Planning your hike made easy
With over 1,000 kilometers of hiking trails at three difficulty levels, you are sure to find the right tour for you. To help you choose a route and be well-prepared for the Ziller Valley mountains, we have put together the most important tips when planning your hike.
1) Ask the right questions
Before you get started, you need to choose a suitable route. For inspiration and tips check out the Mayrhofen Website under the heading Hiking.
I also highly recommend you check out the interactive map, which offers the best overview of hikes and tours in the Ziller Valley. You can filter the selection according to difficulty level, type of hike or distance.
When you find an interesting route, you need to look into the logistics by asking these questions:
- Is the tour suitable for the hiking ability and level of fitness of everyone in the group?
- How long will the tour take, bearing in mind the distance and altitude metres of ascent and descent?
- How will I get to and from the start/ finish? (By car, cable car, bus etc)
As an example, I choose the tour "Au-Sundergrund" (Mitterjoch). It will take an estimated five hours to cover the 1,390 altitude metres and 12.1 kilometres. Just right for my level of fitness.
The start is 15.3 kilometres away from Mayrhofen. It will take me around 23 minutes to reach the Alpengasthof In der Au where I can also park my car.
TOP TIP: The hiking routes in the Ziller Valley are colour coded: blue is easy, red is intermediate and black is difficult. These colours are marked on the yellow signposts along the hiking trails.
2) Find out about any difficult sections
Once you have chosen a route then you need to find out detailed information about it. To make sure you are not unprepared and don’t get a nasty surprise during your hike, you need to find out about any difficult sections of the tour. Do this by asking the following questions:
- What is the terrain like along the route?
- How steep is it?
- What conditions can I expect during the tour? (this is especially important when hiking in the Alps)
- Where are the difficult sections and how can I conquer them safely?
- What weather conditions are required to do this tour?
My chosen route climbs steadily for the first half of the tour. Then it gets suddenly steeper until it reaches a plateau. I found out this information by looking at the contour lines on the interactive map.
This means that I will only get to the difficult sections after quite a long hike. The description mentions that I should watch out for steep scarps and loose boulders. When it comes to the weather I would never take a risk in the Ziller Valley. The forecast must be good for a five hour tour.
3) Rest stops and refreshments
During a longer tour, it is important to eat and drink enough. Either you need to plan stops at mountain huts along the way or you need to take your own provisions with you.
The best mountain snacks include:
- Complex carbohydrates e.g. wholemeal bread with cheese or lean meat, pasta salad with wholegrain pasta and some meat or fish, boiled eggs or homemade fruit cake.
- Snacks like nuts, fruit and vegetables, muesli bars or dried fruit.
- Plenty of fluids such as water or diluted fruit juice.
You should avoid foods which are fatty or have a very high sugar content, both of which can make you feel sluggish.
My tour will take me past several mountain huts like the Rachhüttenalm and the Kainzenhüttenalm. I definitely plan to stop on my way back.
TOP TIP: Emergency rations, such as a muesli bar and water, should always be kept in your rucksack.
4) Check the weather
Start checking the weather forecast some days in advance. You can find up-to-date weather forecasts on the Mayrhofen website and mobile app. The ZAMG website is also very good for planning hikes as it includes special forecasts for mountain weather.
5) Equipment checklist
In the mountains you will find gravel and stone paths, routes through meadows and forests and steep climbs. Also, the weather can change in an instant. For these reasons, hiking in the Ziller Valley is only fun with the right equipment. Hiking boots should be ankle-high and robust. To avoid blisters, make sure you break in new boots before a longer tour. Wearing proper socks is also very important.
When it comes to clothing I recommend the so-called "onion principle". Wear multiple layers that you can take off or put on depending on the weather or the amount you sweat.
Here is my personal equipment checklist for you:
Reach the summit with the right equipment
- Lighter or matches
- Fleece or jumper
- Mobile phone or radio
- Drinks and snacks
- Hiking map
- Rubbish bag
- Waterproof clothing
- Sun cream
- Bandages (plasters)
- Hiking sticks