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The Alpine Club

The Alpine Club

Summer has finally stumbled its way in, and it’s time to swap the cobbled streets for the hills, to skip the Albertina for the alpine breeze. Vienna’s Alpine Club gathers together English speakers from in and outside Austria to tackle the trails, the rocks and of course, the mountains. The club is a branch of […]

Protection From Lyme Disease – At Last!

Protection From Lyme Disease – At Last!

In Austria, hiking is serious business. It requires: top rate-hiking gear, a glossary of quaint foods at mountain huts in the applicable regional dialect, and the intricate knowledge of the lifestyle and eating habits of certain blood sucking parasites, like ticks. Ticks might be small, but they have a big impact on public health: Current […]

Discovering the Kingdoms in the Clouds

Discovering the Kingdoms in the Clouds

In these austere times, it’s refreshing to realise that sometimes the most valuable European travel experiences are also the cheapest – such as trekking across the Alps and staying in mountain refuges. These huts stretch in a long chain from Slovenia and Austria in the east to the Maritime Alps of France in the west. […]

’This is Not Heidi Land’

’This is Not Heidi Land’

“Everything that made the mountains charismatic has been largely taken away from us by people from the city,” says Reinhold Messner, as he glares at me from behind an enviably thick fringe of hair, as if I was responsible for this alleged outrage. Messner is known to be an uncomfortable interviewee and today, as he […]

High-Altitude Euphoria

“Four hours,” a German colleague had said. A strapping, beer belly-free 30-something, he clarified: “You’ll need about four hours to reach the Pühringerhütte,” a hikers’ hut nestling above a clear lake at 1,638 metres. Well, it took us over six hours and some copious sweating in the July heat, what with iron ladders to be […]

Notes from Nature: Up, Up and (Not Far) Away

Notes from Nature: Up, Up and (Not Far) Away

Until a few minutes ago, the roar of motorcyclists snaking around the hairpin bends of local roads had echoed about the valley, but after an hour or so of steady hiking, we’ve finally left the traffic noise behind. “When you stop and listen, the silence is incredible,” I say. “It’s loud.” “All I can hear […]

New Perspectives

My son’s first mountain summit! It’s no such thing in reality, but a couple of hundred metres is a heady height for a three year-old. The tens of pinwheel seeds of the sycamore tree that spin around when tossed to the air that we happen across on the way up help keep us amused, as […]

On the Mountain

On the Mountain

I find myself at over 2,500 meters, surrounded by nothing but sky, in one of East Tirol’s most beautiful mountain ranges.  It is at this point, here, in the midst of the Karnischen Alps boardering Eastern Austria and Northern Italy that I find peace. It is the first time in the nine years since I […]

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