Hiking in Austria Day 2: Lofer to Unken

Day 2 of 6.  One of the best aspects of this trip was the “Wandern ohne Gepäck,” or hiking without luggage.  Each day when we would walk to a new hotel, we would leave our suitcases at the “old” hotel and then, magically, they would be transported to the new

Day 2 Map, Lofer to (almost) Unken

hotel!  This allowed us to hike with only a backpack and we could arrive at a hotel with our bags (and clean clothes) awaiting us.  So, we packed our luggage and left them at the reception desk of the Salzburger Hof and started our second day of hiking.

We started the day with a stroll through Lofer to the cable car to Loferer Alm.  We arrived at the lift after nine, but we had to wait to the first run until ten.  Once in the enclosed lift, we enjoyed a scenic ascent on a warm day to the first pasture (Alm).  From there, we went on foot up to Haus Gertraud (elevation 1348m).  Here we stopped for a healthy lunch: Wießbier und Apflelstrudel.  🙂  However, with the break (about an hour, mainly because I’m still not accustomed to aggressively flagging down the waitress, as is the custom in Germany/Austria) and the delay from the lift, it was already after noon and we still had quite a ways to go…

The author, having enjoyed a König Ludwig Wießbier at Haus Gertaud

Appropriately fueled for the the trek, we continued our slight ascent through alpine pastures before plunging into the literal “black forest” and the long walk to Unken.  On a

View on the way up to Loferer Alm

paved lumber-road, we descended all those many meters we climbed, which wasn’t too fun on the knees.  Brief interludes of the Schwarzbergklamm kept us entertained, but otherwise, it was a tedious walk.  Nearing Unken, my GPS, a Garmin eTrex 20, froze and unfortunately I was too tired at the time to think to take out the batteries and replace them, so unfortunately my track recording died.  Otherwise, the device was excellent save for this one incident.

A remaining pesky detail remained: we didn’t know where our hotel was 🙂  We thought it was in the center of town… At this point, I was pretty much exhausted and I probably looked as bad as I smelt.  Without a GPS, I was forced to try the old fashion way: asking for directions.  I’m not fluent in German, but I do have my Zertifikat Deutsch, so I asked a helpful looking man sipping his coffee.  Unfortunately, he had a heavy swiss accent, so all I caught was, “I’m a tourist here, … from Switzerland … ask the women.”  Seeing how he pointed in the direction of a young woman behind him, I tried again.  She was from Berlin and the Oracle women were apparently inside.  Wandering inside the nice hotel, I was quickly helped and given detailed instructions and told that I should get a new GPS. 😕 However, as detailed as they were, we were quickly lost without a map.

Fortunately, the information center was still open, we received our map and found our way to the beautiful Landhotel Schütterbad where we showered, ate a wonderful dinner with a very fancy dessert and slept very, very well.

Fancy dessert! Take that Sarah!


  • Date completed: 18.6.12
  • Distance: 24.3km
  • Start Time: 0932
  • Start Elevation: 633m
  • Highest Elevation: 1457m @ 1255
  • End Time: 1800 (or later… GPS went kaputt)
Day 2 Elevation Plot

3 thoughts on “Hiking in Austria Day 2: Lofer to Unken

    1. Day two was the longest day and the one with the highest elevation. Although, the cable car helped on the way up!

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