...and love panoramic routes.
A glorious summer's morning. Today is to be warm, so we pack our bike backpacks bright and early – we want to get a decent ascent behind us before the sun gets too hot. Our destination today is Heinrich-Kiener-Haus on Hochgründeck. This time, I'm just out with friends, but this is a route I regularly travel as a guide with visitors to the area.
My gang for today is Fabi, Susi, Max and Gerald, who as always has his camera with him for a photographic record of our legendary trips. We all share a passion for the mountains – on foot or on our mountain bikes.
A good breakfast to start the day
We meet early in the centre of Flachau, where Gerald is treating us to croissants and coffee to go from the bakery.
Properly fuelled, we then set off. From Flachau, the route leads out of the valley along Flachauer Straße to the roundabout and along the cycle path towards Wagrain. In Moos, we turn onto Öbristweg. A tough ascent past Lackenkapelle chapel follows, and we are very glad that it's still not too hot. After a break for a drink, we continue over Ginausattel up to Heinrich-Kiener-Haus, idyllically situated at an altitude of around 1800 m.
We park our mountain bikes and continue on foot, because a little further up the hillside is St. Vinzenz Friedenskircherl. Picturesque doesn't begin to describe it. This lovely little timber chapel is at one with its beautiful surroundings – it is even turning me into a romantic.
A few minutes' walk later and we reach the summit cross of the 1827 m Hochgründeck. The climb has been more than worth it, and the view is simply magnificent.
After a while, our stomachs start to rumble and we head back to Heinrich-Kiener-Haus and find a table on the terrace. It's now time for the obligatory weissbier.
Shortly after midday, we head back down to Ginausattel and then down the valley to Eben through Blümeckwald forest. Sadly, we don't have our swimsuits with us this time – a jump in the cold water would have been wonderful. Instead, we opt for coasting at a leisurely pace along the cycle path back to Flachau. Not a bad option either, at least not for our aching calves.
That evening, Gerald sends us some great photos that show just what an amazing trip we had.
Lots of great memories remain.
If you would like to go on a ride like the one to Hochgründeck with other mountain bikers and a guide, trips can be booked through the "Flachau Erlebnisshop" shop.