I just spent one day in the Alps and discovered another great hiking area with possible winter hike possibilities. The area around the Kaltenbergerhütte is not just surrounded by a great panoramic scenery but also the area to run free for easy more than 100 Haflinger horses.
Hiking Trip from Sibratsgfäll to Schönenbach, Vorarlberg – Austria:
This is one of the standart hikes we do when weather is bad or the snow is still trapped in the mountains. Not too high in altitude but in a nice surrounding – scenery. At the end of the valley there is the village Schönenbach which is only inhabited in summertime. Famous for their milk and cheese we do not fail to restock some local made stuff there.
First of all I might have to explain what a “Viehscheid” is. A “Viehscheid” is the a synonym for “Almabtrieb” which is the bringing back of the cows from their summer alpine stay (before autumn and the risk of snow) to the sables in the lower valleys. The leading cows are decorated by traditional herbs and flowers – but only if no cow has died during their stay in the mountains. This photos I took in Maierhöfen Allgäu 2011, this is the Viehscheid with the longest distance of more than 30 kilometers, the cow train consists of about 200 – 250 cows.
Before the official arrival of the cow train I met a father and son who joined their cow later. The grandmother is especially skilled for preparing the decoration of the cow.
Check out the girl going barefoot
The cows are gathered at the “Scheidplatz” and later the day the cows are collected by the owners. A festival starts which is like a little Oktoberfest with music, local food and beer. Next year I want to catch the cows and the “Cowboys / Treiber” at sunrise in the mountains when they start, and I will make a coverage which shows the way to their destination.