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Austria: Ybbstaler Alps – Spring Hike Up to Großer Zellerhut

Published: 11.3.2018
The Northern Limestone Alps make vast mountains situated motly in Austria. Among its mountain ranges belong also the Ybbstaler Alps. In this article we take you out for a tour the part of which is a spring hike up Großer Zellerhut.

Ybbstal Alps – Mountain Range that Will Surprise

Ybbstaler Alps is situated in the northeastern part of the Northern Limestone Alps. They cover an area of 1 750 km² and stretch between the Austrian republic of Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria. Unlike other alpine mountain ranges, Ybbstaler Alps don't feature high mountains. The highest summit here is Hochstadl (1 919 m) this mostly limestone mountain rises up above the massif of Kräuterin. Mariazell is a place of pilgrimage which makes one of the most important tourist attractions over here. Among popular mountains around here are: Ötscher, Dürrenstein, Hochkar or the monumental Ötschergräben – 6 km long gorge which cuts deeply into dolomites and Trias limestone.

Kräuterin and Hochstadl

Grünau – The Point of Start

We set out from the village of Grünau, 3 kilometers to the westwards from the town of Mariazell. On a small car park by the main road, you may leave your car and make  walk to beautiful alpine nature. We follow No 293 tourist trail which crosses the valley of Seewirtgraben. We follow the trail and gain altitude. Terrain changes. Climbing up gets more strenous and eventually we steeply climb to Zeller Sattel klippe. Then we get up to the ridge close to Hüttenkogel (1 473 m), a lesser mountain where we rest for a while and then enjoy the amazing vistas over the Hochschwab mountains.


the vista up from Mittlerer Zellerhut over Vorderer Zellerhut  the vista from the top of Großer Zellerhut

Beautiful Trek Along the Ridge

In Zeller Satellite klippe we join No. 292 tourist trail. Then we continue along the ridge to the west. Pine trees cover the ridge only seldomly. So we trod on the last remains of snow and more and more beautiful vistas over the surrounding summits of the Ybbstal Alps and Hochschwab. By hiking up the ridge we reach Mittlerer Zellerhut (1 586 m) from which we enjoy the vista toward Vorderer Zellerhut (1 629 m) and the huge mountain in the western part of the ridge – Großer Zellerhut. The we move along the ridge. Eventually we get to a steep slope at the foot of the ridge we want to conquer. And we start climbing up.

on the ridge – going to Großer Zellerhut

Großer Zellerhut

At 1 639 m we reach Großer Zellerhut. The border between Austrian republics of Lower Austria and Styria crosses the mountain. Up there, you may enjoy the vista over surrounding Alpine nature. We can see almost all of the largest mountains of Ybbstal Alps – Ötscher (1 893 m), Dürrenstein (1 878 m) or diverse massif of Kräuterin with its dominant Hochstadl summit(1 919 m). The silhuette of the Hochschwab mountains on the horizon down to the south bring awe to us.

hora Ötscher

Großer Zellerhut is one of lesser known mountains in the Ybbstal Alps. However, the amazing vistas up from its top will really charm you and you will realize how attractive tourist-wise it is. If you want to discover new, unknown places in the Austrian Alps,hike up Großer Zellerhut is what will fulfil your expectations.

GPS: (Grünau) 47°46'13.1"N 15°16'00.8"E

Text and photo: Radoslav Biskupič

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