Another two Austrian county summits as the storm hits the alps

As Dad and I sometimes do, we got some cheap air tickets – I know, climate change, but hey, we do not eat meat and we walk the mountains!

This time the luck was not on our side – a major depression hit the alps from the south, with winds up to 120 kmh, and any attempt to conquer the high ranges was doomed to fail. A visit to Vienna was a reasonable plan B, but spending three days between coffee houses and sightseeing was just not enough, so we decided to do some of the easier County Highpoints in Austria.

The Leopoldsberg, County Highpoint of Vienna, fit nicely inn between the coffee house and some sightseeing – there is a road leading to the “summit”. Nothing much to say about this trip, except the foggy view of the 2+ million city.

The Schneeberg (2076m), County Highpoint of Lower Austria County, looked like an easy match to start with. Easy to reach from Vienna (90 km), the “Salamander” train is leading from the base of the mountain up to 1800m the Hochschneeberg station. The journey takes only 40 minutes, a stop to buy and taste “Buchteln” (local yeast buns) included.

What followed was not so easy anymore. Leaving the train station we soon understood why we were the only ones attempting to reach the “Klosterwappen” summit. On normal days an easy hike with only 276 meters altitude difference, we were battered by very strong  winds and heavy rain. No shell jacket can withstand such an amount of water, and soon we were soaking wet. At two occasions we were almost blown off our feet, conditions you definitely would not expect on a low mountain like this. Eventually we made it to the summit, took some photos, and walked as fast as conditions allowed back to the comfort of the train station.

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