Everyone loves the view from our terrace: our guests who spend a week at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat as well as us who live here all year round. Thanks to our location at 1800m, we are surrounded by an impressive mountain scenery, endless sky with constantly changing colours and light. I find it hard to put in words, but every morning when I sit on the terrace, my heart beats louder and not only because of my coffee! A wave of happiness overcomes me, I have to whisper to myself that this place in the Austrian Alps, that I now call home is real.
When asked if I get used to this view, I say no. The three-thousand-metre peaks of the Schober group rise up in front of me like a stage or cinema screen, confusing all my notions of size. Where does the sky begin, above the summits or down there in the valley where the clouds are rising? Which mountain do I love the most? I then look up to the cross of our "house mountain", the Blauspitze and the decision is made..
Blauspitze translates as "blue peak". It lies to the west above Kals am Großglockner in the Gratspitz group of the Hohe Tauern, which has over 300 peaks above 3000m. As familiar as its shape is - the face, the mood of our local mountain seems to be different each day.
When you look at Blauspitze, you naturally want to climb it. In summer, there are various ways to ascend. To me, walking to its top while others are still asleep is like being one step ahead of the world. I like to start early in the morning from Hotel Taurerwirt, below the MoaAlm road. I cross the Kalser stream over a bridge and follow the signpost "Hohes Tor". After the first ascent through the forest, I reach a few hay huts and can look down on Kals am Großglockner.
The path continues steadily uphill through alpine meadows. With every step my body wakes up and it becomes clearer in my head. The sun is just rising over the mountain peaks when I arrive at the Obere Kehrer Alm. The rays of light shine horizontally and bathe the meadows in gold. I go to the spring behind the hut and splash a handful of the cold water on my face.
I climb further up to a saddle, the Hohe Tor. At 2477 m the "high gate" opens up the view to the Großglockner, as well as to the west to the other side of the Granatspitz group. I look back at the path that already lies behind me and I wave to tiny MoaAlm.
Now the signpost "Blauspitze" directs me to a black-marked trail, which leads gently up and down below green-blue rock walls and the summit. The striking colour of these rocks is what gave the blue peak its name. The ridge of the Blauspitze consists of serpentinites, rock that has been transformed by pressure and temperature in the earth's deeper crust before being lifted upwards. "Serpens" is Latin for snake: the texture of these rocks is often snake-like. Walking along these shimmering, beautiful mountain flanks, I am dreaming of my blue-tiled Blauspitz-bathroom!
The path then winds its way in several hairpin bends towards the summit (2575 m). I look forward to sitting down for a few minutes at the cross. Today I am the first one up here. I see the highest mountain of Austria - and the little MoaAlm on its pedestal of meadows and pine trees, with the best view in the world. I have to think of a phrase by the German poet Hilde Domin: "I set the foot upon the air / and it carried." Without the Blauspitze and all the other mountains, I would not have dared to leave my life in Berlin behind and move to Kals.
I take the way back over the "Weisser Knopf" and descend over the slopes of the ski resort. I take a deep breath and try to remember the smell of summer for winter. Before heading home, I treat myself with breakfast at the Glocknerblick mountain restaurant.
Written by Sophie, who decided on top of Blauspitze to become MoaAlm's yoga-teaching manager and hiking guide.
Want to join her on a sunrise hike or simply enjoy the stunning view from the hot tub? Our summer season starts on May 27th. Send us an email for more details.