Jerry’s Tour of the Alps 2004 – Friday July 9th

Ebene-Reichenau — Nockalmstrasse — Schönfeld — Radstädter Tauern — Wagrainer Höhe — Schwarzach (140 km, 2818 m, 11-28° C)


After a fine breakfast and some discussion of worries they had over immigration, I left for another day with perfect weather in the morning. The climb up to Schiestelscharte/Glockenhütte 2027 m was not very difficult. There were some roadwork the first kilometres out of Ebene-Reichenau 1062 m, but then it was a very good road with easy gradients.

I had some thoughts earlier on first going up to he nearby Turracher Höhe 1783 m, which should have a stretch going up to 26%, but since I was not going to go over there I thought I could do that pass another time.

The Nockalmstrasse is a very touristic road through the Nockalm national park. After Glockenhütte, the road goes down to 1519 m before it starts climbing yet higher again to Eisenthalalm/Eisentalhöhe 2049 m, which is probably not a proper pass. On the way down I had the highest speed during this year’s trip – 76 km/h, which is not a very high top speed relative to some other roads I have been going down earlier years, but it is generally few places where one could go safely in very high speeds in the Alps as the roads are usually too twisting with hairpins when it is very steep.


After coming down from Eisentalhöhe to Innerkrems 1480 m, I was still not clear on which way to take here. (A man on a motorcycle passed me by expertly on the way down, but then his girlfriend on her motorcycle tried to do the same, but eventually had to let me pass by again as she did not dare to go down as fast as him. It apparently takes some experience even riding motorcycles down hairpinned mountain roads.) I took the planned road over Schönfeld (Dr. J-Mehrl-Hütte on some maps) 1750 m, after asking someone who stopped to ask me about the Nockalmstrasse. He thought it was faster if going north over Radstädter Tauern, but that it could also be a bit steep at first and bad road.

It turned out that the road up to Schönfeld was not so very steep and not so long either. The surface was not the best, but I have seen worse. Schönfeld is quite obviously a pass, but not so in name for some unknown reason. The road down from Schönfeld was a nice surprise – I had heard previously that it was unsurfaced for a few kilometres, but that is no longer true. In fact it was a superb road in very beautiful setting going down the valley. It is very small for some time, but it must have been the best choice of crossing over north, I believe. It goes up a little later on, but it is quite easy.

St. Margarethen

You arrive at another road, which is a little wider, and if you soon thereafter turn left, you will come to St. Margarethen 1022 m. Here I had a very nice lunch: ”spinach knödeln”. It is nice to try out something from the local cuisine every now and then.

Until then it was a perfect day, but soon after leaving St. Margarethen, I got a very nasty head-wind which lasted past Mauterndorf and past Tweng and almost all the way up to Radstädter Tauern 1738 m. This drained much of my energy and made the climb up the otherwise rather easy Radstädter Tauern into a very hard climb.

The wind gave away to bad weather instead! Just before the pass the sun disappeared for good for that day. It is quite a boring pass with much traffic, but it is somewhat nice on the north side for some stretch, where the last photo was taken. It is easy to have a rather constant high speed down there also.

Arriving in Radstadt 858 m I noticed the road was jammed with lorries and trucks for a few kilometres. I wondered if it was some kind of protest, but there had been an accident ahead. I could pass by though.

Radstädter Tauern

The weather was looking ominous and I was almost choosing road after the weather, but decided to give my planned road ahead a try. I went over he Wagrainer Höhe 933 m to St. Johann i. Pongau 559 m. It began to rain some time before St. Johann, but not enough to make me wet. I stopped and bought some to eat at a supermarket while waiting for the rain to pass. I had to wait for more than an hour before I could even think of cycling on as it had begun to rain very heavily.

It looked like it could stop to rain altogether, but never did and after cycling some kilometres I had to find shelter again. Again I waited for a long time, but this time there was no hope of having better weather and the evening was getting late now. I continued to the next village that seemed like it could have a hotel, Schwarzach (not the nicest place), and stopped at a decent hotel with a pizzeria in the village centre. I remember hearing the heavy rain all night.

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