We’d heard that the Goethe-Weg offers breathtaking outlooks and stunning views of the Karwendel mountains, the Hall-Wattens region, the town of Innsbruck, the Wipptal, Stubaital and Inntal valleys, but we didn’t expect this. We’d done a lot of hiking in the mountains, yet this tour was unique – a truly energising experience. Six of us embarked on the hike with Basil the dog.
We take the Nordkettenbahn from Innsbruck. The sky is a brilliant blue, so not surprising that we’re not the only ones on the go – but only few of us wearing hiking boots and carrying backpacks 😉 We’re quickly whisked up to Hafelekar, from where we take an easterly route and set off on the Goethe-Weg!
We have to stop, again and again, to take in the magnificent panorama. We can’t get enough of the amazing bird’s eye view.
After about half an hour, the path changes over to the north side of the Karwendel range and we get a completely different outlook: one jagged rocky-grey Karwendel peak after another.
Rugged mountains against a crystal blue sky, the lush green of dwarf pines and meadows below … we couldn’t have painted a more beautiful picture, and Goethe himself couldn’t have put in better words.
It’s very tempting to linger and stand in awe, but alas we know we’ve still got a long way to go. However, new breathtaking views await us behind every bend, every ascent and every scree slope!
This is our final climb up to Mandlscharte. From the top we can see the green alpine pastures of the Pfeis area, jagged Arzlerscharte, Innsbruck and, on the north side, towering Rumerspitze with its magnificent west ridge. After the short descent from the wind gap (scharte), we take a well-earned break in the green pastures of the Pfeis. Recharge our batteries, rest and wonder…
From here we could hike down to Pfeishütte in 40 minutes, but we prefer to watch and admire the mountaineers as they conquer the giddy heights of Rumerspitze’s west ridge.
Above the Pfeis, we traverse the northern flank of Rumerspitze…
… for about 40 minutes until we reach Kreuzjöchl. This is the peak we’ve set ourselves for the day. What a view!
Then we climb down from Kreuzjöchl: first down a scree slope, and then along a steep track between dwarf pines which leads to Vintlalm. It takes us just three quarters of an hour to reach Toni at Vintlalm.
We’re dying for a big glass of apple juice. Toni hurries off to get our drinks. And, although we’re not at all hungry, we even find space for a piece of homemade plum pie!
It’s a shame to leave Vintlalm, the outlook from up here is simply amazing…. but storm clouds are gathering in the west, so we make our way down the mountain via Thaurer Alm to Thaur as fast as our weary legs can carry us.
A splendid day in the mountains comes to a close and we’re all back in the valley safe and sound. Goethe couldn’t have put it any better when he wrote:
‘The mountains are mute masters who make for silent pupils.’
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer, 1749-1832)