Bike & Hike to the Dietrichshorn
The mountain calls! For me that isn't just a myth, but a very important and wonderful reality. And when I hear the mountain calling me again, I obey its command. It is really that simple. Thankfully, many of my friends also experience this longing, this yearning. Hiking over lush alpine pastures; celebrating the conquest of a mountain peak together; being able to forget about everything else for once or simply lingering in the here and now: this can only be experienced in the mountains. One of my favourite mountains, which I am always drawn back to, is the Dietrichshorn. Wonderfully situated on the Unkenberger Mähder and right next to the Almenwelt Lofer, it is easily reached and blessed with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains which take the breath away. So today we want to enjoy this view once again in quiet communion with the world; let the sun shine on our faces and fully enjoy the moment. Even so, this is no ordinary hike! We won't start our hike from the valley. No, today we make use of our e-mountain bikes so that the actual ascent can begin right at the foot of the Dietrichshorn. Why? Well, today it's time to „Bike and Hike“ in the Salzburger Saalachtal!
Early in the morning the alarm clock rings. Instead of turning over again and taking up the futile fight against getting up, I jump straight out of bed like a child and can hardly wait to draw the curtains and begin the day. What is different today? Well, we are in the mountains, in Weißach bei Lofer in fact – my wife, one of our best friends and myself of course. We arrived yesterday afternoon to spend a sunny weekend in the Salzburger Saalachtal. We eat our breakfast quickly; head to the bike room where our e-mountain bikes await us and finally we set off.
E-Mountain Bikes, the Latest Trend
To warm up we glide along the Tauern Cycle Path, enjoy the still cool air and repeatedly cast an incredulous glance at the rapids of the Saalach. So this is what a river looks like which is world-famous for its white water and where the world's best kayakers meet to see how they measure up in their sport? There are truly fantastic opportunities in the Salzburger Saalachtal for e-mountain biking. 100 e-bikes to hire; 24 charging stations distributed over the entire region; bike-friendly accommodation; simple bike transport with the cable-car of the Almenwelt Lofer; guided bike tours and most importantly, 280 km of signposted bike trails ensure that everyone – from hobby biker to ambitious athletes – get more than their money's worth.
E-bikes allow even average bikers to reach places in the mountains which were previously only accessible to top athletes.
My thoughts are interrupted as we pass through Lofer and drink a quick coffee before continuing on our way to Unken. A few kilometres further on we turn left and follow the signposts to Unkenberg. The ascent to the Almenwelt begins at Martins Bike Shop, incidentally an e-bike pioneer and mountain bike institution. The distance between the houses becomes greater and greater; lush flower meadows surround the picturesque farmhouses and as we leave the valley further and further behind us the mountain feeling increases. Meanwhile it is already pleasantly warm and the interplay between sun and shade does us good. At the end of the asphalt road we finally bid farewell to civilization and continue to conquer the ascent by way of many zig-zags. Our destination, the Dietrichshorn, comes closer and closer. The unique feature of the e-mountain bikes is that you only need to use as much power as you want – or can. This levels out all fitness and age differences so you can go biking with everyone. A really great idea!
A Breathtaking View
There is a place which I remember fondly from previous hikes to the Dietrichshorn. It reveals itself in all its magnificence once again. We are already quite far up, the Horn in its rugged finery is on the left-hand side within our reach when suddenly the view opens up and the Gföllhörndl and Grubhörndl seem to appear from nowhere. They stand there majestically; silent in their mighty splendour crowning the Almenwelt. So it seems to me at least and I look forward to catching a glimpse of this view every time.
The first climbers are already on the wall of the Horn while a lonely bird of prey flies away above us. Now it is time to change from „Bike“ to „Hike“. After some refreshment as it is already 2 hours since breakfast, we set off on the forest path and hike over rough and smooth terrain while looking forward to reaching the peak. The marked black trail is not too demanding but one place in particular stands out. This spot is well secured so that adults with a reasonable amount of experience and surefootedness will have no problems here particularly as you can secure yourself at anytime if you aren't 100 % sure.
Before we reach the peak there is a short ladder to climb which is also no great problem. Then we are finally at the top, the destination for our tour today. Laughing, we hug each other; enjoy the view and can barely believe our luck. Moments like these are worth more than their weight in gold – they must be experienced and absorbed.
We follow the same path on the way down and reach our bikes quickly. We don't want to return to the valley yet as we require hearty refreshments. We head off into the Almenwelt Lofer for another 15 minutes on the e-mountain bikes to Hannelore and Günther at the Kechtalm. We find a comfortable place on the terrace of this brand new alm hut and let the two hosts spoil us in everyway possible. Food and drink tastes so much more delicious when you have really earned it – that's for sure!