Today, there is more time in the morning than usual, and the sky is cloudless. Nobody keeps me from doing a longer snow shoe walk, as long as my condition permits. My choice is Gutenmann, a very small hamlet of a few houses on a saddle between Grünbach and the Sierning valley (the narrow valley between Puchberg and Ternitz).
On the drive there I cannot resist a very short detour up to the pilgrimage church of Höflein, where you get a wonderful view to Schneeberg. I did not expect that I even woul d get a better view that day.
Hohe Wand from the same point of view.
I park my car about 500 m before Gutenmann and walk the grass to the right up to Hochberg (956 m), one of the multiple bumps on the ridge between Himberg near Puchberg and Gösing near Ternitz.
Fruit trees in winter
The view in direction Ternitz - the prominent escarpment belongs to the Gösing. Behind on the horizon is the Wechsel region.
View over to Hohe Wand, then the hilly area between Grünbach and Höflein, which can be seen in the background. Behind it is Kienberg as part of the Fischau mountains, behind the rest of them and the valley of Neue Welt.
Zooming in to Höflein with the pilgrimage church, Kienberg, Neue Welt.
Now walking steep upwards through forest, only interrupted by some forest roads.
Near the summit a small plateau with a beautiful grassland.
View from the summit of Hochberg.
A glimpse of Hohe Wand between the trees.
On the opposite side Schneeberg.
Now what´s that? In the foreground a large grassland projecting in front of Schneeberg. The view to the mountain should be great from there. Of course I must walk there.
Deeply snown forest.
The grassland keeps to its promise.
From here you can perfectly see the traces of avalanches having gone down the Breite Ries. Still the risk would be to high to do a ski tour there.
St. Elisabeth church and the Schneeberg hotel. The summit station of the rack railway cannot be seen, as it is completly covered with drifted snow.
This is the picture of the web cam mounted on St. Elisabeth church, from March 6th, 9:05 a.m. Click here or into the picture for a live picture of this camera.
Resolution permitting I have cut out this detail. The summit station is in the exact centre of the picture. Only parts of the roof can be seen.
Panoramic view from the grassland between Hochberg and Kienberg. Far left is Gösing, behind on the horizon the Wechsel region. Then the Gahns - massive with Krumbachstein (1.602 m) as the highest, far right Schneeberg, in front between Krumbachstein and Schneeberg Hoher Hengst (1.450 m). Click here or into the picture for a larger version.
Now heading for Kienberg (1.015 m - another one as that shown on the picture above!)
The Wechsel massive in the background
Hohe Wand and Höflein
A short leg steep upwards ...
... and walking the smooth forested ridge
... to Kienberg.
On the descent I have to climb this stile - not quite easy with snow shoes.
Now I walk around Kienberg on its Northern flank, using a forest road. This view goes to Pfennigwiese with the disused gypsum quarry, Dürre Wand behind.
Geländ and Hohe Wand are more to the right now.
Arrived on the eastern side of Kienbergs.
You don´t sink down into the snow with the snow shoes, especially today, when the snow has thawed and refrozen several times and therefore is much more compact.
Back at the grassland
A hunter´s lodge within the forest.
On my way back, I don´t traverse Hochberg once more, but take the marked way around the Southern slopes.
Sun exposed areas are partly snow-free.
I traverse the still a slight bit snow-covered grassland above Gutenmann.
A last glimpse of Schneeberg.
A small bit along the road back to the car - a good opportunity to get boots and snow shoes free of snow. 4 1/2 hours walk through deep snow really can make tired!