Sunday 2. July 2006: Praxmar - Zischgeles (3.004 m)

Today is Sunday, so I am allowed to do a longer walk. I start from Praxmar (1689 m) in the Luesens - valley (a valley branching off Sellrain valley) and ascent to Zischgeles (3.004 m).

Geting up at 5.30 a.m. The sun is just before rising behind Innsbruck´s Northern Range.

On the way to Praxmar: Gries, viewing to Lisenser Fernerkogel (3.298 m)

Luesens valley is going from north to south, so it is still in shadow, as opposed to Sellrain valley. Houses of Praxmar, where I start my walk at 6.30 a.m.

The sun comes out soon. The summit looks very unimpressive, a bit right from the middle of the background.

What´s up with you, invader?

Arnica (Arnica montana)

Above the forest limit Alpine Roses ("Almrausch", Rhododendron ferrugineum) are covering large areas. At the moment they are in full blossom in most places

Blossoms of Alpine Roses.


Sorry, I can´t upload the intense, spicy smell that fills the air ...

Common Bistort (Polygonum bistorta)

Alpen - Petersbart (Berg - Nelkenwurz, Geum montanum)                                 Small White Orchid (Pseudorchis albida)

The beck accompanies my way for a longer time now.

Alpine maguerite (Leucanthemopsis alpina) - thanks to Prof. Hafellner, university of Graz, for correct identification!

Koch´s Gentian (Gentiana acaulis)

Buttercups (Ranunculus montanus)

Small cascades are running over steeper areas of the slope ...

Alpen - Petersbart (Berg - Nelkenwurz, Geum montanum)

On areas where snow has molten recently, millions of Alpine Soldanella (Soldanella pusilla) are flourishing

View over the Luesens valley

The summit ...

 ... comes closer .

Snowfields are to be traversed.

View in direction east to Kalkkoegel ...

... and in southern direction. First thermic clouds are built

Sheep find support here even at an altitude of nearly 3.000 m.

Thermic clouds at Sattelschroefen (2.892 m).

Moss campion (Silene acaulis) forms big pads here.

Nearly up on the ridge.

First exemplars of glacier crowfoot (Ranunculus glacialis)

Thermik clouds get bigger

"Glutinous" Primroses (Primula glutinosa) are growing in narrowest crevices.

Arrived on the ridge. Now the summit is close.

Small ice lake on the aother side

Moutain panorama to the West and North as seen from the northern ridge of Zischgeles. Click into the pictures for a larger version.

Glutinous Primroses on the ridge.

The last part of the ridge the path goes up over big boulders, at times a short, easy scramble.

The Author on the summit of Zischgeles (3.004 m) ...

 ... being adorned by big patches of Glacier crowfoot (Ranunculus glacialis).

Glacier crowfoot is Europe´s highest growing flower, being found in altitudes of more than 4.000 m. It is specialized on loose scree on rocky ridges in high altitudes.

Grubenwand (3.173 m) - a stunning view from this place.

Behind, in southwestern direction, a high,ly glaciered double summit: Oetztal´s  Wildspitze (3.770 m), Austria´s second highest?

Lisenser Fernerkogel (3.298 m) and Hinterer Brunnenkogel (3.325 m)

Once more Grubenwand

Maybe this is a glimpse on Schrankogel (3.497 m). (???)

Summit Panorama of Zischgeles (3.004 m). Click into the picture for a larger version.

Beginning the descent, this time via the eastern ridge: Lots of glutinous primroses in places.

Lisenser Fernerkogel (3.298 m), with Schoentalwaende (2.683 m) in front

Panorama in southern direction, from the eastern ridge of Zischgeles. Click into the picture for a larger version.

Behind Lisenser Fernerkogel to the left is Lisenser glacier.

"Dwarf" primroses (Primula minima)

View back to Zischgeles summit, Moss campion (Silene acaulis).

Panorama in southern direction, from the eastern ridge of Zischgeles, the summit of which is far right. Click into the picture for a larger version.

Alpen - Maszliebchen

"Dwarf" Primroses (Primula minima) ...

 ... are covering large areas here

Bachfallen - Glacier and Gaislehnkogel (3.216 m)

Grubenwand, Schoental - Spitze (3.002 m) to the right

Oberstkogel, a small summit on Zischgeles´ eastern ridge

Lisenser Fernerkogel and Schoentalwaende

Lisenser Glacier

Forget-me-not on the southern slopes of Oberstkogel, where the descent path leads around.

Once more Moss campion (Silene acaulis), with Lisenser glacier behind

Lisenser Fernerkogel

View down in northern direction to the Sellrain valley. Gries im Sellrain, with Rosskogel (2.646 m) behind. In the distance the northern limestone Alps.

Innsbrucker North Range and Karwendel

Alpine Toadflax (Linaria alpina), specialiced in loose screes. The plants can stand being covered by several metres of loose material, thriving to the surface once more.

Between crevices "Glaciers Bane" (Doronicum glaciale) is growing.

Once more I enter the Alpine Rose - area.

Alpine Roses, Karwendel

In a boggy place near ther beck some spring gentian.

This beautiful beck ...

 ... is caught here and redirected to an electric power plant in the Oetz valley

The waste of the gallery leading the water is used as an avalanche protection for Praxmar, however shows a completely different vegetation. It will take many decades or even centuries for indigenuous vegetation to regrow.

Mountain Everlasting (Antennaria dioica).