Nordkette Wetterleuchten Festival over Innsbruck

The Nordkette Wetterleuchten Festival is a cosy open air on Seegrube (1905 m) over Innsbruck. You get two days of electronic sounds, served with THE VIEW, down to city and far into the Alps at night. A truly amazing experience!

This year’s Alps Festival Wetterleuchten has been stunning! The weather was stable and actually perfect, with true Wetterleuchten – thunderstorms seen from the distance – over other regions of the Alps.

Overlooking the festivities of the Nordkette Wetterleuchten Eletronic Music Festival over Innsbruck, Austria
Overlooking the festivities of the Nordkette Wetterleuchten Eletronic Music Festival over Innsbruck, Austria

There have been two tents with great, bassy electronic beats, in the bigger tent mashed up with some classics from time to time. Sound was great and dancing actually lots of fun! Everywhere you go up there, you find the tents of the people who stay there over-night. A mild night with around 18 °C on 1905 m, pretty warm and comfortable.

Chillout at the campfire
Chillout at the campfire
The big campfire, chill and warm-up while the bass vibrates in ears and body.
The big campfire, chillout and warm-up while the bass vibrates in ears and body.

People are in a good mood, but many decide to take the cable car home before 3 A.M. I sit down at the campfire for a while, get back to dancing and decide to leave with the last cable car at 3 A.M. as well. It takes me another hour to get home, but the walk was worth it. To be continued…

Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 2

Last weeks report was about Stubai Valley, Hiking along the Innvalley and Lake Obernberg. This week is about two touring areas – with plentiful individual tours – the areas of Sellrain Valley and Isar Ursprung Valley. The Photography give you an impression, what kind of nature is waiting for you to get discovered.

Last weekends Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 1 gave a short introduction in possible tours and regions for supreme hiking, before the winter break and this is why Part 2 already follows this weekend. Innsbruck (Part 1 & Part 2) is a great basis to start your journeys. It is very likely that you will still be able to go some rounds in the late autumn, before the winter reaches the lower valleys. In the meanwhile you can enjoy snow covered summits, awesome weather and green meadows in contrast to those white tips everywhere.

Valley of Sellrain

The Sellrain offers several valleys which terminate into the main valley. If you go up there to the top, you automatically reach the skiing and summer resort Kühtai.

If you leave the valley earlier into one of the several side valleys you will reach a nearly untouched hiking ground, where you can park your car pretty close to the forest. And mostly you reach deep forests, which open up in higher altitudes, where you can find beautiful Almen and granite rocks in the highest altitudes, close to the summits.

The autumn colors have been stunning and a great contrast to the evergreen (or white) meadows of the Stubai Alps. Those are blueberry bushed and their leaves are all colored in red during fall season.

We had a great tour about four weeks ago in the side valley leaving Gries im Sellrain. My Tyrolean friends have a little hut in the mountains and up there, hidden in the forest, you are nearly alone, when you go out in the plains. And that’s the way I celebrated when we reached the summit.

It’s probably a very nice ski touring ground as well – for all recommended entries, have a look here. Make sure to check on the risks for avalanches and enjoy a secluded mountaineering paradise! More pictures can be found in the attached gallery.


Isar Ursprung Valley in Scharnitz

If you have time and it’s earlier in the season, you could surpass the whole first ring of Karwendel and go a tour from Scharnitz to the Achensee close to Jenbach. It is a three day tour, if you plan with about 10 – 20 km trails per day. You walk by Innsbruck, but it’s hidden on the other side of Karwendel, soutwards of you.

This is the view, when you access the valley, in the back the hiking trail spread out and you have several options for great tours. And the following picture is taken inside of the young Isar. It is a pretty cold river, let this be said.

The Isar springs are in the mountains of this region and this river goes all the way up to Munich and passes Bavaria’s capital, as one of Munich‘s sight, since the Isar Auen are a great place for recreation in summer time, for canoeing and all sorts of paddling sports with little boats. We chose a trail towards the Scharnitz Alm, where you can go all the way into the first high valleys of Karwendel, behind Nordkette and soon reached the first deep forest. A beautiful forest, dense and full colored under the influence of Autumn.

But you still find green spots, hidden in the forest. The ground is covered with moss in many parts, the nostrils are filled with an uncomparable smell of nature, when you make your way upwards.

If you make your way deep inside of this fairywonderland, you become hungry. This is our Jause, we enjoyed with an uncomparable view. We met in total maybe 6 people on our tour, which lasted for about 4 hours.

Here you can see the wonderful October colors in contrast to the reddish grey rocks of the big mountains. The water passing through those mountains, eating itself into the rock, has a light turquois color, it is really pure and cold. You find more images attached in the gallery. With the provided information you have something on hand to plan your trip, you should definitively reconsider this, while you are around between May and Mid of November, depending on the weather.

And when you are on the summits of Nordkette, like the Hafelekar, you have a wonderful look inside of this region as well! These are some views from the Hafelekar and the Hafelekarbahn up to the summit!

Treasures of the forest – Time for Mushrooms

This is a very short guide to collect mushrooms with some of them depicted. If you want to know more please leave a comment and I will add it to this entry.

Summer in the alps is always time for delicacies. You can go hiking and collect a great variety of mushrooms on your way to sweeten up your cuisine. Yesterday I went together with a friend and what we found, was worth around 30 EUR in raw material. If you calculate the dish in a restaurant, you have quite a little luxurious meal.

Tyrolean Alps

Fliegenpilz 01
Amanita Muscaria, the Fliegenpilz, one of the well reknown but toxic guys you will find on your way
A beautiful pair of Cantharellus cibarius (Pfifferling), one of the most desired mushrooms for the kitchen.
Fliegenpilz 02
Another beautiful Amanita Muscaria, maybe one for the guides to collect mushrooms in its full beauty.
Coral mushroom
A black and white take of those beautiful coral mushrooms, which are not enjoyable to eat, taken with my S3 and the red & yellow filter.
Steinpilz 01
A Boletus Edulis (Steinpilz), king of the mushrooms and ingredient in many luxurious meals of high class restaurants.

The time flies by when you combine the outdoor activity with this tasty hobby and all you need is a little knowledge about where to find those beauties. The Boleti are growing close to the dense forest, where the sun can still reach. Mostly accompanied by Amanita muscaria and sometimes, that was my observation, close to ant nests.You will find some of them even in the dense forest on moss rich areas which are humid. The Cantharellus cibarius – Eierschwammerl (German) – are growing in the moss as well, accompanied by myrtillium vaccinum, the blue berry. You have to lift the moss here and there to find them. It’s easier to find them in dense spruce forests, though. There they grow, well to see, on the ground covered with the spruce leaves, when a sufficient humidity is given. You can just walk by and sometimes cut hands full of it at one place. The Amanita muscaria are not to eat of course, but they are colorful and most beautiful!

Netzstieliger Hexenröhrling
The Boletus luridus is a very good mushroom to eat after you cooked it properly.
Flockenstieliger Hexenröhrling
Boletus erythropus is another representative of the Boletus family, and as luridus toxic if you don’t cook it properly.

Boletus luridus and erythropus are toxic Boleti, if they are not cooked properly. Most people don’t take them, but I do. You have to cut and blanch them, before you roast them in butter, then those species are very tasty, spicy and good to eat! They have a very special taste (awesome) and grow in the same habitant as Boletus edulis, sometimes even on meadows in the mountains, where lots of light comes through. Keep updated, since I will present some recipes the upcoming days for Spätzle with mushroom cream, Pizza with Gorgonzola mushroom topping, and Carpaccio of Boletus edulis.

An entry for toxic mushrooms can be found on the Homepage of the Klinikum Rechts der Isar in Munich (German).

Spring Break Tour 4: Back to CALI’s shore, Mojave and Sequoia Ntl Forest

This is a pure Roadtrip, getting back marvellous Las Vegas to shore of CALI. It’s great to witness the diversity and change of the countryside on just 100 miles in diameter. You will see desert without a droplet of water, to mountain lakes and forest. The only thing I misses were giant redwoods, I assumed to find them, since you pass the Sequoia National Forest. But they seem to be more in the region of the National Park, which I decided to leave out.

Now we talk roadtrip! The distances are huge in California and Nevada and so is my way back to Cali’s shore, where I booked a shabby Motel room for the night in a place called Santa Maria. Just read up somewhere that it’s the best entrance to the stunning, breathtaking beauty of the Pacific’s coastline along PCH-1. I leave I-15 at JCT 395, it leads me direct into the Mojave, California’s huge desert in the east. It seems endless and I just cruise, 80 mp/h shows my tacho, it seems like 30 km/h, the mountains pass by so slowly and the hours pass as if it were minutes, like in a beautiful dream. There is basically nothing, some civilized spots every 30 – 40 miles, some big solar energy power plants, albeit from that just sand, dryland, some dried bushes, some cactaceae, mountains, blue sky and some clouds. It’s a beauty for itself.

After some time, I decide not to stop anymore to take pictures, but to take them while riding the car out of the front window with my phone… Works great – and snap – just after I start, I am pulled over by the cops. They don’t issue a ticket, lucky me, but they fine the rental company for not having the insurance papers on the car. Hope ALAMO won’t charge me for that, since it is their mistake after all… It’s a strange feeling to be stopped by an American cop in the middle of nowhere and he has always his hand at the gun, man.

The way leads into the mountains and the Mojave ends abruptly. The mountains become more and more green over here. The region I enter now is called the Sequoia National Forest.

I come along Lake Isabella, which is beautiful and the mountains get higher and the streets narrow and become steeper. The countryside looks just as out of a Western movie, totally transformed from desert now to plenty of farms, with huge stones and creeks in between, it’s like in a movie and I have the certain feeling, that the dudes who produced Rockstar’s Game Red Dead Redemption must have lived here or at least must have hung out a lot in the plains.

It starts to dawn and the sun hides behind the mountains quickly. I push the gas since I don’t want to ride this street at nighttime, the Americans go crazy in regard to speed over here, same like we would do in the alps. I just make it out of the mountains in the last light and what I see surprises me. I find a countryside totally similar to what I have seen travelling Italy and the Tuscany region. They grow their wine over here, those are wine yards for sure, and I don’t wonder about that at all. There was sun the whole time, the grapes will have the water from the mountains on the western side, since all the water from the Pacific goes down here – in contrast the east side of those mountains is arid as hell, the Mojave desert starts over there. It’s a great trip and seeing how drastically nature changes on maybe 100 miles diameter is impressive, too.

At 10:30 p.m. I finally reach my Motel, room is OK, not more not less. Anyways just a place to sleep and since my credit card won’t work anymore and I don’t have too many cash left, I decide to not book for Santa Cruz and just travel there and see what’s going on the next day…