Pinnisalm Valley

Pinnisalm Valley

Route: Pinnisalm Valley

Area: Austria, Stubai Valley, Tyrol

Date of walk: 7th September 2023

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 6.0 miles

Ascent: none (descent 2,700 feet)

Weather: Sunny, cloudless and very hot 

It’s been 8 years since our last walking holiday in Austria, and it was was wonderful to be back among its spectacular Alpine scenery. Our base for this holiday was the village of Milders in the Stubai Valley. Using our Stubai Super Card for the first time we caught the local bus to the nearby village of Neustift and from there (using the same travel card) we took the cable car to the top of the Elferbahn. Fifteen minutes later, with no effort on our part, we were at an altitude of 1,798 metres, nearly 6,000 feet. The views over the Stubai Valley from here were spectacular. This is a popular launching area for paragliders and we watched several of them leap into the void from here

The walk, which was entirely downhill, started from the nearby walk-in sundial, the largest in the Alps, and after walking around it we set off along a gravel track leading into the Pinnisalm Valley. Before long the path narrowed and became steeper and rockier. There were fixed ropes in a couple of places, perhaps useful in wet weather but we didn’t need to use them. The drops to the left were steep at times, but not so as to induce feelings of vertigo

Eventually we arrived at the far point of the walk, the Pinnisalm Hütte, set in a wonderful position with views of the dramatic peaks at the head of the valley. It was a scorching hot day, and an ice cold beer here went down a treat

Suitably refreshed we continued down an easy gravel track to Issenengeralm, where another alpine hütte is pleased to serve hungry or thirsty walkers. The walk may be ended here as it’s possible to call for a taxi back to the start. We decided to continue our descent down the gravel track and back into the village of Neder in the Stubai Valley. The six mile descent was quite a test for my new knee – it’s been six months since the replacement operation and this is the longest walk I’ve undertaken since then. I’m glad to say that it passed the test, though it was a relief when the end came in sight

Our Stubai Super Card proved its worth for the third time, as we used it to catch the bus back to Milders. It had been a great start to the holiday

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