» Austria, Steiermark – Bärenschützklamm and Hochlantsch Mountain
Austria, Steiermark – Bärenschützklamm and Hochlantsch Mountain
Austria is an alpine country that has many beautiful sights. These are not just ski resorts, or high snow capped mountains. Near the city of Graz in the Grazer Bergland mountains, are two fascinating places worth visiting - Bärenschützklamm (Bear Gorge) and Hochlantsch mountain.
Both places are located in the land of Steiermark, Austria. Concretely, the Randgebirge östlich der Mur mountains, the part of which is the already mentioned Grazer Bergland. The Randgebirge östlich der Mur mountains is the easternmost part of the Central Eastern Alps. Bear Gorge and Hochlantsch mountain (1 720 m) are located northwest off the village of Mixnitz, which is part of the town of Pernegg an der Mur. By air, the town is about 28 kilometers away from the city of Graz. The Bear Gorge is easily accessible by the road going to the northeast of Mixnitz. You have to follow a forest path when you reach the forest. The path will get you to the toll house and the entrance gate to the gorge.
The Bear Gorge
The gorge is 1 300 m long. The elevation is as high as 350 meters. Well-maintained tourist pathway goes through it. Safety comes here first. Plenty of wooden ladders, bridges, and handrails will take you through the gorge safely. The entrance to the gorge is impressive. The ladders go straight up to a narrow gorge lined by high cliffs that emerged in the Paleozoic Era. The Bear Gorge emerged as the result the Mixnitzbach River’s long corrosion activity. It feacely sunk into seemingly firm rocky massif. Thousands of years later it made this fascinating and impressive gorge. While in the Bear Gorge we should notice large boulders at the bottom of the gorge, many cascades, and waterfalls. When you take a look above you, there are limestone gorges looming high, and rocky overhands bending above you. When we walk through the gorge we follow a forest path that is steepely ascending. Gradually we reach Zum Guten Hirten cottage. Then we continue up the hill in the northeastern direction following a tourist trail until we reach another cottage. Steirischer Jockl.
Upon arrival at the cottage of Steirischer Jockl, we can take a short break, enjoy beautiful vistas of the surrounding greenery, or just take a look at near wooden church Schüsserlbrunn. When done with refreshing, we can continue in our hike up Hochlantsch mountain. The parh goes mostly through forest in steep terrain. The elevation from the cottage up to the top is about 400 meters. With enough luck we can see local residents – ibex. After difficult climb up, we get out of the forest on open space. There the tourist path is lined with dense mountain pine. Shortly we get on rocky terrain and reach the top of Hochlantsch. Its top at 1 720 meters is easily visible from the large distance, partly due to a large cross . As a reward, you would enjoy beautiful panoramic vistas on the surrounding mountain ranges. We will see a deep valley, and beautiful, picturesque landscape and see silhouettes of countless mountains. The Hochlantsch massif consists of grey limestone of the Devonian era. The limestone is best visible at the northern side of rugged cliff. Its sides go steeply to the bottom of the mountain.
These unusual and charming tourist localities are located in the Grazer Bergland mountains. You would remember them long after you leave them. You will enjoy great vistas at the Bear Gorge - a gigantic creation of inanimate nature, unrestrained energy of water, or at Hochlantsch mountain - a pudgy limestone massif.
Text and photo: Radoslav Biskupič
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