Friday, January 31, 2014

Kaprun Alpine Reservoir

I noticed that many of us search for advice about visiting a place or another, so searching engines like Google or Yahoo! lead us towards travel sites or travel articles. So, no matter if travelling either for business or for pleasure, we want to know what is Top 10 "Things to do/visit" for a particular destination.

In Zell am See - Kaprun, a visit to Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs (1,068 - 2,040 m above sea level (asl)) is in Top 10, so one can take it as a recommendation! The round trip is described below of a step by step manner. I hope that it will be useful for your next trip in Kaprun, Salzburgerland! And if you are along with your kids, don't worry! They will not be bored up there! You'll see why around the end part of this post.

A view towards the dams
A view towards Wasserfallboden, Mooser and Drossen from Gasthaus Glocknerblick
The above picture was taken during the trip on Maiskogelweg, near Gasthaus Glocknerblick, a wonderful restaurant with a magnificent view towards the tallest mountain in Austria, Grossglockner (3798m asl, the smallest peak in this picture), and Kitzsteinhorn (the one on the right side). Wasserfallboden, Mooser and Drossen are in the center of the picture, just under the snow layer (Pasterze Glacier, the largest glacier in Austria). 1. I reached Kesselfall-Alpenhaus by car. Here I parked my car on a 6 storey garage. This is the "final destination" for my car (anyone's car actually). Buses are available from here "to the top".

Parking lot
2. A bus take me through the Lärchwand tunnel to the Lärchwand funicular valley station at 1,209 m asl. Garages and car parking, kiosks and restaurants are available here.

By bus
A bus for Lärchwand tunnel
3. Lärchwand Funicular is the Europe's largest open funicular. From 1,209 to 1,640 m asl it glides almost soundlessly through mixed beech woodlands and rugged mountain flanks. It travels a distance of 820 meters, and ascends an incline of 431 meters.

Lärchwand Funicular - the rails
Lärchwand Funicular
Lärchwand Funicular
4. Buses (again) take the tourists from the mountain station of the funicular located near the Limberg lock.
Bus driver
By bus / bus driver
From the bus (whenever it is not into tunnels) one can see the Wasserfallboden reservoir and the Fürthermoar Alp.

5. Two arch shaped walls, Mooser and Drossen, retain the water in Mooserboden reservoir (85 million cubic meters of water).
Mooser and Drossen
Mooser dam is the one on the left, and Drossen dam is the one on the right.
Pasterze Glacier
Pasterze Glacier
The main source of water of the Mooserboden reservoir (60%) is the melted water from the Pasterze, Austria's largest glacier. The link from the Pasterze and Mooserboden reservoir is a 12 km long tunnel (looks like the Austrians have a passion for tunnels!).

6. If you want an adventure (hiking), there is a well-marked alpine path between Mooserboden, Sedlgrat and Kleiner Grießkogel summit (about 90 minutes). Don't forget to take a break at Mooserboden Mountain Restaurant prior to proceed to hike! I did not followed that path due to the fact that I planned to take a trip to Kitzsteinhorn right after the visit to Mooserboden reservoir (I was lucky enough to catch the latest cable car on my way back from Kitzsteinhorn!).

Kitzsteinhorn - 3203 m asl
7. After crossing the tunnel between Mooser and Drossen, I noticed a path towards Höhenburg (2,108 m asl). I followed it, and although I was not quite in a good shape for hiking, after a few minutes, I reached the top. Some 70 meters above the lake, the view is spectacular! One can enjoy the view of both dam's walls and the (relatively) eternal ice of the glaciers (I am not sure about this "eternal" when we are speaking about ice and about the rising temperature of the atmosphere...).
Höhenburg - 2108 m asl
8. I wrote at the beginning of the article about the fact that if you are accompanied by your little children, they will not be bored up here. Little "fairy electricians" are telling short stories about electricity and power generation in simple words for your kids!

You may notice a little yellow propeller as backpack. It is a Pelton propeller, and on my website are some details about what is a Pelton propeller: Impulse (Pelton) Turbines.

9. Between the two retaining walls of the dam (Mooser and Drosen), one can visit the interactive exhibition "Power & Ice".
Power and Ice
Power and Ice - Strom und Eis - the entrance
Technical details, the interactive screens, the videos, the photos, and all the other objects from the exhibition are really interesting, but for me the most interesting was the "Ice" part of it!

Power and Ice
Power and Ice - objects at an exhibition
I really appreciate the accurate reproduction of a glacier arch!
Glacier arch
Glacier arch at Power and Ice exhibition
You can find more information about the Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs on VERBUND Tourism.

Enjoy your trip!
Originally shared on Three Years After blog, it now finds its place on this new photo travel blog!

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