Austria: Seckau Tauern – In the Realm of Granite Giants
Seckau Tauern – The Entrance to the Low Tauern
The Seckau Tauern is one of the four subranges of the Low Tauern (Niedere Tauern). These are part of the Austrian Central Alps. The ridge of the Seckau Tauern are the easternmost part of the Low Taur, the Austrian state of Styria.The ridge is a classical high mountain ridge. You can spot erosion almost everyhwere. The exposed mountain ridges are separated by deep valleys. Diverse rocky summits, alpine meadows with grazing cattle, or forests at the feet of the mountains – this all are main characteristics of the Seckau Tauern. Unlike the North Limesto Alps, this beautiful mountain ridge consists mostly of granite which, geomorphology-wise, make them close to the West Tatra mountains, Slovakia. The location of the Seckau Tauern is also great for the A9 freeway runs along its norhternmost section. There are exits along the ridge which allow you to reach villages peripheral to the mountain range. You can easily make trips from them to the surroundings. The town of Trieben is an important destination. The road No 114 runs along it towards the south where it leads to many interesting places in the western part of the mountain ridge.
There are only handful cabins in the area. Therefore, you need to prepare yourselves and plan well. There are marked tourist trails going through walles and across the ridges. You can make some asy trips across valleys, climb mountains, or make it more difficult such as planing trips that would take you across the ridges and require whole day to complete. Tourism in the summer is very popular. However, there are also ski mountaineering trails. Thus, even winter sports enthusiasts will ahve fun here. There are several popular climbs around here – to Seckauerr Zinken, Großer Griesstein, Hochreichart, Gamskogel or to the highest pea of the Seckau Tauern – Geierhaupt.
Geierhaupt – The Highest Mountain of the Seckau Tauern
Geierhaupt is a massive mountain rising up form the long and distinct ridge of the Seckau Tauern. It creates a natural dominant of the entire area. Its height of 2417 meters makes it the highest mountain of the ridge. It is a strenous, day-long undertaking to climb Geierhaupt. You walk on the ridge and you begin in the locality known as Liesnig. The tourist trail takes you first on a forest path, around a quarry up to Beinsteineralm cabin. Then you continue on hillside covered of grass to Bärensultsattel saddle (1 794 m). The tour route then continues from the saddle along the ridge across Bärenkogel, Lattenberg, Goldkogel, Kerschkern, Krügltörl, Schrimpfkogel, up to Geierhaupt (2 417 m). Once you complete climbing of the ridge, you go on along marked trail across rocky, partially exposed ridge. The mountains of Grieskogel and Hocheggriedel are parts of the ridge. The trail goes across some bushes. It goes downhill in this section follwing a stream. Eventually it gets you onto a road in the Liesnig locality.
Treks up to the mountains and ridges are beautiful yet strenous. The views we enjoyed are nothing but spectacular. There are other peaks of the Low Tauern to the west. To the north, there are amazing vistas over the limestone mountains of the Ennstal Alps and Gesäuse nature park. To the northeast, grey peaks of the Eisenerz Alps rise up to the sky. Once you get to the Seckau Tauern you will immediately fall in love with them.
GPS: (Geierhaupt) 47°22'29.0"N 14°38'16.8"E
Text and photos: Radoslav Biskupič
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