Austria: Großer Pyhrgas – Treat for Those Who Love Alpine Tourism
Ennstal Alps - The Mountains Made of Limestone
The Ennstal Alps is a mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps. Large share of this massive is situated in Styria, an Austrian republic. Minor part is situated in Upper Austria. From the geomorphological perspective the Ennstal Alps divide into three slesser mountain ranges: Haller Mauern, Gesäuse, and the Eisenerz Alp. The highest summit of these ridge is Hochtor (2 369 m). Tourists like to visit the area around spital am Pyhrn village. The village is situated 13 km to the northeast from Liezen town, Upper Austria. Massive, awesome mountain Großer Pyhrgas (2 244 m) rises above this town as some kind of guardian. This giant is the highest summit of the Haller Mauern mountains. It was created by the Triassic period Dachstein limestone.
Großer Pyhrgas has three marked tourist trails leading to the top. The trail going from Spital am Pyhrn is attractive sort of climb. We can join this trail at the southeastern edge of the town. There the tourist trail no 614 begins. It takes us to the very sumit. The trail goes through the forest at first and then it ascends towards pastures and Hofalmhütte cabin at 1305 m. We follow the trail to the saddle and the crossroads of other tourist trails. Make a short break here and get energy for another ascend along the western ridge. Tehre is beautiful view on Lugkogel (1 447 m). Its steep sides are what catches your eye. The trail no 614 leads us to the top. At the saddle, it turns to the east and ascends. It runs along diverse ridge. We enter coniferous forest. Bushes replace the trees soon as you ascend. You get some beautiful vistas over surrounding ridges and valleys. Bushes get lesser when you go to higher altitudes. Eventually even bushes disappear. Our trail goes to the top along rocky ridge and grassy sides of the ridge. The vistas are getting even better. The entire land is like if it was on our palms. The summit cross is visible up in the distance. There is the finish of our trak. The climbing is strenous yet the summit is neigh.
Once we climb several couple of meters we reach the summit. This is our destionation - the summit of Großer Pyhrgas at 2244 meters. You have wonderful view up from the top. Down below, there is a vast valley where villages and settlements are scattered. Around are high mountains - the Upper Austrian Prealps (Oberösterreichische Voralpen) and the Totes Gebirge. Regarding the latter, there is massive and wide summit of Warscheneck (2 388 m). There is beautiful vista fo the east - wrinkled summits of the Ennstal Alps. In the foreground, there are mountains of Scheiblingstein (2 197 m) and Kleiner Pyhrgas (2 023 m ). In the distance, there are recognizable steep hillsides of pointy Großer Buchstein (2 224 m). The king of the entire mountain range is the proudly rising mountain of Hochtor (2 369 m).
You can get back to Spital am Pyhrn village by following the same trail (No. 614ä or the trail No. 615. Also, you can continue in your trek going along the northern rocky ridge. Then go down to Holzerkar and continue across the valley to Gowilalmhütte cabin. Here we join the trail No. 617. At Holzeralm crossroads we follow one of the marked tourist trail until we reach the village.
GPS: (Spital am Pyhrn) 47°39'55.8"N 14°20'27.3"E
Text and photos: Radoslav Biskupič
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