Heukuppe, Rax Alpen's highest peak. Austria.

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Trip Report
Styria, Austria, Europe
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jun 10, 2001
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Heukuppe, Rax Alpen's highest peak. Austria.
Created On: Sep 15, 2008
Last Edited On: Apr 26, 2011

My first flight overseas.

I flew overseas to visit my two Austrian good friends, Gunter and Brigitte. Actually, it was the first time I was leaving my country and flying abroad. Everything looked very different and strange to me. Big cities, highways and the country itself were way different from mine.
Heukuppe, summit cliff walls.Heukuppe

But I liked it!. I arrived to Vienna's airport and got picked up by my friends. They took me to their house in Obersdorf, a small village 30 minutes away from the capital city. It was a long drive for me; the highway, the cars, the farms, the colors.. all was new for me!.

Well, I stayed with them for 3 months, learning from them, from their culture, from the country. An amazing experience for me. I spent one of the best times of my life while visiting them: mountain bike rides, motorcycle tours, concerts.. But also I enjoyed traveling with them, and hanging out with their family and their friends.


So, Martin (Brigitte's brother) and Martina invited me for a weekend trip to the Rax Alpen. I was so excited about going with them. I got ready with my stuff the night before and waited anxiously for the next day.
Heukuppe glacier.Martina (AUS) and I at the glacier.

I was very excited!. Martin and Martina picked me up in the morning from my friend's home in Obersdorf. We drove for 30 minutes to Vienna, one of the most beautiful cities I've seen. We passed it and continued driving southwest. I could see the first hills in the distance, and finally after almost two hours of driving we got to the mountains.

We took the road that took us to the highest mountain of what looked like a huge mountain range to me. After 30 more minutes of driving we got to the parking lot, put all of our stuff in the backpacks and started hiking up.

The hike

I saw many routes to follow along our hike, but I believe we took the easiest one. As we gained altitude, the trail got closer to the summit's cliff walls. Most of them armed with ladders and iron cables (vias ferratas). We continued hiking up towards a long ridge from where I could see the remains of a glacier. Martina and I had a picture taken up there and kept heading up to the summit.


GT on Heukuppe (2,007 m / 6,585 ft), Austria.GT on the summit (2,007 m/6,950 ft)
We got to Heukuppe's summit (2,007 m/6,950 ft.) by noon. I knew it wasn't technical or hard to reach it, but it was a great moment in my life, my first summit reached by me outside my country. I was so happy to be there, and at that moment it was like one of my biggest achievements of my life. I felt so far from my country and so close to start a new episode in my mountaineering life. The view, the other mountain ranges, and the snow.. the landscape... everything was perfect and shiny to me!


I opened up my 40 liters green backpack, my green adventures partner (which got stolen from my apartment 7 years later) and took off a small yellow doggie from it. It was Brigitte's gift. She gave it to me two days before the trip, and I named it GT, as her nickname.

Since then, GT has been my faithful partner in all of my trips, climbs, treks, and more... He has his place inside my backpack's main pocket and in my sleeping bag during those cold nights in tents and refuges. I think I'd feel like betraying him if I wouldn't take him with me to my outdoor adventures. GT, my loyal and faithful partner.


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Heukuppe, Rax Alpen's highest peak. Austria.

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