The Furtschaglhaus lies at an altitude of 2,295m and was built in 1889 by the Berlin Section of the German Alpine Association. It can sleep over 120 people in dormitories and bedrooms. Since summer 2015, the Furtschaglhaus has been officially classified as a "Hut with a Heart" by the Mayrhofen-Hippach tourist board. These huts offer particularly warm and welcoming hospitality.
We drove to the Schlegeis Reservoir and parked by the Zamsgatterl Restaurant. Following the wide path next to the reservoir, we took the time to enjoy the view of the imposing dam and the still waters of the reservoir. This is a spectacular sight, whatever the weather, as the water changes colour according to the conditions.
When we arrived at the end of the reservoir, the path became steeper and narrower, as it wound its way up the mountain towards our destination. The total distance to the hut is around 8.2km with a climb of some 540 altitude metres so we planned around 2.5 hours for the hike up.
When we reached halfway, we took a break for a drink and a snack before setting set off again. The weather could have been better but a few rays of sun managed to break through the thick cloud and rain. The higher we walked, the more I realised that it would not be a good idea to go hiking at high altitude in really bad weather and that the right hiking equipment is always a must.
Looking up towards the peaks of the Schönbichler Horn, Furtschaglspitze and Großem Möseler we kept hiking up and reached our destination in a little over 2.5 hours. We received a warm welcome from the landlady Barbara Gratz, who has been running the Furtschaglhaus for over 20 years. After changing into some dry clothes she brought us some warm and comforting pasta soup – just what we needed!
The Furtschaglhaus is the starting point for hikes to the Schönbichler Horn at 3,133m (2.5 hrs), the Großen Möseler 3,478m (4.5 hrs), the Furtschaglspitze 3,190m (3 hrs) and the Großen Greiner 3,201m (2.5 hrs). It also lies along the route of the Berliner High Alpine Path. This path can be followed in either direction and started either at the Gamshütte (Finkenberg) or the Edelhütte (Mayrhofen). Of course, the route can also be shortened by starting at any of the huts along the way. Hikers starting at the Furtschaglhaus can decide whether they want to hike to the Berliner Hütte (towards Mayrhofen) or to the Olperer Hütte (towards Finkenberg).
A trekking package is available to book directly through the Zillertal Alps Nature Park Centre. The package includes overnight stays at the huts, useful information for your tour, Alpine Association maps for the mid and west Ziller Valley, a nature guide as well as vouchers for bus travel.
So, to get back to our hike…. Of course, we took lots of photos in front of the hut before we headed back into the valley.
It was a great girls day out, despite the weather!