If you have trekked the Berliner High Alpine Path (Berliner Höhenweg) before, then you will know that this slogan exactly describes the experience. The high alpine path leads across the main ridge of the Alps, from hut to hut in eight stages. During this tour, my wife Elke and I faced many challenges, but were also richly rewarded with amazing views of the high Alps. What is more, thanks to the trekking package offered by the High Alpine Nature Park, our tour was quickly booked and very well-organised.
I first came across the Berliner High Alpine Path a few years ago in an article in the Alpine Association magazine "Panorama". Last summer, we finally got around to hiking the route. Whereas with other high alpine routes hikers often have to painstakingly put together an itinerary and contact the huts individually, it is much easier to organise a tour on the Berliner High Alpine Path.
The Zillertal Alps High Alpine Nature Park offers a trekking package, basically organising the tour for you. Simply log on to the nature park’s website and fill in a registration form. The nature park team will get in contact with you and reserve all of the huts on your behalf.
They think of everything!
In addition to the overnight stays, including breakfasts and evening meals, the package also includes taxi or bus tickets to and from the start/end of the tour. For example, Elke and I just had to get on a bus from Mayrhofen to start our tour in Finkenberg.
We received our voucher booklet along with a hiking map and other useful information by post. Having this information in advance ensured that we were well prepared for our tour before we even left home.
The tour itself
From Finkenberg, the route led us on an eight day tour in a semi-circle around the High Nature Park from the Gamshütte to the Friesenberghaus, the Furtschaglhaus, the Berliner Hütte, the Greizer Hütte, the Kasseler Hütte and, finally, the Karl-von-Edel Hütte, finishing back in Mayrhofen.
My personal highlight was the fourth day – the crossing from the Furtschaglhaus to the Berliner Hütte. This stage took around 6 hours with a climb to an altitude of 3,000m. The Schönbichler Horn peak (3.134 m) offers a breath-taking 360° panorama. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed spectacular views of the surrounding peaks such as the Großem Möseler and Hochfeiler, the highest mountain in the Zillertal Alps at 3,509m. Only the knowledge that the Berliner Hütte, a listed building and another highlight of the tour, was waiting for us in the valley below could tear us away from this special spot.
Summary: a unique and special holiday
We had so many wonderful experiences from our tour, which we will remember fondly for years to come: for example, the fairytale forest below the Gamshütte, the Kaspressknödelsuppe (cheese dumpling soup) at the Opererhütte and the warm shower at the Kasseler Hütte. However, at the end of the week we were exhausted. Some of the stages were very demanding, the terrain was difficult and full of challenges to overcome. It was sometimes difficult to get a good night’s sleep at the huts and the weather wasn’t always the best. Yet, we would book the trekking package again in an instant for the chance to once again experience the Ziller Valley Alps at their very best.