Hansis secret tip
My Mountain Oasis: The Zemm Valley
Step back a hundred years, and you find yourself in the Zemm Valley with its high alpine farms, untouched landscape and alpine animals. Not to mention, there are endless hiking paths. Senior director Hans shares his favorite valley with the side valleys Floite and Gunggl, a magical place filled with happy boyhood memories.
The Zemm is the most pristine side valley in the Ziller Valley. Wildly romantic and nostalgic best describe this undisturbed hiking region with old alpine farm huts, many which are open to hikers for refreshment and respite. There’s little up here to remind you of modern city life. There’s not even a road to get to the Berlin Hut, a historic and protected shelter built in 1878 with lovely wood paneling in the dining room.
Not much has changed up here in the Zemm Valley and this pleases me very much. Every stone and tree has its own unique character. Every few meters there’s something new to discover, if you keep your eyes open and don’t get lost in your cell phone, a great tragedy that has befallen our youth. There’s more action here than any game on a smart device...this is the regal home of mountain goats, chamois and eagles. Humans are only guests here. It is a sublime feeling to be far away from the daily stress of modern life. You can enjoy the peace and quiet and find your inner calm. There is no material luxury in the surroundings, just real life. This gives me a sense of stability in a world with too many distractions.
During the summer break, I was always up in the mountains with the village children, working on the farm huts. We milked cows by hand and from the cream, we made butter. The butter bucket was driven by a mill wheel. It was tedious, hard work. Every week, we hiked the butter down to Zell in 15 kilo backpacks filled with butter. This was my job. We had no computers, nothing fancy in our lives. All we had was nature, animals, and this beautiful place. For me, these are still my fondest memories.
Part of the Ziller Valley almost succumbed to large scale development like many other alpine regions. Thankfully in 1991, the Tyrolean government declared the region a „quiet zone“ and gave it legal protection which derailed the construction of the Alemagne-Autobahn. Since 2001, the region has been a designated „Nature Park“ offering high alpine culture and pristine nature.
It’s easy to get to the Floiten Valley trailhead in Ginzling by car to access the many trails. It takes about an hour from Ginzling to get to the Tristenbachalm Hut, where hosts Christian and his daughter Chiara serve delicious treats and snacks. The hiking path continues on further to Steinbockhaus (mountain goat house) for a hearty lunch. At the top of the Floiten Valley, the path merges with the well-known Berliner Höhenweg (high route), also called Zillertal Runde. Between Mörchenscharte (2872 m) und Lapenscharte (2701 m) is the Greizer Hut, operated by Irmi and Herbert.
It’s best to start your hike in the Zemm Valley from Gasthaus Breitlahner. After 30 minutes you reach Klausenalm Hut where you will be warmly greeted. Many people like to get married here. Over the „Schinter“ and 90 minutes later, you arrive at the Grawand Hut, where they serve excellent Kaiserschmarrn (fluffy scrambled pancakes with powdered sugar). Keep going to Alpenrosenhütte (Alpine Rose Hut) and to Waxeggalm Hut which stand opposite one another at 1880 meters. Rising above them all, the stately Berliner Hut (2042 m) awaits visitors. Total trip from the valley floor is three hours.