AUSTRIA: Climbing a mountain – Grosser Griesstein – Biwak Tour by Pierre Zornik aka PicZor

Heilbronn-based photographer Pierre Zornik alias PicZor went on a single tour on the mountain Grosser Griesstein in Austria. He climbed the summit, slept at the top and woke up at the top. In this story he tells about his experiences:

A night at 2,337m

When a spontaneous idea becomes an unforgettable experience. The Idea to climb a mountain and how to handle the equipment, it was just there. One evening I got the spontaneous idea to do a bivouac tour. Since my mountain experience was zero at this point, I spent about 3 weeks preparing intensively for this tour with YouTube, bivouac blogs and audio books. Unfortunately, just knowing about mountains and bivouacs is not enough. Of course, you also need the right equipment, which I got from the Adventure Company in Heilbronn and I transported everything in a normal hiking backpack with a capacity of 75 l.

Ascent with Biwak

After my stay at the Melia Vienna Hotel in Vienna, I made my way to the Großer Griesstein. I arrived at the parking lot of the Franzelbauerhütte on 1,405 meters height and I packed my backpack at 2 p.m. I dedicated myself to the ascent of the Großer Griesstein. After the first 500 meters I reached the Triebener Törl, which rewarded me with just a wonderful view.

There I took my first break, as the first part of the ascent with my luggage was more strenuous than I had imagined. After about 20 minutes, I started the second part of the summit tour with my 15 kg backpack, the remaining 432 meters in altitude. After the first few meters I realized that I shouldn’t take the rest of the tour lightly. It went over a large field of scree that, with loose stones and larger crevices on the slope, required my full concentration.

Having survived the scree field well, I had to leave the official hiking trail at short notice because a herd of cows came my way and stared aggressively at me. My way out was the steep wall to my left, which was not so easy to accomplish because I kept slipping on the damp grass or damp stones. My adrenaline rose. Back on the official hiking trail, I noticed that my limits had been exceeded. Before I started the last few meters, I took another short break.

With the last of my strength I reached the summit cross after 4 hours and 24 minutes. A good feeling overcame me and I was happy about my success. After I had set up my sleeping place, I prepared my food with the gas stove and enjoyed the beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. After dawn I said goodbye to the night with a queasy feeling. Alone on the mountain 🙂

Descent and reflection

After an amazingly good night at 5 degrees and a clear sky, I packed my things and went down without breakfast. The descent worried me because of the many scree fields. But despite my heavy backpack, I was finally back in the car after a good much shorter down walk. With many impressions and new experiences, I was proud and happy to have carried out this hike. A good feeling that vanished the uncertainty and insecurity I had before the hike. I did it on my own and learned a tremendous amount about myself and my body. I can only recommend such an undertaking and would like to motivate you to try new things yourself. Dare to do it and you will discover interesting experiences.








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