Every route has its own history and everyone who travels it makes their own unique memories.
For me, the Stoneman Taurista was a real test of endurance – but what remains are my memories of the striking countryside and the pride I still feel today because I managed to complete the silver Stoneman Taurista.
Kitted out with my Stoneman starter pack, I set off with my friend Anna, a mountain bike enthusiast. Anna has promised me she will take it easy this time. She keeps her promise and we tackle the first stage over Ginausattel to Heinrich-Kiener-Haus, our first checkpoint, at a moderate pace. We fortify ourselves with coffee and apple strudel and pay a visit on foot to the idyllic St. Vinzenz Friedenskircherl chapel and the panoramic summit of Höchgründeck (1827 m), before heading back to Ginausattel and down to Eben through Blümeckwald forest.
Rossbrand and a 360-degree Alpine panorama
It would have been nice to cool off in the lake in Eben, but the Stoneman Taurista still has a considerable challenge in store for us today: an ascent of Rossbrand, including a long section where we need to push. But no matter how much effort it took, the amazing panoramic views from Rossbrand are almost enough to make you forget the hard work. We take a break on the terrace at the Radstädter Hütte hut before setting off again along a flow trail down into the valley towards Mandelberggut.
Day two: the "royal stage"
This time, we start in Mandling. My brother drives us there with our bikes on his bike rack. If you are from out of town, you can arrange a taxi transfer (3000 or +43(0)6457 3000) or plan the trip with an overnight stay in a hut, for example in Radstädter Hütte or in Forstau on Vögeialm alp.
From Forstau, we take a gravel road along the stream into Forstau Winkl before another steep, challenging climb up to Oberhütte am See from Vögeialm alp. I pedal as if in a trance and try my best to keep up with Heli, who is constantly encouraging me on.
Wow, the landscape around the Oberhütte hut with the picturesque mountain lake simply takes your breath away. We enjoy our break in the heart of this spectacular countryside (and of course take a little refreshment).
On days like these, it's hard to resist a dip in the lake!
After our relaxing break at the Oberhütte comes the most challenging part of the entire trip. The crossing of the Tauern mountains including a long section over the highest point (2110 m) where we have to carry our bikes will be a real test. Here, the landscape is wilder and harsher, but also awe-inspiring. Our hard work fades into insignificance in the face of the amazing views. The route takes us through breathtaking surroundings past beautiful little mountain lakes and rocky crags. The view of the Lungauer Kalkspitze, Mosermandl and many other striking Alpine peaks is magnificent. Effort, what effort?
On our way back from Obertauern, we pass the impressive Johannes waterfall. The water plunges over 60 metres into the depths – this is definitely another highlight of the trip.
From Untertauern, it's a leisurely ride along the Taurach cycle path to Altenmarkt before the final challenge for our calf muscles: the ascent towards Winterbauer/Sattelbauer.
We take one last look at Dachstein before hitting the final great trail down to Flachau.
Overjoyed & unforgettable
We can hardly believe it! Overjoyed that we have really done it, we now head to the last stop on our tour – the finish! A beer for finishers and the silver trophy are waiting for us when we arrive. A great goal and an unforgettable experience.