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Ski Touring - Hirzer - Wattental Valley

Up the 2,725-m high Hirzer - Wattental

A popular tour in the Watten valley - first woodland, later flattish mountain pasture and then higher up stunning ski slopes form the main features of this tour. Usually tracked, as very popular with the locals, the Hirzer is not a particularly difficult tour - but an elevation gain of 1,370m should not be taken lightly.

Route description:
Start out at a mountain bar and finish at a mountain bar … that may stir up of malicious rumours about the purpose of the tour, but it would be unworthy to think such thoughts about the Hirzer. The tour stars with a gentle climb just north of the car-park and then winds its way up to the open pastures of the Pofersalm (1,600m).

In some places it is possible to take a short cut through the forest, but the steep incline and the dense woodland reduce any time savings and use up energy unnecessarily. Following the open pastures to the east, the track branches off to the south east just below the Pofersalm, passing a small mountain pasture hut and then continues on through a wide clearing and less compact stone pine forest as far as the Poferer Hochleger (upper pasture). Continuing mainly in an easterly direction through perfect skiing terrain, you gain height, then follow the north-west ridge running from the Sagspitze as far as a secondary peak. Remove your skis and cover the last few metres to the summit on foot. Downhill same as ascent.

TOUR INFORMATION:
Starting point: Gasthof Hanneburger - Wattenberg
Ascent: approx. 3.5 to 4 hours
Elevation gain: approx. 1,370m
Countryside: plenty of views
Fitness level: good
Skiing skills: good
NB: This route crosses a military training ground. Some parts of the route may be closed at certain times.

Ski tourer guidance in the Wattental Valley: New folderSki tourers show care and consideration toward game and forest
Joint campaign Forst - Jagd – Alpenverein (Forestry, Hunting and Alpine Associations) in the Wattental Valley

The Forestry, Hunting and Alpine Associations in the Wattental Valley have collaborated in the launching of an exemplary campaign designed for the protection of nature and wild game. Ski touring is an adventurous type of sport that is practiced at the heart of pristine nature, which is why understanding and consideration for flora and fauna are essential. Relevant information is provided in a new folder compiled by the District Forestry Control Authority in Steinach, State Forest Authority, Austrian Alpine Association and Alpine Association Hall, Hunting Association, Federal Armed Forces TÜPl Walchen-Lizum and the Hall-Wattens tourist region. These institutions have combined their efforts to address the problems related to ski touring in the area of Walchen/ Wattental Valley.In order to avoid disturbing the wild animals and damage to saplings, ski tourers should only use the marked ascent and downhill routes that are respectively identified by signs. Feeding grounds should be given a wide berth.The stone pine and fir tree protective forest in Wattental Valley, between the Stieralm and Melangalm (Lannalm), protects humans and settlements against avalanches, rock-falls and mudflows. At these altitudes, a young tree needs at least 30 years until it can fulfil an effective protection function. Damaged caused to saplings by sharp ski edges can lead to a loss of the protective function provided by the mountainside forest. The touring area around Melang is a habitat for many wild animals, such as chamois, roe deer and red deer, as well as snow grouse, black grouse and wood grouse. The animals restrict their activity to an absolute minimum during winter, which is why they need undisturbed retreats. Disturbed game that is frightened away from the feeding ground can resort to chewing the bark off trees or eating saplings, which causes enormous damage to the protective forest and weakens its function. Fair ski tourers take this into consideration and act appropriately.