”The Kühkranz is my Place of Power“
When he needs a break, he goes up to the Kühkranz, says Jörg Zisler. There, the delicatessen proprietor from Weißbach can recharge his batteries and regain his energy. We accompanied him along part of his way.
”For me it is a real place of power up there”, says Jörg and smiles while he gets his touring skis out of the car. We meet the owner of ” Oafach guat“ at the starting point for today's ski tour. Just a few metres above his shop, he has unpacked his equipment and got ready for his tour to the Kühkranz. He will set off straight away to tackle the 1,811 metre high summit of the Kühkranz. “Up there I can really recharge my batteries.” Jörg's blue eyes twinkle and we notice that actually he wants to be on his way already. In just over 2 hours he will be up on the Kühkranz, his power place. “I enjoy the peace most of all. I have a little place there and when I hike up in summer and lie down in the grass, I fall asleep within a minute”, explains Jörg and blinks in the sun. “There are spots on this planet which have something very special, something that you can't really explain. For me, the Kühkranz is such a place.” He can't get enough of the panorama from the summit either, says Jörg. “Although the Kühkranz isn't that high, you have an almost 360 degree panorama – over the alms, the Leoganger Steinberge, the Loferer Steinberge, the Seehorn and the Kammerling Horn. Amazing.”
Different routes lead to the Kühkranz
The sun is high in the cloudless, dark blue winter sky and apart from us there is no one else to be seen, far and wide. Now and again a crow caws. “Yes, relatively few people know this route here”, says Jörg and points with his chin in the direction of the peak. “The Kühkranz is the lower part of the 1,953 m Hochkranz. In summer, it is a relatively easy walk; in winter, on the other hand, the way here, via Pürzlbach, is definitely more demanding”, says Jörg. For a leisurely, easier tour, he recommends the classic tour which leads up to the Kühkranz from the car park at Hintertal via the Weißbachalm and in the direction of the Kallbrunnalm. “You can ski down, depending on the snow cover, into the village, almost directly to my shop”, says Jörg.
”We don't need much. We are happy“
Originally Jörg comes from Zell am See, but he has found his home in the Salzburger Saalachtal and his great love Sandra. “I have known Sandra for nearly 30 years”, says Jörg and grins mischievously. “We got to know each other when we were both working in Lofer as ski instructors. Sandra actually comes from Würzburg. But the Salzburger Saalachtal connects us and the mountains are simply our home.” They wanted to set up camp here. In 2013, as they were returning from Lake Garda and wanted to drive on further to Würzburg, they noticed a crane in Weißbach and their wish became close enough to touch. “Sandra said to me: look, they're building here”, remembers Jörg. “I then phoned the local council straight away to get more information. Yes and that was how everything started.” Jörg says he is often asked why the pair, who have already seen so much of the world, have settled in Weißbach next to the B311. “We searched for a long time for a location for our shop which would suit us perfectly. And we found it here in Weißbah. My motto is bake small bread rolls. We don't need much. We are happy with what we have, and free.” The success proves the pair right. The little gourmet shop in Weißbach is well-visited all year round. And in summer „ Oafoch guat“ regularly turns into a little alpine meeting place.
Positive energy thanks to first class products
Since 2015, Jörg and Sandra, who can both be found in the shop, offer a good selection of products which they produce themselves with real passion and high standards or are purchased on their joint tasting journeys. “Our approach is that people need positive energy”, Jörg explains the philosophy of „ Oafoch guat“. “That's why we purchase all products directly from the producers – we assure ourselves personally that the quality is top class. Around two-thirds of our products come from farmers and producers from the region, such as cheese, jam, bacon or game from St. Martin. We buy beef from a friend of mine around the corner. We source some things from South Tyrol and Italy. And our range of homemade food such as gulasch or our speciality preserves is very well-received.” Jörg used to work as a wine and cheese sommelier. “I run cheese training for universities for future food technologists”, explains Jörg.”It is great when you can demonstrate the sensory differences between handmade and industrial products”.
Always good to come home
For their regular culinary tasting journeys, Jörg and Sandra mount the roof tent on their car and drive to the producers. Just recently they were in Sicily. “It was really beautiful there, Italy is fantastic”, says Jörg, and adds, grinning, “But the best thing of all is when we come back to Weißbach after an inspiring journey and can offer the new products to our guests. We are simply happy here at home.”
Do you want to see the “power place” through Jörg's eyes?