Nordkette Mountains, Austria
Hafelekar, at a height of 2269 meters (7444 feet), is a good starting point for several hikes that lead up and along the jagged ridges of the Nordkette, but be prepared—they are neither easy, nor particularly well-marked. This is especially true when everything is completely snow-covered. In fact, the day we rode the lift the snow was coming down pretty good, so we knew our chances of hiking any long distances were questionable, but we still wanted to be able to take in the panoramic views of the hundreds of mountain peaks seen from Nordpark. Hafelekar is reached via a series of lifts that leave from the banks of the Inn River—the first stop is Hungerburg, then Seegrube, and then last, but not least, Hafelekar. It is here that your hiking options, in the right season, are limitless. Our short hike took us along a snowy path in the shadow of the Hafelekarspitze, a beautiful rugged peak rising up to the lofty height of 2334 meters (7657 feet). Even with the snow in the air, it appeared as though you were so close that you could reach out and touch the summit. Despite the wintry conditions we were able to get some nice views of the surrounding peaks of the Stubaital, Oztal, and Zillertal Alps.