Winter idyll on the Embach high-altitude trail
Pure winter fun
Inhale the pure winter, soak up the sun and strengthen your stamina – all of this is possible on the high-altitude trail in Embach. The cross-country ski run in the farm village at over 1,000 meters above sea level meanders ten kilometers through an idyllic winter landscape and invites cross-country beginners and advanced skiers to enjoy sport and enjoyment.
Snow as far as the eye can see
I am amazed when I drive into Embach from Rauris, just ten kilometers away, and man-high walls of snow pile up next to the road. “In some places we have up to two meters of snow,” an Embacher later explains to me. Quite unusually, the last remnants of fog still linger over Embach today, which will soon lose the fight against the sun.
While I start the first lap full of energy, two young men are struggling on the roof shoveling the roof. The cross-country ski run is groomed deep in the snow, parts of the landscape are still swallowed up by the fog and in this mystical atmosphere I feel as if I am surrounded by the white splendor. It goes past snow-covered piles of wood and hay barns with a meter-high snow hood. The winter landscape shows its most beautiful side here and only the electricity pylons remind you that civilization can’t be that far away.
Six kilometers from farm to farm
The first junction is waiting about one and a half kilometers. There is the only road crossing here that, given the large amount of snow, I can even manage with my skis on. If you are satisfied with a small beginners’ lap, you can start your way back before crossing the traverse and complete the 2 km lap.
On the other hand, I expect a lot of straights and only gentle climbs and descents. My cross-country skis glide with a crunch on the fresh snow from farm to farm and soon I have to decide again whether to follow the 6 km route or to go back to the car. The latter, however, is a shame, because I don’t want to miss another loop through the natural idyll. If you are looking for a sporting challenge, you can then try the 8 km or 10 km route or vary the six kilometers of trails depending on your desire and endurance. And that’s exactly what I’m doing, because at the 8 km junction I can only expect a lot of deep snow that day.
On the Embacher Loipe to Maria Elend
A short time later, a track at the 8 km junction leads directly into the forest. The first and steepest ascent is tough. My movement has little to do with elegance, but the ascent is worth it and ends in the middle of a small forest clearing. After that, smaller climbs and descents alternate and the decision is again waiting whether it should be the 8 km lap or whether you want to take the entire 10 kilometers with you. With the pilgrimage chapel Maria Elend in view, it goes on to the last big serpentine. This leads over a slope and in the midst of this wonderful winter tranquility I almost forget that I am actually standing on two narrow boards and have no touring skis on. Finally, the trail runs below the road back into the forest and the descent back to Embach takes place on the last kilometers of trails.
There is parking at the beginner lift or directly in the center of the village, where the official start of the Embacher trail is located.
You can find more information about the cross-country ski trail in Embach and the trail map to download here.