9.8.2010 - Ascending Reitereck (2.792 m) from Kramerhuette on Maltaberg (1.604 m)

After yesterday´s strenuous walk the family demands a day´s rest in the wellness area - and after yesterday´s resting day I demand a long walk. So, we negotiate for me the permit for an ascent of Reitereck. This summit has the advantage that you can drive up rather high, decreasing an ascent of 1.900 m down to "only" 1.200 m still enough. So I drive down from Katschberg into the Lieser valley to Gmuend and then up the Malta valley to the village of Malta, where the ascent starts to Maltaberg - on a narrow, but well asphalted road up a sunny slope with numerous mountain farms, the last two of which have been changed to mountain inns or huts - Leonhardhuette and Kramerhuette. I park my car near the latter and start my walk, through a lovely high dale named "In the Faschaun", then over grassy pastures of the "Maltinger Alpl" to the Ochsenhuette ("Oxen hut) ans finally up steep grassy slopes to a saddle and up to the summit.

Half way up to Kramer hut. Morning mist in the valley

View to Reisseck mountain group

Partial panorama of the area called "Maltaberg".

Entering now the dale named Faschaun.

Small areras of forest still ...

 ... and over mountain pastures.

Wandspitze in the background

Rosebay willowherb along the gravel road

Rosebay Willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium)

 ... and ...

 ... in backlight now.

Malta valley a bit farer away now.

View up to Faschaunereck (2.614 m), the rocky neighbour of the Reitereck.

The branch of the route to Faschaunereck.

Persistent fog over the Malta valley.

The summits of the Reisseck group in the fog, ...

 ... still wrapping the Faschaunereck too.

A small, nameless hut

Here you should get a first glimpse to Reitereck  ...

 ... however ths summit is in clouds.

Cattle on the pasture.

Inside the basin of the Maltinger Alpl.

Malta dale far away now.

Yellow mountain saxifrage (Fetthennen - Steinbrech, Saxifraga aizoides) the German name is "beck - saxifrage - living up to its name.

Reitereck still wrapped in mist.

Ochsenhuette ("Oxen hut" - 2.195 m) - half term ascent now.

The hut is living up to its name.

Enhanced by the manure of the cattle, thousands of Alpen - Kratzdistel (a thistle species - Cirsium spinosissimum) have grown here during the last decades or centuries.

A pretty view.

Oxen hut deep down yet ...

Huge boulders inhibit the walk - for a short while I have lost the path, but orientation is easy - just follow the steep slope up to the saddle.

Back to the path, with the view to the saddle

Mist is also swirling around Stubeck (2.370 m).

Far right is Faschaunereck Malta valley deep down.

The saddle in about 2.530 m altitude.

View through the swirling mist to Kareck, where I have been the day before yesterday.

The summit now free of mist.

View to Wandeck. The ridge is very sharp and jagged, the path along it has some very exposed ferrata passages. I don´t fancy that for today.

Panoramic view over Maltinger Alpl, with the Malta valley in the deep. Click here or inside the picture for a larger version.

A small cloud to the right just in front of the Katschberg saddle.

Standing and looking over to Wandeck - suddenly (fortunately, the camera is ready!), a young Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) noiselessly glides over the saddle ...

 ... looking for booty. However - the characteristic warning pipe signal of the marmots is heard immediately.

It draws a semicercle around Reitereck ...

 ... and disappears behind Faschaunereck.

Another view to Kareck, ...

 ... Wandeck is free now.

The summit closer now, and the sun has come out.

Shortly beneath the summit, at an altitude of about 2.700 m, there is spring/early summer even in August.

Blue Monkshood (Aconitum napellus) and Alpine Forget - me not (Myosotis alpestris)

Flachblatt - Steinbrech ("Flat leaved saxifrage" - Saxifraga muscoides)

Another view to Wandeck.

Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus). Its gray-brown plumage gives a perfect camouflage.

The summit of Reiterecks (2.792 m), with the view down to the Malta valley. Nearly 2.000 m of height difference - a view like that out of an aeroplane.

View along the ridge to Faschaunereck.

The neighbouring summit, Elendspitze (2.782 m), shows for a short moment out of the mist. Sadly, no view to Hochalmspitze (3.360 m) today.

The only other walkers I meet today is this German family.

Mist on the ridge to Faschaunereck

Der Gipfelsieger.

On the descent, once more I admire the flora. Peduculated mouse ear (Cerastium pedunculatum)

Moss - saxifrage (Saxifraga bryoides)

Once more Flachblatt - Steinbrech ("Flat leaved saxifrage" - Saxifraga muscoides)

Unbelievably rich flora at an altitude of 2.700 m.

"Alpine thrift" - Alpen - Grasnelken (Armeria alpina)

From the ridge there even is a view to Dachstein (2.995 m), highest mountain of Styria - a view over three Austrian states ("Bundeslaender"): Carinthia in the foreground, Salzburg (Lungau) behind, and Styria (Dachstein) in the background.

Mountain meadows on the saddle, with the view to Wandeck, behind to its left is Aineck.

A short side-ridge to the Poella valley, with Girlitzspitze (2.468 m) to the right.

Scheuchzer´s bellflowers (Campanula scheuchzeri) and Blue Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)

340 degree panoramic picture from the saddle between Wandeck and Reitereck. Click here or inside the picture for a larger version.


Once more, I cross the zone of the Alpen - Kratzdistel (a thistle species - Cirsium spinosissimum)

Scheuchzer´s bellflowers (Campanula scheuchzeri)

View over Maltinger Alpl to Stubeck (2.370 m)


View down into the Malta valley

Back at the Oxen hut. Half term descent now.

A dark - clouded yellow (Colias crocea).

View back: Wandeck once more wrapped in mist.

In der Faschaun

The last bit of the route through the forest, with huge, old larch trees.

Leonard hut high over the Malta valley.

The "beard of Jove" (Jovibarba hirta)

Dwarf gentian (Gentianella species)

Common Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

After more than 8 hour´s walk I return to the car, before my departure I sit down at the Kramerhuette for some apple juice and apple strudel.