As they say, ‘the early bird catches the worm’ and so we (that is to say Robert, Klaus, Sonja and Anita) set off at 8.30 a.m. and get onto the Glungezerbahn in Tulfes looking a little bleary-eyed. Our destination for today: The Blue Lakes Glungezer at the Tux Alps.
Our ascent on two chairlifts is the ultimate in deceleration: they’re so slow that you have the feeling you have to get out and push (!). On the other hand, it gives us plenty of time to take in the marvellous view of the Inn Valley and Karwendel Mountains. From Tulfein Alm it takes us about one and a half hours to hike along the summer path (eastern slope) to the top of Mount Glungezer. At an altitude of 2,677 metres (8,782 ft.), the panorama takes our breath away!
Robert is itching to move on, so we head towards the ridge, via Gamslahner Spitz’ and on to Kreuzjöchl from where we clamber down over the rocks (and there are a lot of rocks) to the Blue Lakes (Blaue Seen ). The descent takes us about half an hour. A flock of sheep give us some strange looks on the way down. They don’t get to see many people up here. In fact the last persons we saw were at the summit.
All of a sudden we can see the four lakes from above. They’re called ‘Blue Lakes’ but actually look emerald green in the autumn light. One thing is certain: they look very inviting – perfect for a quick alpine dip at 2,240 metres (7,350 ft.).
After all, it’s still lovely and warm up here at 25°C (77°F). We’ve been on the go for two and a half hours so it’s high time for our well-earned mountain picnic. Our legs are aching – walking over slate slabs is no easy undertaking, but we’re actually quite proud of our little adventure.
We tuck into a hearty meal of speck, salami, mountain cheese and farmer’s bread, washed down by fresh fruit juice and a slug of stone pine schnapps. Ah, this is the good life. The view over the lakes in the direction of the Karwendel Mountains is mind-boggling; the clouds are reflected in the water; there is a wonderful silence and calm; surrounded by a sea of thistles, the only sound is that of ravens flying above. Not a soul in sight – amazing for the fact that it’s one of the most popular days for hiking in the season!
A little farther on, heading towards Zirbenweg, we pass ‘G’schriebener Stoan’. We can make out some ancient-looking characters on the standing stone, but we’re not certain…. We definitely feel full of energy – could it be the hearty meal, the brilliant weather, the nice company or the magical powers of the stone? We’ll never know.
A quick glance at our watch tells us we’ve got to get going. We take a shortcut up and back to Glungezer Steig. After about another 200 metres (650 ft.) in elevation gain we’re back on top of the mountain and heading towards Neuner Spitz’ Boden. Then we go down to Zirbenweg from where the going is easy and we quickly make our way to Tulfein mountain station to catch the last lift.
The lift man and six of his mates are good enough to wait for us. Thanks go to the Glungezerbahn and their team! After hiking six and a half hours in all, we wouldn’t have managed the descent into the valley – especially Sonja who’s managed to lose the soles from both her shoes!
What fun! Sonja (un)chained… we end the day with coffee and mouth-watering cake at cosy Larchenhüttl. We’re bound to sleep well tonight!