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Fölzstein (Hochschwab)


Fölzstein (Styria)

Approach: S6 Semmering-Highway, Exit Kapfenberg, B20 to Aflenz, left to Bodenbauer, parking lot at the begin of the gravel road.
Altitude difference:
1200 meters
Walking time: about 6 hours
Difficulty: easy, except one steep route section at the ascent (ladders and catwalks), not marked trails (orientation).


   Equipment:  Profile:




 - Large drinking water reserves
Hiking sticks

Maybe a small rope for not so good hikers in the group

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Fölzstein is a very popular mountain top of the local people. The normal route is from Fölzbachtal  (Fölzklamm) up to Fölzalm (1484m) and from there unmarked to Windscharte (pass), Fölzkogel and Fölzstein. If you want, you can descent from Fölzstein at another route via Waschenriegel and Zerbeneck (written "Zirbeneck" in many maps) down to the Mitterbachgraben-valley and from there again back to Fölzbachtal.

Because of a tip of the father of a friend of me, we wanted to try a different route up to Fölzstein. The start of this tour is the Karlschütt (850m) - a with gravel filled river bed. From the parking lot at Karlschütt (begin of the gravel road to Bodenbauer) you have to follow  the river bed until you see on your right side a large, painted stone. Short after the stone, a small path is leading you into a narrow, small side valley. Very soon the path is getting steeper and some steep and narrow parts of the trail are secured with wooden ladders and catwalks. After that, the path is sometimes very difficult to find, but you can't go wrong. Just follow the steep, grassy ridge up to Zerbeneck. At the way to Waschenriegel you meet a larger path coming from Fölzklamm. After one hour you reach the summit of Fölzstein, from where you have a beautiful view to the south.

From Fölzstein (1946m) you have to go through the plateau to the Northeast, to Fölzkogel (2022m) and from there you descent to Windscharte (pass). On the left side you see 300m below you the meadows of the Karlalm (Charles-alp), which is indeed our next waypoint (if you would turn right, you would come to Fölzalm). Through very steep grassy slopes you have to went down to Karlalm. The descent can be very slippery, when it is raining! From Karlalm, there is a good visible path down to Karlschütt, where the car is parked.

This round trip is especially nice for people, which like the silence and unknown, unmarked trails. For this tour you have to be used to steep terrain and you have to know how to read topographic maps. But all these difficulties will pay off, because you sill see one of the most beautiful parts of the gigantic Hochschwab mountain range.


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Six o'clock in the morning in the river bed of Karlschütt - our little expedition starts.

Along steep mountain ridges we make very quick some vertical meters.

Wooden ladders at very steep parts.

Some sections are also secured by an fixed rope - but I would not trust them - I think they are relicts from the time where Austria still had an emperor.

After that you have to follow the ridge through steep meadows, up to Zerbeneck.

At the Zerbeneck - view down to Karlschütt.

At Waschenriegel we see some game.

View down to Waschenriegel.

Mt. Fölzstein is getting in sight.

Fölzstein (1946m).

Way Marking at Fölzkogel (2022m).

From Windscharte you have to went down to Karlalm.

At Karlalm you will find a trail down to Karlschütt.

View from Karlgraben (Charles valley) down to Karlschütt.

Arrived at Karlschütt - a nice hiking tour is coming to it's end.





(c) stefan eisenbach | | stefan [at]