Between mountain lakes, romantic alpine landscapes and barren rocky peaks, lies the south-west part of the Hohe Tauern National Park. Following the Lasörling High Altitude Trail, you climb high into the Lasörling Group mountains and hike north of the main ridge. Setting off from the town of Matrei in East Tyrol in Austria, the trail leads past traditional mountain huts where you can tuck into Tyrolean delicacies and enjoy magnificent views as far as the Venediger Group mountain glaciers. In the past, the heights of the Lasörling Group were also covered by glaciers. The moraines which characterise the mountainous landscape here today are evidence of this geographic past.
With more than 13,123 feet (4,000 m) to climb over 40.3 miles (65 km), the trail is a beautiful adventure for fit hikers. You should be able to climb up to 4,921 feet (1,500 m) in one day. As you will hike at alpine heights, surefootedness is a must and there are ropes to help in particularly exposed places. If you are looking for an even greater challenge, you can summit some of the peaks along the way such as the highest peak, the Lasörling, after which the mountains are named. If you choose to climb it, you can spend two nights at the Lasörling Hut and take a whole day to summit.
On each stage, you will have plenty of opportunities to stop for snacks, but make sure to pack some food in your rucksack anyway. In the evening, you can tuck into a hot dinner and enjoy a comfy bed at one of the inns. It’s recommended to book your stay in advance.
As the trail reaches as high as 9,186 feet (2,800 m) above sea level, you can plan this hike from June until September. Outside of the summer, there is usually too much snow on the paths and the huts usually don’t open their doors to hikers until mid-June.
The Lasörling Group is located between the Deferegge Valley and the Virgin Valley in East Tyrol. The mountains are easily accessible from the town of Matrei in the region. You can travel via the East Tyrolean capital, Lienz, which has a train station. For more information on train timetables and connections, visit: vvt.at.
The first half of the first stage on the Lasörling Höhenweg is all about gaining altitude. Sure, for a mountain trail you first have to climb up. You get this big climb right at the beginning. But the rise does not have to be as long as planned here. After the first 900 meters of altitude you can put in an overnight stay on the Zunigalm if you prefer to divide this stage.You can get to Matrei by bus from Lienz. You can take the fast 950X bus or line 951. The timetables are available at vvt.at. Remember that you are looking for Matrei in Osttirol, because there is also a Matrei am Brenner. You can also find a train connection to Lienz via the same link. You can take the 951 line a little further down into the valley to Virgen. From there you can ascend directly to the Zupalseehütte in just over four hours.If you take the bus to East Tyrol and want to start hiking right away, the best thing to do is to get off at the Auerfeld stop. From there you can cross the Isel straight away and start climbing to the Nikolaikirche. Then it goes in many hairpin bends through the Bründlwald up to the Zunigalm, where you can stop and reward yourself for the big climb.From here the stage continues more comfortably. The beautiful Bärensteig leads from the Zunigalm as a path through the forest to the Arnitzalm with its beautiful traditional wooden houses. From here you can climb the Großer Zunig in one lap. On the 2,776 meter high summit, however, there are roughly 1,000 vertical meters. For this purpose, it is also a good idea to spend a night on the Zunigalm.You are already in the area of the tree line and keep stepping out of the trees into open spaces. You follow the shape of the slopes to the west with a leisurely gain in height. The main ridge of the Lasörling group rises to your left. On the right you look down into the beautiful Virgental. You cross the Muritzbach and pass the Lackensee. Between alpine roses you follow the wonderful climb and bypass a valley that opens to the north. This is followed by a final, steep climb to finally leave the tree line behind you. At the beautiful Zupalsee you finally reach the hut of the same name, where you have truly earned an extensive rest.
The second stage through the Lasörling group is the essence of a high-altitude trail: with moderate up and down you hike up beautiful paths through the mountains and enjoy the wonderful view to the main ridge of the Venediger group. Green meadows and gray rocks are spreading around you. As an optional highlight of the hut hike, the climb to Lasörling awaits you at the end of the stage. If you only hike to the Lasörlinghütte, you can deduct three kilometers, 700 vertical meters and thus around two and a half hours from the information. Without a summit at the end, you can expect a very relaxed day today.But first you hike quite comfortably to the rustic Merschenhütte, which is ideal for a lunch break. A path on a slope takes you there without many meters of altitude. A short climb takes you to Merschenhöhe and then just past the highest point of the Gosachkofel.Now all that is missing is a descent of 250 meters and soon the Lasörling hut is in sight. Delicious dishes, warm beds and a wonderful panorama await hungry climbers.For those who want to climb the highest and eponymous mountain peak, I have attached the path from the Lasörlinghütte here. For the ascent you should be free from giddiness and sure-footedness and plan an additional day depending on your condition. The descent through the steep terrain takes another one and a half to two hours.
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On the third stage, the Lasörling Höhenweg pampers you with fantastic views over the Hohe Tauern. To earn this, the route today expects you to climb almost 1,500 meters in altitude. So it's best to start early, then you'll have enough time for breaks.It starts from the hut towards the west and at the first fork right to the north. Through the moraine landscape you climb onto the saddle below the column. On the other hand, it goes steeply downhill to the wonderfully situated Bergerseehütte.Then a gentler piece follows: With the best view, you bypass the Muhskopf. On the quite flat path there are only a few meters of altitude and you can gain strength for the rest of the way. At the end of the panorama trail you hike down to Lasnitzental. If you want to stop off on the way, you can make a detour down to the valley to the Lasnitzenhütte. There and back to the Höhenweg, with two kilometers and around 150 meters of altitude.At the end of the stage, the climb is steep again. A winding path takes you up to the Michltalscharte. From there you descend a bit and walk along the valley head of the Kleinbach valley. Now a final climb is missing. This leads you south past the summit of the Gösleswand. And then you can see your destination soon: Behind the Bödensee is the Neue Reichenberger Hütte, where you can rest your tired legs properly.
Today is the day of the descent and thus also the farewell. The fourth day is the last stage on the Lasörling Höhenweg. You leave the original mountain world through the beautiful Dabertal. Thundering waterfalls sweeten the last kilometers.From the Reichenberger Hütte you head west and begin your descent gently over beautiful mountain meadows. Then it goes steeply down into the Dabertal, the course of which you follow to the northeast. Along the brook you leave more and more vertical meters behind you and, like the mountain water, will soon meet the Isel and thus the Virgental.If you want, you can go a little further down the valley to the Clarahütte and stop there for a last time between picturesque alpine meadows with a view of rock peaks and glacial ice. To reach your milestone, you then hike eastwards down the valley. If you skip the Clarahütte, you save a good half an hour's walk. You can also stop off later on the Islitzeralm.You leisurely descend to the last highlight of your hike: the Umbal Falls. An adventure trail has been set up along the course of the Isel, on which you can learn all sorts of exciting things about the valley and have a breathtaking view of the natural spectacle from viewpoints.Past the Islitzeralm, the valley path finally takes you to Ströden, where your hut hike ends. From here the Postbus line 951 goes back to Matrei, where you started. The same line takes you straight to Lienz and the train station. You can find current timetables at vvt.at.