BRECHHORN AND KREUZJÖCHLSEE: HIKING WITH THE SUMMER LIFTS
Since, as we all know, the early bird catches the worm and the mountain air is still pleasantly fresh despite current daytime highs well over 30°C, we agree to meet punctually at 8:30 AM at the valley station of the Alpenrosenbahn in Westendorf, right in time to catch the first lift up the mountain. Incidentally, with the Guest Card which you automatically receive when you stay at Chalet 149, you pay as much as 5% less on individual lift rides.
The lift carries us up to 1700 m. During the ride, we are already fascinated by the sight of the Kitzbühel and Zillertal Alps. And by hillsides full of gloriously pink rhododendron. We spot our potential destinations the moment we step off the gondola next to Bergrestaurant Talkaser: to our right, the Fleidling and the Brechhorn; to our left, the 2 km-long Alpinolino Himmelsteig, a trail on which families can set out in search of “Marmota”, which many believed had been lost forever.
We begin our hike and, after a pleasant walk along forestry lanes and forest pathways taking less than one hour, we reach the Kreuzjöchlsee. There, we treat ourselves to a first break along with a great view of the Wilder Kaiser.
TYROLEAN MOUNTAIN HAPPINESS: SNACK WITH VIEWS OF THE HOHE TAUERN AND BRIXENTAL
From the Brechhornhaus, which lies just below the alpine tarn itself, a narrow pathway leads in the direction of our ultimate destination. For the time being, we make our way steadily and quite steeply uphill, through a short patch of forest, before the path then leads us along a ridgeline. The actual summit ascent is nothing to sneeze at either – the final, relatively steep climb definitely demands surefootedness on the part of hikers. But it’s worth the effort. The views from the Brechhorn are overwhelming. For our rest stop on the top, we select a place just below the summit cross. There, we munch on our snacks eye-to-eye with the Grosser Rettenstein and Hohe Tauern range. The Grosser Rettenstein is probably the most striking peak in the Kitzbühel Alps, in a region spanning Tyrol, Salzburger Pinzgau and the Hohe Tauern National Park Holiday Region. The scenery, snacks and mountain air: marvelous, one and all, let me tell you!
Tour facts and figures:
- Starting point: mountain station of Alpenrosenbahn Westendorf, Talkaser
- Elevation gain: ca. 600 vertical meters, distance: ca. 11 km
- Time: 5 hours, difficulty: intermediate
CROWNING CONCLUSION: REFRESHMENT STOP IN WESTENDORF
Honestly, after enjoying an extended break on the summit, it isn’t easy to just pick up and move along. We quickly enter our names in the summit logbook, enjoy a final 360° view, then backtrack via the same route as far as the Brechhornhaus. From there, we follow the forestry lane to the Fleidlingalm, the Talkaser and the mountain terminal of the Alpenrosenbahn. Another option: the Waterfall Path to the mid-station and the Holzwurmweg dropping down to the valley station.
As I said, we decide in favor of the more laid-back option, riding down on the Alpenrosenbahn. Shortly before disembarking, we also catch sight of Chalet 149 Westendorf, which is barely a three-minute walk away and essentially right across from the valley station. We take our rucksacks to the car, then enjoy a stroll through the town center of Westendorf, where we find an outdoor eatery, indulge ourselves in a GIGANTIC Coupe Danmark and review the events of the day.
“The Brechhorn – elevation 2032 meters – is one of the most popular hiking destinations near Westendorf.” A fact I am happy to confirm personally. #word ;-)