable bridge just go along the roe until you see the routes in the upward direction – a D route and an E route. D route won't surprise you. It give you enough freedom and safe to climb. The E route includes a ladder hanging leaning into the air; well if you climb two E overhangs. This is very difficult because you need to move your carabines as well as the look at another E section just after you managed to get across the first one.

E section

Another route option is right at the entrance point. There we don't climb up the ladder but go downstream along the river close to the water (as has been already mentioned ). We we put our feet on one rope and grab the other (this section is of C difficulty). Soon we reach the riverbank behind the rock We go up a forest path. After couple of turns we can turn right and join the secured trail or simply end the hike here.

the vista over Gesäuse national park

Here you can see that there are many varieties. The rock is quite small. You can get through it in 2 hours. I think you would like the Johnsbach secured trail too.

GPS: (national park) 47°33'53.5"N 14°35'12.2"E


Text and photos: Martina Brožková

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