The Salzkammergut is perhaps one of the most famous regions in Austria. It is known for its beautiful lakes surrounded by striking mountain peaks. It is a popular destination for nature lovers from all over the world who want to experience this wonderful alpine landscape up close. There is also a lot to discover aside from the well-known hiking routes and mountain tours.
One of these lesser-known routes leads over the Bergwerkskogel (1781 m / 5843 ft above the Adriatic Sea) and a beautiful connecting ridge to the Rettenkogel (1780 m / 5840 ft). The almost 1300 m (4265 ft) of altitude to be overcome make this hike quite a demanding one. However, the effort is rewarded with wonderful views over the Salzkammergut and far beyond.
Starting point is Gasthof zur Wacht in Strobl. From there it goes up on a forest road (hiking trail 891) along the Schöffaubach. The path along the creek is unfortunately impassable in places due to flood damage (as of September 2021). After overcoming the associated challenges, after a little more than 3 km (~5 mi) you choose the turnoff to the Rettenkogel on the left (hiking trail 893) and finally you get to the uncultivated and rather inconspicuous Laufenbergalm (1307 m / 4288 ft)At this point you have already covered 5 km (~8 mi) and it is a good opportunity to take a short break. Then the rather steep path leads through the forest until you finally reach mountain pine terrain. From now on the tour will be even more interesting, as great views open up and the destination of the tour, the Rettenkogel, is finally in sight.
Soon the first point, partially secured with a rope, will be reached. After climbing into the small notch, a scabbed plate has to be overcome, whereby the attached climbing aids make the undertaking much safer and easier (level of difficulty: A). Incidentally, this was the starting point of the Berkwerkskogel-Rettenkogel via ferrata.
On the way to the connecting ridge you finally come to a junction just below the summit of the Bergwerkskogel (1781 m / 5843 ft). A detour here is always worthwhile, especially since you can not only enjoy a great view (e.g. towards Wolfgangsee and Schafberg), but also get an idea of the path along the ridge to the Rettenkogel.
The 30 minute hike over the ridge is just fantastic. There are only a few easy climbing spots to master and the somewhat exposed "Platteneck" is secured with a rope.
Shortly before the summit of the Rettenkogel you will reach the rock formation, which can be seen from afar. Now it is time to climb the last upswing. The fixed rope shows the way up, with plenty of opportunities to find support with your hands and feet.
What a breathtaking view! The 4 hour hike was worth it. The Salzkammergut is at your feet. The view sweeps over the nearby Rinnkogel, the Postalm and the Wolfgangsee to the Schafberg.
The view back to the Bergwerkskogel is no less impressive, especially since the mighty Dachstein glacier rises behind it and dominates the amazing view.
After a well-deserved refreshment, the path leads back to the valley on the other side of the summit. Via several points secured with ropes and ladders, it goes steeply down to the Sonntagskaralm (1100 m / 3609 ft).
Continue on hiking trail 891 to the junction on hiking trail 893, which was chosen a few hours earlier during the ascent. From now on, the well-known path along the Schöffaubach leads back to the starting point of the tour. All in all a challenging but also a rewarding tour!
Tour Facts (Tracked with Bergfex Tours):
Distance: 14,4 km (~ 8.7 mi)
Duration: 05:30 h (without breaks)
Ascent altitude: 1272 m (4173 ft)