Most people who love via ferrata or Klettersteig in German know Hans von Haidsteig. For me it is love of my live :). Of course there are better via ferrata in Alps, which you can enjoy more, with better outstanding views, tougher or higher. However, all those things don’t really matters. It is similar to your first love. She will be always special to you. You will remember her for rest of your live and will be always nice to see her again. This is for me Hans von Haidsteig.
In year 2010 maybe 2011 one of my friends discovered via ferrata for the first time. I do not really remember all the details, but I know first route for us was <a title=”Klettersteig season 2015 starts” href=”http://outdooryeti.com/klettersteig-season-2015-starts/”>Währingersteig</a>. Immediately I felt in love with this way of hiking. After that we tried another one in Hohe wand. Unfortunately I do not remember its name, but it was something easy and short. What I remember really well is our third via ferrata route. For those of you, who knows Hohe wand well it is well-known and most difficult HTL steig. Of course we did not succeed to finish it. We didn’t even start. After few meter, both of us get stuck. This was the experience, which force us to the practice and get better and better.
During the same year came opportunity to try Hans von Haidsteig. As soon as I have heard the name, I start googling it. First pictures just got me. I really wanted to go there and it became my dream. Within few days or weeks dreams come true. First ascent to Preinerwand started near Edelwesshutte, which is situated on Lower Austria/ Styria border. Thru meadow nad forest we were getting closer to the Hans von Haidsteig. From one place it was clear view on the rock which we wanted to climb. I got scared and really excited at the very same moment.
Under the rock we put on all required equipment and started to climb. Immediately with first touch of the rock, my heart rate increased. You can imagine how surprised I was when route has ended after few meters. Again I had to walk, but not far from me I have seen the route again, with a big ladder. I got even more excited and started to climb as fast as I could. If I remember it correctly first part was quite easy one, only bit difficult place is after the ladder, where you need to do few steps horizontally. After finishing first part I was amazed by second ladder and looking forward to start climbing.
Before starting the second part we took a little break for refreshment. More important for me was the view on the rock, on forest down under us. Second part was bit more difficult. Of course not the ladder, however after that. Soon as you get off the second ladder, you get into rock cavity where you have great view on Hans von Haidsteig next part. You are starting on right, going left under certain angle and then back to right. So far most difficult part and I am glad I have done it. However after few meters I have reached place which become really close. Rope is in the split and I have tried to go up while being as close as possible to it. Scary to climb on the rocks, I just needed to feel the rope in my hands. Of course climbing with big backpack was hard. Since then, I have done lots of different via ferrata routes and now I know to climb on the rocks where I have enough space to climb. Squeezing me into the split was bad idea. Anyway we made it to Black Madonna and enjoying the view on the path, which we will use on our descent and trying to find out where we have started.
Third part is peace of a cake. Most difficult is to reach via ferrata, because the mountain is quite steep. At this moment I am enjoying this part the most. It is easiest one, have time to look around and enjoy the view. We are not finished yet, but I already know I will visit this route many more times for various reasons. First of all it is long route, comparing the small once I know in Hohe Wand, you can reach it easily, and for harder routes I need to practice. Hans von Haidsteig seems to me as good practice klettersteig.
Once we reached the top I was so proud of myself. With my friends for whom it was fourth via ferrate as for me we shake the hands a congratulate each other. It was amazing feeling and I really love it. Since this moment I am the big fan of via ferrata routes. After taking off all equipment, we start walking to the top of the mountain, to the Prainerwandkreuz. While we get to te top, we had time to share our feeling about the route itself and we are going to do this in future more often. On the top we took a couple of pictures and start descending to the car. Of course we have stopped at Seehutte for a bear :)
Since my first Hans von Haidsteig climb I have done lots of different routes, even the hard HTL in Hohe wand. As I expected during my first time, I have returned to this route many times. Hans von Haidsteig ferrata is amazing because it can be climbed by person who haven’t done anything like this before. Which ferrata is best as introduction for people who haven’t done something like this? This route can also offer good place for practice for people who want to improve their climbing skills. Have you tried to do the Hans von Haidsteig without touching the rope? Did you succeed? I am not that good yet, but I keep practicing.