We start our hike, which will take us almost exclusively downhill, right by the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, the end point of the famous 48 kilometre long Grossglockner High Alpine Road. We descend the “Pasterze Glacier Trail” with its steep hairpin bends, passing the inclined lift of the Gletscherbahn, the use of which would shorten our route a little, down to the edge of the glacier. The effects of climate change are becoming dramatically apparent here!
Where just a few decades ago the landscape was still covered with mighty glacial ice, we continue to descend to Lake Sandersee, which is now almost totally silted up as a result of the constant influx of sediments. At the outflow of Lake Sandersee, the melt water from the Pasterze thunders into the narrow Möllschlucht Gorge in a roaring waterfall. We conquer this spectacular passage by means of the original suspension bridge! We then continue past the “Steinzeichenplatz ” and the “Elisabethfelsen” rock to Lake Margeritzensee. By the way, the rock was named after Empress Elisabeth, who visited the region in 1856 together with the Emperor Franz Josef.
Here we leave the Pasterze Glacier Trail and turn right before we reach the two dams. Crossing a gently descending slope we reach the valley of the Leiter, which is extolled in the anthem of the province of Carinthia. We then continue in the same direction as before to the Trogalm Alpine pasture, where we take the left fork and via several hairpin bends, some of them laid out using natural stone walls, we reach the foot of the Leiter waterfall. Shortly afterwards we cross the Möll Valley and come to the Briccius Chapel and the medicinal spring.
From here we continue to hike along a gently descending Alpine path to the Sattelalpe, where the fresh, home-made food makes it an inviting place to take a break. Shortly after this we come to the spectacular viewing platform, where we can enjoy the glorious views down over Heiligenblut and the mighty Gößnitz waterfall.
We soon come to another fork, and by turning right and taking a small number of steep bends we come to the “Kräuterwandstüberl”, where the National Park Hikers’ Bus also stops, so we can cut the tour short if necessary. However, the original route runs across the “Haritzersteig” path. Keeping on the sunny side of the slope with a slight incline, and finally using the “Old Glockner Road”, our route leads us right into the centre of Heiligenblut.