27-Jan-2007 -- Visiting Vienna and Austria for the TU-Ball (always held on the last Thursday of January), we decided to bring our teenaged children along.
On our last visit to the same Ball, two years ago, we visited 48°N 17°E, one degree further east, and much closer to the road system. This time we had some newfallen snow, but much less than the last time, so we decided to try it.
We first drove south and south-west out of Vienna, following A2, A21 and B11 down to the valley which lies just north of the confluence. Having read all the narratives from previous visitors, we realized that the most natural access point is from the east, following a marked path along the crest of the hill, but one visitor mentioned being able to drive much close, by starting from a point near Altenmarkt.
We tried the path first, but after ending up almost on the porch of a couple of farm buildings, just 1.1 km away from the point, we decided against leaving the car there and tried the Altenmarkt approach instead:
We soon realized that the path/road used by the previous visitor was actually closed to everything except farm vehicles, which our rental car didn't qualify as, so Fredrik & I switched into running gear, put the camera in a small backpack, and took off on the approximately 2 km run needed.
We started on the paved tractor road first, then broke off up hill towards the point. With about 600 m to go, we hit the really steep part several previous visitors have written about, but from the opposite side of the point, where the hillside is probably even steeper. The 5-10 cm layer of snow on top of frozen leaves meant that the going was quite tough, we needed almost half an hour to get all the way up to the top of the hill crest and the hiking path, then 40 m down on the other side to locate the zero point.
With a modern SirfStar III gps chipset my Garmin 76CSx had no trouble maintaining good lock among the trees, so we quickly took the required photos, with a short break between the pano images to try to catch an image of a visiting fox.
On the return trip we followed hunting roads (we saw a lot of hunting towers) part of the way back, before finally dropping down through the open forest, crossing a frozen field and the railway line to get back to the car.