Sunday 13 March 2016

Winter Walking In Seefeld - Day 5

Plum In The Middle: Leutasch to Seefeld via Buchen

12.10 miles / Ascent = 614m / Descent = 592m

It looked like there had been a bit more snow overnight, and the skies were clearing as we caught the 9.30am bus to Leutasch about 10 minutes down the road.

Leutasch is more of an area than a village, with several mini-villages spread across several miles of the flat valley floor. It makes for interesting exploration, as we would find out over the next few days.

We disembarked at Weidach, one of the more major centres of Leutasch, and first wandered along the main street for a few moments (window shopping outdoor stores) to get our bearings. It’s quite busy, with an outdoor vibe that it quite different to that of Seefeld’s more resort-y feel.

Setting off from Weidach

Having browsed much and bought little, we picked up a wide path heading west beside the Leutascher Ache that eventually led us through or by the sub-villages of Kirchplatzl and Aue. As we walked, we came across signage for the second long-distance path of the holiday we have encountered. 

Sign for the Adlerweg - the Eagle's Way

The Adlerweg (Eagle’s Way) is an alpine route that runs across much of Austria – 413 kilometers and 33 stages in total – and is very high on our to-do list! I have the guidebook on my bookshelf, begging to be used in earnest:

It was a cool morning, and in fact it seemed colder here than in Seefeld although they are at much the same altitude. But the cloud was quite high, and we could see the surrounding summits, some of which soar to over 2500m.

Crossing the Leutascher Ache

From Aue, we picked up a forest trail running a little way up the hillside towards Moos, where nothing much was happening. We stopped for a coffee and sandwich break just beyond, watching Bullfinches as they flitted amongst the trees.

Walking through the Katzenloch valley

Our next objective was Buchen, a small village overlooking the Inn valley, reached by following the beautiful Katzenloch valley.

Wooden huts in the Katzenloch valley

From the end of the valley, the drop into Buchen was steep and slippery, and we were thankful that our Yaktrax Pro’s offered some much needed extra grip. It was time for a break, so we headed for the Ropferstub'm mountain restaurant. Our intention was simply to have coffee, but temptation was put before us in the form of Plum Strudel with Vanilla sauce, and we relented. It was rather naughty, but very nice – still, it was lunchtime, we'd been doing plenty of walking, and the fresh air and exercise had piqued our appetites. Honest!

Looking back to the Ropferstub'm

We left at about a quarter to two, and picked up the path that contoured round to Mösern. The plan had been to hit the road from time to time in case we felt tired, cold, or just ready to get back. But with the conditions this good and our energy recently boosted, we were perfectly happy to carry on. And, once again, the path was a delight.

Winter scenry near Buchen

This time, we barely stopped in Mösern, carrying on through to join the path back to Seefeld. Despite the icier paths and cold of the morning, the ground here was quite a lot more clear of snow - it must be warmer over this side.

Clearer paths on this side of the mountain

We had another coffee break and then trundled the last 45 minutes into town. After a quick top-up shop for groceries, we were back at the hotel and preparing for dinner. Looking outside as we ate, snow was falling again, so we decided to forgo a post-prandial stroll.

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