Have you heard about via ferrata Spielmauer near Mariazell in Austria? I have noticed this route about one year ago, and now it is time to climb it. We could split it to three different parts – Tristans Kirchobensteig and Olivers Mariazeller Steig, which has one more branch near top called FelixˈHimmelsleiter.
Sunday early morning with friends from hiking club we are leaving from Bratislava to Wegscheid. Around 10 am, we start walking up thru woods. 30 minutes later we are the beginning of via ferrata. As first we are going to climb Tristans Kirchbogensteig, with hardest part defined as C.
While we were getting ready for climb, couple of guys has passed us, mostly from Czech and Hungary. During the nice days, it can get pretty crowdy. Please keep in mind it is really necessary to have proper via ferrata set. You will most probably not fall during the whole climb, but it is for your own safety.
Anyway, via ferrata it is very airy, which means it offers lots of amazing views. First few steps are bit harder, than the rest of the climb. As you already know, it is regular setup. If you have already have climb some via ferrata, this one will be easy for you. One of girls, who was with us was doing hers first via ferrata ever. She did it without any issue.
There is plenty of steps and catches. On the way up, we have to cross small rope bridge with bench going out from the rock. If you get lucky, without people, who are pushing you, it is great place to take a rest and enjoy the view. I really liked the chimney in upper part. In this part you will also cross small wooden bridge.
From this place you have just few steps to the top. We have found nice place with good view to take a rest. Do not forget to climb to Spielmauer summit, it is just few minutes’ walk from end of the klettersteig. We didn’t go there, because we wanted to get to the end of Olivers Mariazeller Steig.
Most of the friends didn’t want to climb other via ferrata, we have climbed down in wrong direction. I know, the most of the via ferratas are only one way. There were no people going up, and this part is only rated as A. It was no issue to descent it and join FelixˈHimmelsleiter. On this route is one really special place – rope ladder. Why is this rope ladder special? When you are climbing it, you are facing out to the nature, not to the rock. Of course, ladder is a bit shaky, which makes it even more fun. This part of via ferrata is rated as D part, but I have climbed much harder D via ferratas.
If you will be in Spielmauer via ferrata, don’t be lazy and climb all of the routes. It is doable in one day, but keep in mind, once you get up, you need to descent again around the rock back to starting point and after climb descent one more time.
During our way back to car, we have saw Teufelsbrücke (Devils bridge). It is rock bridge made by nature. Old saying reads, that every year devil shows up on the bridge and…. OK, if you want to know the story, visit the place. One more reason to visit Spielmauer via ferrata.