Snowshoe hiking in the Schwaberggraben
Erlebnisregion Murtal Verified partner Explorers Choice
Bei der Gamperhütte geht´s vorbeiPhoto: Weges OG, CC BY-SA, Weges OG
An easy, meditative snowshoe tour through the Bretsteingraben in the Murtal adventure region.
The Bretsteingraben in the adventure region Murtal is an untouched valley in the Niedere Tauern. This area offers itself in summer for some beautiful tours - in winter it is the destination of tourers and snowshoe hikers. Apart from alpine farming, hunting is important here, so already at the parking lot one's attention is drawn to the topics of tourism, hunting and wildlife protection by an information board. Especially in winter it is necessary not to disturb the wild animals unnecessarily by entering their retreat areas without thinking. We, as users of nature, should also preserve it and therefore, of course, respect the designated rest areas. The beauty of this hike is the steady ascent, which allows you to get into a good rhythm and thus gives your thoughts free space.
Those who have the necessary knowledge and the appropriate equipment can continue hiking from the Schwabergeralm to the summit of the Kreuzkogel.
When choosing a snowshoe tour, weather, snow and avalanche situation are essential criteria. Basically, the decision of the tour depends on your own experience and basic physical condition. In advance, factors such as weather, avalanche situation report and equipment must be clarified in detail. A clear description of how to prepare for a snowshoe hike can be found in the Rother Snowshoe Guide Styria from page 14 to 20. Even if you have prepared perfectly, you must also take into account the given weather and snow conditions and the physical condition of the day during the hike itself. Thus, there is one important basic rule: please turn around if the hike becomes too strenuous or if the external conditions require it.
Walking times: The indicated walking time is to be understood as a guideline, as it depends on the snow conditions, the terrain and the presence of a trail. The individual condition and the stamina for strenuous trail work also play an important role. Sometimes the duration of the tour can change significantly due to large amounts of new snow, broken slush, soft sulzing snow, etc.
Alpine emergency call:
Mountain rescue emergency number: 140
EU emergency number: 112
Direct link mountain weather Styria:
Tips and hints
Gasthof Beren, Tel.: +43 3576 205, 8763 Bretstein, Bretstein 8/9, www.gasthof-beren.at
Our starting point is the parking lot Bichlerhütte (1), 1224 m. On the forest road we now go through forest area slightly ascending to the Gamperhütte (2), 1339 m, and along the mostly existing tracks to the Schwabergerhütte (3), 1511 m. We leave all the huts on our route, which are closed in winter, to the right and finally enter the forest again. There the course of the path is more easily visible for us and at a fork in the road we keep to the right and in an immediately following S-curve we already reach the open alpine pastures of the Schwabergeralm (4), 1682m. Here the terrain, overgrown with bushes and mountain pines, invites us to hike, keeping a large distance from the steep slopes of this valley basin for safety's sake. On the way back, the varied terrain up to the Schwaberger hut (3) offers us good opportunities to leave our own tracks in the snow. From there we take the ascent route back to the starting point.
Public transportThere is no public transport connection to the starting point of the tour.
General information about public transport to the region: www.verbundlinie.at
Getting thereFrom Judenburg via the B 114 to Möderbrugg and then into the Bretsteingraben (38 km, approx. 45 minutes).
From Trieben an der Pyhrn Autobahn A 9 via B114 direction Judenburg to Möderbrugg and then into the Bretsteingraben (45 km, approx. 50 minutes).
With the car to snowshoe hiking - a few things to watch out for!
Good winter tires are an absolute MUST!Ice scraper, snow broom, de-icer for the door locks and a small shovel belong to the basic equipment.Put snow chains and a tow rope in the car, even if you are not good with them yourself. Helping and knowledgeable hikers are always available on the mountain!Clear the car completely of snow and ice, especially sweep off the roof of the car completely.When parking, make sure you leave room for other motorists.Always park so that the rest of the roadway remains clear for cars, logging trucks, and snow removal vehicles.Find out about the snow situation on the access road or parking facilities before setting off. (hut host, webcams)
ParkingParking lot Bretsteingraben/Bichlerhütte, about 6.5 km after the village of Bretstein.
There are only a few parking spaces available. Especially on weekends you have to be there in time. Attention off the parking lot parking is prohibited and is controlled by the police.
Book recommendation by the author
Sarcletti S., Zienitzer E., (2. Auflage 2018): Schneeschuhführer Steiermark – Vom Dachstein bis zum Steirischen Weinland. Bergverlag Rother GmbH, München, S. 176. Für weitere Infos hier klicken.
Schneeweiß C., (2012): Schneeschuhgehen – Praxiswissen vom Profi zu Ausrüstung, Technik und Sicherheit. Bruckmann Verlag GmbH, München, S.192
Author’s map recommendations
Freytag & Berndt (2017): Wölzer Tauern - Sölktal - Rottenmanner Tauern. WK 203 Wander-, Rad-, Freizeitkarte; 1:50000
Regionale touristische Wanderkarte Pölstal 1:35 000 (erhältlich beim Tourismus am Spielberg und bei vielen Tourismusbetrieben)
Apart from the most necessary equipment, such as snowshoes, poles, etc., we recommend that you bring orientation aids (bus pole, map, GPS), avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. We have taken this checklist from the Rother Snowshoe Guide Styria and summarized it for you, so that it will be helpful for your next snowshoe hike.
SnowshoesTelescopic poles with snow plateWaterproof mountain boots or lined winter mountain bootsBackpack: If the snowshoes have to be carried, a backpack with a lid buckle is necessary.Gloves: waterproof and warmingHeadgearGaiters: If there are no closable leg cuffs on the pants.Pants: Ski pants are rather not recommended, because they are often too warm, but we need waterproof and warming pants.Warming outerwear: Onion layering system, t-shirt, sweater, jacket and winter jacket with hood.Sunglasses: Very important, as snow reflects up to 95% of the light.Creams: Protective measures for the skin are important against both the sun and the cold.Headlamp: In winter it gets dark early, especially in the forest it can often be very dark when dusk begins.Thermos: On cooler days a warming drink is pleasant.Snack or snackFirst aid kit
Other important items of equipment:
Cell phoneTour descriptionMap: For overview a map in scale 1:50 000 of the respective region and a detailed plan of the hikeGPS deviceavalanche transceiver (LVS), shovel and probe
This list and also the safety instructions have been summarized by the authors of the Rother snowshoe guide Styria. You are welcome to use these texts, but we kindly ask you to mention the copyright "Rother Schneeschuhführer Steiermark".
- 4 Waypoints
- 4 Waypoints
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