Bockhartsee

Yesterday we had an easy day and visited Krimmel waterfalls. Today we can go for a real hike. We decided to go to Bockhartsee lakes, which are situated at the end of Gastein valley. All of us got in a car and moving to Sportsgastein. To enter toll road you have to pay 5€ per person. At the big parking place we left the car and start walking towards Niedersachsenhaus, then following the crest to next valey to see Bockhartsee lakes and descent to the parking place.

For me it is a come back to the place where I have been two times already. Few years ago it was vacation with my dad and last year with my friends. We have spend night in on the parking place and early in the morning we have started to ascent to Schareck and slept in Niedersachsenhaus. From hut we went down by the same path as we are going up today. I only remember steep descent near waterfall, therefore I believe ascent will be nice and all of us enjoy the view offered by the Hohe Tauern. Weather for that is just great.

From parking space we go thru meadows with typical cows. Ascent is easy, our speed is good and soon I start sweating. That means I am already “warmed up” and it is time to enjoy the hike. Niedersachsenhaus seem to be far. I guess it will take us 2 – 3 hours to get there. Another 2 hours will be crest and descent to parking place next to Bockhartsee lakes will take 2 – 3 hours.

We are walking more than 30 minutes and hut desappered. We are near waterfall and has to go up. Path is steep and we are reaching waterfall. In my mind I am comparing Krimml waterfall with this one. It makes me laugh. We make short brakes. Dont want to cool down. It is middle of the August and sun is really hot. However nice breeze is cold a bit, which is fine so far. As we reach top of the waterfall we see Niedersachsenhaus again. I have remembered it a bit closer.  Hopefully in less than hour we are on the hut. I say hi to goats which are feeding them selfs, and in couple of minutes I am ordering drink and soup.

With Czech couple we have small chat and food is served. Hut is situated totaly on the crest and wind is cold. I need to change my shirt and put some warm clothes on. I helped a lot, now I can enjoy the food and admire all the beauty around. When I see the Schareck all nice memories coming back to my mind. I try to find path towards Bockhartsee lakes, but just part of it is visible. Lakes are of course hidden in a valley. After great lunch I am going on the other side of the hut. It offers views to Rauris valley, Hoher Sonnblick with meteorology station (3 106 m / 10 190 ft) and Hocharn (3 254 m/ 10 676 ft). One hour lunch break should be enough and it is time to move on.

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I remember from hike planing, that soon we will be in highest point of todays hike. From hut we need to go up just few meters. From time to time it is hard to follow the path, it is just disappering. It doesnt bother me. Getting lost in crest with great view is not going to happend. After a while the path will show up anyway. Unfortunatelly I was wrong. We come to dead end, meaning that we come to big rock and we were not able to go down. We had to walk back and search for the path. Luckily we lost only couple of minutes. Later we are go around another crest from left and finaly we cas see Bockhartsee lakes. In Bockhartscharte we turn right towards the lakes.

Upper lake is natural. The water is pure and I have the feeling I have to swim in it. Descent from saddle to upper lake takes about 15 minutes. Hiking path goes around lake in nice flat terrain and following river comming out from the lake. Because it is really wet here, you need to watch you step. More than 30 minutes later we are almost near bottom Bockhartsee lake. I am bit surprised, because it is not a natural lake but a dam. My quess is, it saves Gasteins from floods in spring, when all the snows melt down. At the end we are having break. Time to enjoy view. Friend of mine, just put his backpack on my glasses and break them.

Descent to parking place is more painfull then I expected. It is almost 400 meters / 1312 ft you need to descent in short distacne. Path is not following gravel road. In some parts it is a wooden stairway. Some of the steps are bit. For people with short legs like me it is not fun. My knees and stigh muscles are in pain. On top of that I lost path again. I realized that at the moment when fence block my path. I need to go bit down, where I see the hiking path.

Finally at parking place. It was great hike and I am nicely tired. During the day we had a lot of great views and comparing yesterday Krimml waterfalls I could enjoy peace and nature without people. From Niedersachsenhause to parking space we have met just 3 or 4 persons. Tomorrow is a rest day, because on the Wednesday I am going to climb Konigsjodler via ferrata, I have been dreaming about since begining of the year.

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