Nestled between the mighty rock faces of the Loferer and Leogang mountains in Austria, lies the picturesque Pillersee Valley. Surrounded by the Kitzbuhel Alps, the emerald-green Pillersee Lake is a wonderful place to take a rest after a long day hiking. The long-distance hiking trail WaiWi – from Waidring to Wildseeloder – takes you to the most stunning corners in the Pillersee Valley where you can forget everyday life.
This Collection guides you along the WaiWi from Waidring municipality on the valley floor up to Wildseeloder Mountain in three stages. As it is relatively short, this route makes for a great long weekend in the mountains and gives a taste of long-distance hiking without needing extensive trekking equipment. You should, however, have a good fitness level and surefootedness for this trail. On the first and most demanding stage, you hike 13 miles (22 km) and climb 3,600 feet (1,100 m). I’ve included details of an alternative, easier route too.
The WaiWi takes you through varied landscapes. You’ll hike to impressive vantage points, through mountain pastures and to glistening lakes. Along the way, there are extraordinary highlights such as the Jacob's Cross on the Buchensteinwand, the world's largest summit cross, and Wildseeloder Lake. You will spend the first night in St. Jakob in Haus, which has a good range of accommodation. The second stage takes you up into the wonderful mountains around Wildseeloder Lake where you will find the rustic Wildseeloder Hut, your second night’s accommodation, on the lakeshore. Before you hike back to the valley on the third day, you climb the 6,948-feet (2,118-m) summit of the Wildseeloder. The final stretch takes you to the Wildalm and Lauchsee Lake before arriving at your destination, the town of Fieberbrunn.
The three stages of the WaWi are easy to walk and you don't need any special hiking knowledge. We do, however, recommend wearing sturdy shoes and bringing sufficient stamina with you, especially for the first stage. Although, you can opt for an easier version here instead: komoot.de/tour/163142105. Look out for the checkpoints along the way to collect stamps for the hiking badge. After completing the trail, you can pick up your badge from the information centre in Fieberbrunn or at the Alte Post Hotel.
The second stage starts in St. Jakob in Haus and brings you to the Buchensteinwand at the beginning of the day. You walk steadily uphill on quiet forest paths and reach the impressive 30 meter high Jakobskreuz. The viewpoints of the walkable cross extend in four directions and allow an unrestricted panorama. There are always exhibitions in the rooms and in the neighboring Alpengasthof Buchensteinwand you can fortify yourself for the rest of the route.
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