Snowshoe Tour Schwarzwassertal | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus | Fotograf: Katharina Kleiter

01 Feb. 2023 · Winter Activities
Katharina Kleiter

Head off - Snowshoes on!

Deep snowy winter landscapes - silence - the icy Schwarzwasserbach - and suddenly the smell of Kaiserschmarrn in the nose. Join us on a snowshoe tour through the Schwarzwassertal!

Getting started:

Curve after curve I drive towards the Ifen, and already there is a tingle of anticipation in me. The last few days there was again a good deal of fresh snow and now it is fully sunny and blue sky - so this can only be a great day! Arriving at the parking lot, I slip into my tight hiking boots, pack my backpack with tea and snacks and walk towards the valley station. Yes, that's right: in spite of the deepest winters I am in hiking boots and not in ski boots on my way, becauseI'm going on snowshoe tour into the Schwarzwassertal. Arriving at the snowcompany, I meet our guide for the tour. With a big grin on her face she equips me with snowshoes, sticks and avalanche transceiver before I go outside again to meet the other participants.

Snowshoe Tour Schwarzwassertal | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus | Fotograf: Katharina Kleiter

Here we go!

We are a colorful group that booked the tour that day - from beginners to experienced snowshoe fans. But we all have in common: the anticipation that is visibly written in our faces. After a short introduction, we strap on the snowshoes, Birgit checks our avalanche transceivers again and off we go - away from the hustle at the ski area into the Schwarzwassertal.

If we make the first steps back in the shadows, the sun is breaking its way through the trees a few meters further, while at the same time the Schwarzwassertal opens for the first time: the snow-covered mountain ranges, the sun that makes the snow sparkle and our shadows that wander along the dyke crown of Herzspeichersee. Definitely the first big wow moment on this day, to which so many will follow.

Finding inner balance

Just before we go back to the snow-covered forest, we fill up again with sun on our skin, and soon we find ourselves on trails that can only be walked in winter. Sometimes I duck so that the load of snow from the trees does not land on my neck, then stop again to enjoy the silence and then join the others again. Birgit makes sure that we do not fall apart as a group and yet everyone can go his own pace. So it goes on and on into the Schwarzwassertal.

The running is meditative, the fresh air and the sun on the skin do the rest. At least now I turn off completely. Because an hour ago I thought about my to-do list, now only the moment counts.

Snowshoe Tour Schwarzwassertal | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus | Photographer: Katharina Kleiter

Fairytales and adventures

Just as I slip through under a branch again, the Melköde with her amazing mountain panorama suddenly opens up in front of me. I let myself fall back a little - and breathe through. My gaze wanders from left to right, finally hanging on the Hohen Ifen and thinking how beautiful nature is. I walk on - and arriving at the Alpe Melköde, on whose roofs the snow piles up meters high, out guide asks us the crucial question: through the tobel or outside. Of course we are left for adventure and new trails in the snow. So we make our way upwards - a great picture, how one colorful jacket after the other pushes through the white winter landscape. We pass the icy Schwarzwasserbach, catching the rays of the sun that wink between the branches - and would anyone want to paint a fairytale forest: this would be the perfect template.

Snowshoe Tour Schwarzwassertal | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus | Photographer: Katharina Kleiter


As we emerge from the tobel, we make one last muesli bar stop. The last stage is on, and it has it all again. Shortly below our current destination, the Schwarzwasserhütte, we decide to cross the country again.

The last meters go steeply uphill and the steps through the fresh powder cost again good strength. But they give me a look that I will not soon forget - the mountain peaks and the blue sky within reach, and below, in front of and next to me the finest powder snow. And then I rejoice with happiness. Because even if I have often been able to enjoy such great views, it grabs me in such moments again and again.

The taste of home

A few meters further on it takes hold of me again: Because suddenly the scent of Kaiserschmarrn pulls through the entire plateau, which robs me already of my breath. So off to Schwarzwasserhütte, snowshoes out and into the cozy room. Although the menu with Kaspressknödeln, apple strudel and Co. let my heart bounce several times higher, the smell of fresh Kaiserschmarrn but is stuck in my head and nose. So while we feast our way through the map, we also get into the conversation more in the group and once again it shows that at over 1000 meters and shared experiences such as the snowshoe tour the togetherness is much easier. When it's time to go outside after an hour's break, I once again enjoy the 360 ​​degree Kleinwalsertal view. Still not a single cloud to see!

Snowshoe Tour Schwarzwassertal | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus | Photographer: Katharina Kleiter

But now back into the snowshoes and as it will go downhill, Birgit explains us briefly, how we now best strain the legs. But above all, everyone is at his own pace and no hurry. And now we hop down through glistening snow. On our way up to the Schwarzwasserhütte, we were even more introspective and in tune with nature, perhaps even more excited about whether and how well we are doing on snowshoes, that all feels quite familiar now.

We laugh a lot and Birgit tells us more about the surrounding mountains and the nature reserve Schwarzwassertal. When finally the afternoon sun bathes the valley more and more in golden light, we also appear again above the Ifen valley station. Relaxed and refueled, and above all with a contented smile, which was still visible in my face days later.