Hintertux triathlon

July has come and it’s the traditional time for a ski trip. This year I decied discover the Zillertal valley from a side other than just skiing.

On the first day I decided to HIKE in the mountains, which hasn’t happened for years. The starting point was the Schlegeisspeicher – an artificial water reservoir, situated somewhat “in the back” of the Hintertux resort (you can even see one of the lifts from below).


 
The road to the lake, which starts in Mayrhofen, costs 12.50 € in the section from Ginzling, and although it leads through spectacular, narrow tunnels, it is not THAT spectacular – there are many nicer and cheaper (or free) roads in the Alps.


 
Several hiking routes starts from the lake. I climbed up to the Olpererhütte. The trail offers beautiful views and they get more and more beautiful the higher we go.


 
Olpererhütte offers great food and a place for Instagramers… 😛


 
Then you can hike towards Italy and the Pfitscher Joch Pass. The trail goes at an altitude of 2,300 – 2,400 meters above sea level, so the views are stunning and there are no crowds. It is a bit more severe, sometimes even ominously, there is still snow in places, but on the other hand you can meet, for example, a nice sheep or a marmot.


 
The trail is rather easy and well-marked, so as long as you take  the effort co climb up there,  you can enjoy an interesting, less traveled path.


 
You do not have to hike as far as to the Italian border – you can take off on the way and go down to the valley, among the murmuring streams, mountain pine and alpine flowers.

 

The second day of my visit to Austria was devoted entirely to skiing. There was just a weather window and the sun was shining all day, although with little clouds and no great heat.


 
It was already quite warm and in some places the glacier was already showing through the snow, but so far the conditions were still perfect, and all the “summer” slopes were open. I was skiing until my legs were on fire and didn’t take many pictures (I had been there so many times, I could ski blindfolded).


 
The afternoon was the best – the athletes finished their training, and for some recreational skiers the conditions became difficult, so the slopes were empty. Sometimes you could stop halfway down the Tuxer Fernerhaus and see hardly any people in sight.

 

By the way,  I hate the so-called “corduroy”. All these “catalogue” photos of the slopes prepared in a perfect pattern do not turn me on at all. I really like soft, afternoon snow; disorganized and scattered on all sides.

That is why I love skiing after 2 p.m. and that is also why I like skiing in summer, when skiing is not about easy curves, but an intensive work and constantly choosing the place for the next turn.

The third day of Austrian adventures was devoted to an e-bike ride. The morning was no promising because it was raining. However, I patiently waited until noon and as soon as it started to clear up I checked in at the Penkenbahn station in Mayrhofen (as it turned out, on Sunday it is one of the few open rentals). As the rains took few hours away from me (and ONLY for that reason 😉 ) I took the lift straight up, from where I started my trip.


 
I rode around the Penken summit, then went downhill and climbed the Rauhenkopf. Both peaks are about 2,100 m above sea level, and from the latter there is an amazing view of the Zillertal valley.


 
The entire ride is accompanied by stunning views and even the cows seem to contemplate the scenery!


 
The descent to the valley, from 2100 m. to 600 m. was also fun – especially for the brakes on the bike. 🙂

From the “general tourism” point of view, I consider the e-bike a great invention, because  it allows for much greater ranges, especially in difficult mountain terrain. However, do not be fooled by the lightness of the rotation of pedals – it is still a bicycle and it is worth knowing a bit about how to ride it in various conditions.

And that concludes my Hintertux triathlon. 🙂