BACK IN THE MOUNTAINS 2017

Two weeks exploring the wonderful Arlberg Mountains.
After 5 years of getting my knee back in action I decided to have a go at trail walking in the Austrian Alps. With the help of walking poles, knee brace, Voltoral and pain killers I managed to complete 90 miles over 2 weeks in the stunning Arlberg mountains. Below are a few bits of information for anyone wishing to visit this outstanding location.

The beautiful Austrian town of Lech is renowned for its skiing in winter, however during the summer it becomes a walkers’ paradise with excellent hikes for all abilities. Whether you are a stroller or a mountain trekker there are superb walks and challenges for everyone. During winter, there over 80 cable cars and chairlifts available linking Lech and its surrounding towns and villages with one of the largest ski circuits in Europe. However, during summer many of the lifts and cable cars used during the winter season are closed. During my stay in Lech in July 2017 there were 2 cable cars and 1 ski lift open which were perfect for getting high up to the alpine paths. From the centre of Lech, the Rufikopfbahn and Bergbahn Oberlech run daily and provide transportation to both sides of the valley where you can start your alpine walks. The lifts run from about 8.30am until 17.00pm. There is about 350 km of marked paths in Lech and the surrounding Arlberg mountains and they cover all abilities. From gentle river valley walks to gruelling hikes to the numerous mountain peaks. The flora and fauna is glorious in the summer with verdant alpine pastures and wild flowers in magnificent abundance. During your walks keep an eye open for Ibex, eagles, chamois and the ever-present marmot. A visit to the tourist information centre in Lech is very helpful as you can gather maps and bus timetables which will help you explore the region. The Lech resort card is also worth considering purchasing as this allows you to use the cable cars and lifts along with the local buses. You can arrange these cards with your tour operator or buy one on your arrival in resort. The card offers 3 to 14-day options and ranges from 24 euros for 3 days to 68 euros for 2 weeks as of 2017 rates. I was very lucky with the weather during my 2 weeks stay in July. However, the weather in alpine regions can change very quickly and it is prudent to make sure you have the right kit for all eventualities. I experienced very hot conditions one day and torrential rain the next, so be prepared for all weathers whilst trekking in the mountains. One of the great things about walking in the alps are the mountain huts which have to be visited during your alpine hikes. There are some great ones around Lech. A very welcoming sight after a long walk, a friendly host serving great food and drink to help you on your journey. Whether you are staying in a 5-star hotel or a pension house in Lech you are well situated for walking the beautiful landscape and its surrounding mountains.