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the Degree Confluence Project
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Austria

6.9 km (4.3 miles) ENE of Zirknitz, Kärnten, Austria
Approx. altitude: 2728 m (8950 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 47°S 167°W

Accuracy: 15 m (49 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: eastward - Sandfeldkopf (2920 m - 9600 ft) #3: north #4: on my way up (2600 m - 8550 ft) #5: on my way up (07:50 CEST) #6: GPS reading #7: confluence, as seen from the lakes on photo #4

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  47°N 13°E (visit #4)  

#1: looking south to west

(visited by Michael Carl)

29-Jul-2001 -- Mission accomplished! Boy, I am glad that this hike has come to an end...

I'm happy and I'm hungry as a wolf, that chocolate bar seems to taste twice as good! (they say, some ingredients in chocolate are stimulating a joy-center in our brain :)

Or is the height making me feel fine? My GPS displays some 2700 m (9000 ft) after all.

Oh, by the way! It's also displaying N47°00'00.0" E013°00'00.0", so THAT's why!

This really is a "King-Size" confluence, located in the middle of the Carinthian Alps, surrounded by some of the highest mountains of Austria. Had two walk up over 1200 m (3900 ft), climbing steep slopes and cliffs high above the timberline, usually claimed by groundhogs, chamoises and eagles only. Several times I asked myself whether I really know what I'm doing up here, trying to catch my breath while the air's getting thinner every minute, especially while climbing the last 100 ft (which definitly seemed to be degree 17+, overhanging gravel :)

But, this wasn't really surprising, as all maps I studied before the visit made me expect conditions the like, no wonder this confluence was the last out of the twelve unvisited in Austria. My first attempt several months ago prepared me as well. And the great view over the mountains made me forget the strain instantly, also being only second at that confluence - well, that's life. (At least it was a couple of Tyroleans, who "cleaned up" this last white spot in Austria :)

So, this is it ? Wouldn't say so, finding confluences is an interesting but not the only way to enjoy nature, and there are so many of them still unvisited around the world, so all my activities on this matter can hardly be more than an appetizer!

As I studied the little stories people posted with their photos, I found one plot coming up often. Like: "Oh yes, Confluence! Drove from A-Town to B-Village, found the intersection, took some photos."

And again our Fearless Explorer has liberated an innocent spot from the claws of that horrible beast called "Anonymous"! Cut! - and stay tuned for our next thrilling episode! If there is any...

These People never tell about their thoughts and feelings, the "adventure" they experienced while finding the confluence. WHY did they go for it after all ?

Of course one can find many pleasent exceptions from this template on confluence.org as well...

Asked myself, what is so fascinating on finding a confluence ? Everyone equipped with a GPS and an intelligence above room-temperature can find an intersection, navigation is just a "logical process".

But, as you get closer to it, aproaching the vicinity, letting the car behind you, walking the "Last Mile", you feel the tension increasing.

You find the spot turning out to be complete different to all others you've visited before.

You look around at that 100-feet-diameter-kingdom you just claimed by GPS. This is YOUR confluence, and you definitely deserve it!

Every tree, bush, stone, flower, animal is turning its head toward you.

It's almost like nature is starting to talk to you again.

Suddenly, as you let the scene getting access to your mind, you realize nature never stopped to talk, you just didn't listen anymore.

And now something warm and cosy is accessing your soul and your heart.

You've already located the spot some minutes ago, but now you've found it ... and don't be ashamed of your tears...

(definitely hope to)
c ya
Mike ;-)


 All pictures
#1: looking south to west
#2: eastward - Sandfeldkopf (2920 m - 9600 ft)
#3: north
#4: on my way up (2600 m - 8550 ft)
#5: on my way up (07:50 CEST)
#6: GPS reading
#7: confluence, as seen from the lakes on photo #4
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
This is the third highest Confluence in Europe (extending unto the Ural Mountains, von Strahlenberg definition) (Source: SRTM 90m digital elevation data).