Fall hike to Soiernhaus


“Going to the mountains is like going home” – John Muir

Quick Facts

What To Expect





General InfoS

   Distance ~23 km

     Total time needed ~7.5 hours

  Total elevation ~1180 meters

How To Plan

Our way to Schöttelkarspitze

It was a cold October morning when we started this hike last year. We had reached the parking lot just a little before sunrise - which thankfully wasn’t too early this time of year. With the first meters of elevation came the first views of the surrounding mountain peaks - and what views that were! Snow covered peaks lit up in pink and gold before the sky turned from a dark blue to pink as well. Thick fog was covering the valley below us and was giving way for some magical moments - just the two of us. 

Pro tip: Watch out for some unexpected visitors on your way!

The next stretch of the hike led through the forest and we had hiked probably for a somewhat over an hour when we reached a beautiful meadow and the sun was suddenly hitting our faces. We took in the scenery and more beautiful mountain views from the Fischbachalm before we continued. The trail was now leading a back down again before we reached another meadow before our last ascend towards the Soiernhaus. 

Fall had already left its traces. Not only had it left the mountains powdered with snow but the larches had started to turn yellow and the few leaf trees on the way had turned into a beautiful orange. When we reached the Soiernhaus it was almost noon and even though the hut was closed for winter we decided to take a long stretched break and enjoy our lunch - the sun on our faces. After we had started hiking with 0 °C that morning it felt quite weird to take off our jackets and even sweaters in what felt like at least 20 °C sunshine. 

From the hut we could already see our goal of the day - the Schöttelkarspitze. Not only could we see the tiny summit cross on the plateau-like looking peak - but also some even tinier hikers were in sight at the top. Up until then we had only crossed paths with one other couple for the rest of our hike - complete solitude and quiet just what I had needed that weekend! Some life changing decisions were made right there. 

Our plan was to pass the Soiernhaus and continue on to the Schöttelkarspitze and take the route back from there. This would have already meant a tour with about 1400 meters of elevation and a loop of about 19 km in total. However this wasn’t quite what we ended up with… 

Right when we wanted to make a move an unexpected visitor arrived and kept us there for just a little longer. A beautiful and rather large butterfly had beleaguered our backpacks and seemed pretty curious in what all of our stuff could be. We watched the little guy wander around our things and on my shoe before he decided to leave for more interesting places to explore. 

“Going to the mountains is like going home” – John Muir

“Going to the mountains is like going home” – John Muir

When we continued our way up to the Schöttelkarspitze we found ourselves admiring the two small Soiernsee lakes that came into view below us. Their turquoise color seemed to scream at everyone who passed by to just get in already - but we figured it was just a little too cold for that. Definitely a reason to return in a warmer season and enjoy a dip! 

A little further up the trail was getting more and more snowy and icy and looking up at what lay ahead of us I got an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. And although we could and would have probably made it we decided to head back down the way we came instead. Not what we had hoped for - but sometimes you should just listen to your gut feeling and not push your luck too far. We took a quick look at the map and realized this would mean an additional 5 km or so - but at least it would also save us the last 200 to 300 meters of elevation. 

The way back seemed to last forever. What felt like hours later - which wasn’t the case of course - we had reached the meadow again and were excited to not be walking down a mountain for a moment. A little further along the way another surprise happened and we got to say hi to a small chamois crossing the trail a couple meters in front of us. Afterwards we carried on with our hike down and had maybe never been more grateful to finally reach our car again after a pretty long - but also unforgettable day.  

Pro tip: Keep in mind the faster changing seasons when in the mountains!

I hope you found this article helpful and enjoyed the views as much as I did! I would love to hear your hiking stories and if you have been on this adventure - feel free to leave a comment below or contact me via email!

January 4, 2021
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