Sunday, 13 March 2016

Winter Walking In Seefeld - Day 3

A Cold Schnapp: The Wildmoosalm and Mösern

11.40 miles / Ascent = 515m / Descent = 442m

And then winter appeared!

At least the winter we had been hoping for did. The snow that had begun falling wetly yesterday had kept falling overnight, and we woke to a new covering of about 15cm. Although it was still rather overcast, a good covering of snow did make it feel more like a proper winter scene, so we needed a suitably wintery walk to go with it.

Seekirchl church, built by Archduke Leopold V in 1629 and completed in
1666, it has an unusual style for the Tyrol and was originally located in
the middle of an artificial lake (the Kreuzsee) which was drained in
1837, and which features an onion-dome tower.

In the first instance we decided to aim for the Wildmoosalm, a mountain restaurant of some local repute. After crossing town via the Seekirchl church, we wound through a few residential streets before entering the woods along a clear track through the trees.

On the track to the Wildmoosalm

Seefeld has a long history of Nordic Skiing, having help Winter Olympics and World Championships on numerous occasions. As we climbed through the woods, information boards beside the track told that story.

There were a few junctions - left turns at some, right at others - but even though we crossed and re-crossed the langlauf trail, the going was clear enough.

Enjoying the snowy conditions

After about an hour through the woods, we reached an open area on the far side of which stood the Wildmoosalm. Because of its proximity to the road and the number of walking and skiing trails leading here, it gets quite busy. Despite a fairly leisurely start to our day, we were just in advance of the crowd - which was good, as it started filling fast soon after we had taken a seat.

I mentioned earlier that the Wildmoosalm carries something of a local celebrity status. This is not for the quality of the refreshments, good as those may be. No, the Wildmoosalm is famous (or infamous) for two reasons: one, it has a Schnapps fountain (from which all visitors are treated to a small glassful on arrival) and two, it has a Strudel trolley complete with police siren and blue flashing light that is paraded at intervals around the establishment.

Schnapps fountain at the Wildmoosalm

It’s all rather fun at first, but the novelty soon wears off and is not aided by the hosts who have the overenthusiastic bonhomie and slightly seedy look of faded cruise-ship entertainers or 1970s DJs.

We went back outside into the snow. Rumour has it that it was the icy underfoot conditions, not the Schnapps, that caused Missy G to hit the deck three times in 20 metres, but we may never truly know.

Anyway, stability regained, we set off for our next objective: Mösern. The route was busy: it’s only about a 30-minute level walk to the carpark, and several hiking groups seemed to be out and about. By-and-large, though, we managed to find some space to ourselves - traffic thins quite a bit once past the road - and a handy bench provided the opportunity for a quick snack.

Lunch stop on the way to Mösern

What was interesting about this section was that we had again been following a stretch of the "Jakobsweg" – the extension of the pilgrimage route to Santiago we came across yesterday and are in the process of exploring. Who knows: maybe one day we’ll pass this way again?

Looking out over the Inn valley

We arrived in Mosern at about a quarter to two, looking for somewhere for a bite to eat. In the centre, opposite the church, was a shop-cum-cafe that offered up Goulash soup and coffee, and the chance of a half-hour rest.

Mösern, with the Höhe Munde behind

The last section back to Seefeld took us into the woods again on a good, clear path. This whole area is good for winter walking: not only is there downhill skiing, but prepared routes, numbered and signposted, for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and walking.

Approaching Seefeld, we took the option leading into town past the ski-jumping area, where a group of youngsters were practicing. Rather them than me!

A quick way to acquire broken limbs!

Back in town, we picked up a few supplies and headed to the hotel for a relax before dinner - another nice menu featuring beef Stroganoff and Tiramisu. We took a last brief walk out afterwards – it had stopped snowing but turned pretty cold. I reckon it'll be icy in the morning.

Seefeld by night

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