On steep paths and easy ways to the Schneealpe

The Schneealpe and its highest peek, the Windberg (1903 m / 6243 ft), is a mountain range in the Mürzsteg Alps in the immediate vicinity of Vienna's Hausberge Rax and Schneeberg. The beauty of the extensive high plateau and the proximity to the metropolitan areas of Eastern Austria attract many hikers, especially on weekends.

In contrast to Rax and Schneeberg, there is no cable car or rack railway leading up the mountain. Instead, there is a toll road and countless paths through which the mountain range can be climbed from almost all sides. 

This tour starts on a parking lot in the forest, in the immediate vicinity of the Lurgbauer in Altenberg an der Rax. An early start, before sunrise, is worthwhile. Follow the forest road (hiking route 446) until a somewhat overgrown forest road branches off to the right. This finally leads to the intersection with another forest road. Turn left and walk up this path until, after a striking right-hand bend, a narrow, easily overlooked path branches off to the left into the forest.

The path leads over countless serpentines up the mountain. After crossing two forest roads, the path leads up along the edge of the forest next to a channel. This enables first views towards the Schneealpenhaus and the opposite rock faces.

The sun has already risen over the Rax when the forest clears and it goes up through pine terrain along a ridge. After passing the Lohmstein cave, it is not far until you reach the Lohmstein (1742 m / 5715 ft). Incidentally, the Lohmstein is not a summit, but only the highest point of the steeply south-sloping foothills of the Schauerwand. It is only a few minutes to walk uphill to the highest point of the Schauerwand (~ 1810m / 5938 ft), which is marked with a summit cross.

From here you can see the entire high plateau. If you follow the path marked with pegs, which leads slightly downhill between mountain pines, you will come to the forest road that is marked as hiking trail 401. This is followed by a pleasant walk on the high pleateu along the forest road until finally a hiking trail branches off to the right, in the direction of Windberg.

Once again the path leads along marked stakes over a meadow to a couple of huts at the foot of the Windberg. When you reach the huts, follow the path to the right and follow the path up to the summit of the Windberg in an extensive left bend.

The way up to the Windberg is not very steep. The higher the altitude, the more impressive the view of the plateau and the nearby peaks of Schneeberg and Rax. Now the summit cross of the Windberg is within reach.

Arrived at the summit at an altitude of 1903 m (6243 ft), you can enjoy the magnificent view in all directions. When the weather is nice, you can even see the peaks of the mountains in the Gesäuse National Park in the west.

The path leads back down to the plateau on the other side. Past the Michlbauer hut, follow the path across the meadow to the slightly elevated Schneealpenhaus, which is visible from afar.

Not far from the Schneealpenhaus is the turnoff to the path back to the valley. Over the Blarergraben, countless serpentines lead steeply downwards on a gravel path to the left.

Towards the end of the descent you finally reach the forest road, which leads directly back to the parking lot, the starting point of the tour.

Tour Facts (Tracked with Bergfex Tours):

Distance: 14,4 km (~ 8.7 mi)
Duration: 04:51 h (without breaks)
Ascent altitude1159 m (3802 ft)

Useful links: