Almabtrieb eng – real almabtrieb engalm, in tyrol

Almabtrieb eng - real almabtrieb engalm, in tyrol

Almabtrieb Eng

One of the last classic cattle drives: from the Eng to the Inn Valley
A cattle drive looks idyllic and uncomplicated to most visitors: cows decorated with flowers and jewelery roam the streets. But there is much more behind it. For a cattle drive actually means that the cows come back from the pasture to their stable for the winter at the end of the summer. This used to be a long and difficult hike for the cows.

Today, in most cases, this is not the case anymore. So the cows are loaded onto a livestock truck on the alpine pasture, before being decorated shortly before the home farm. The last meters are then held on foot as a spectacle for the spectators. Partly even with admission for the spectators. Or the cows come straight into the winter stable without being decorated. For many farmers, the cost of decorating has become too big!

Almabtrieb as before

Traditional Almabtrieb in the Karwendel
There are only a few real Almabtriebe, as they were made earlier. One of the last classic Alpine pastures in Tyrol takes place annually from the Engalm through the Karwendelgebirge to the Inn Valley. While many other farmers of the alpine pastures in the Karwendel shorten the arduous long journey with the cattle transporter, the Nockbauer of the Engalm with his cows on foot goes home from the natural monument Ahornboden.

Two days cattle drive

Adventure Almabtrieb: Two days on foot with cows over the mountains
The march, which the father Karl Höger takes on with his son Martin, lasts two days. The route leads you on the path of the Karwendeltour from the Engalm up to the Binsalm. From there on up to the Lamsenjoch, over to the Lamsenjochhütte and then down to the Inn Valley to Terfens. When Almabtrieb the two do not speak of "walk", but from "drive" – it will be with the animals "driven home", although you drive the cows home on foot. The Bauer family Höger "moves" so on this route home, as their ancestors did a hundred years ago.

Karl Höger, the senior farmer has taken over this tradition from his father and uncle. His son in turn takes over this form of traditional cattle drive. He is even packed with alpine fever. In the preparations for the Almabtrieb, wistfulness seizes him – he counts again the days until he comes back next summer with the cows on the pasture: "230 days are still there", tells Martin Höger.

Preparation Almabtrieb Engalm

What must be done before the cattle drive??
But now, first of all, the preparations for the "extend", so the homecoming of Alm will be hit. He finally spent the entire 3 summer months on the Engalm. Thus, not only the cows must be driven home, it must be taken the entire household. This includes, for example, the music system in the stable. In the spring, the speaker cables were laid through the entire stable, now in autumn, they are packed again.

Martin says "otherwise the cows will not give milk". How musical the cows really are, remains open. Martin will also need the morning music, as he is in the barn every summer between 4.00 and 5.00 o’clock in the milking stall. A lively melody helps a lot. After the last milking of the season, other things have to be packed together: parts of the milking system come along, as well as the nameplates of the cows, which indicates the respective position of the cow in the stable.

Celebrate the last Almnacht in the Eng
The last night on the Alm is a special one. Karl and Martin Höger are sure that the cows will notice that it is home. But also the farmers and their helpers spend the last evening differently than usual. It is eaten and drunk in the rest hut of the Engalm. Some funny stories of the last years are told. Of course a schnapps and beer are also included. Music should not be missing and so the Martin plays with his Zieher (Zieharmonika) on. In contrast to the other evenings on the Engalm is staying awake longer today.

When the cows walk over the Lamsenjoch

Let’s start: with the cows on the Lamsenjoch
After a short night, it is time to get up early again. The cows are milked one last time and off you go. The cowbells ring loudly between the huts of the Engalm. Under the supervision of the Almbewohner and the visitors it starts at 8.00 clock. The cows quickly make their way out of the Engalm up to the Binsalm. The landlady Margit brings a welcome drink for the farmer and his helpers. After that it’s a bit slower, but not because of the schnapps, but because it gets steeper and the cows slow down on the green fields.

On the way to the Lamsenjoch the sun comes out and the view to the Hohljoch, the Lalidererwänden and the Lalidererhochalm is fantastic. Now begins the most difficult part of the Almabtriebs, from the western to the eastern Lamsenjoch. It is not without danger to go over the yoke: The trail is very narrow and dangerous in many places. If you get over the path, you fall into the steep walls of the Lamsenjoch. After the cows walk on the edge of the path, the danger is great. In addition, roadsides can also break away once. Luckily, this has not happened to the Nockbauer so far, but there are always accidents with cattle drives. Everything is fine again this time.

Almabtrieb Stallenalm

Through the stable valley down to the Inn Valley
After a stop at the Lamsenjoch hut, it goes down, the altitude uphill are done, now are about 1300 meters downhill on the program. Half way up is the Stallenalm, where again a short rest for man and animal is inserted. From there it goes with the cows to the stable floor and Weng. There is the goal of the first day. The cows arrive there around 3:00 pm and are allowed to rest here overnight. After all, they were now on the road for 7 hours. In the evening, the cows are still milked.

Almabtrieb Terfens

Almabtrieb day two
The next day it continues. Before the cows are decorated, milking is announced again. Of course, then it is the cleaning of the cows’s turn. Then the headdress of the cows is sorted, which the peasant woman and her sisters artfully bound in the last days and weeks at home. There are containers with mirrors, with crosses, pictures or flowers. No one is like the other. As soon as a cow has the right container on its head, the bell is added. When all the cows are finished, continue on the journey. From the meadow above the Inntal, the cows have to follow the roads and paths via Vomp and Vomperbach to Terfens. They are already expected on the village square. The Almabtrieb in Terfens is celebrated. Now it is only a good half hour before they arrive at home on the farm – the destination of the journey.

Here lives a tradition that will hopefully last a long time. Unfortunately, this form of cattle drive is practically extinct, because it demands a great deal from animals and humans. Luckily she still lives in the Karwendel.

—> all appointments for the ALMABTRIEB TIROL and my recommendations for the autumn holiday including the beautiful hikes in the Karwendel.

The big maple ground

Known since 1972: All information about the well-known natural monument large Ahornboden in Karwendelgebirge. One of the most beautiful places in the Alps.

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Where is the most beautiful Almabtrieb? Where is he like in the past? What are the dates this year for the Almabtrieb with craft market around the Karwendel?

Fall vacations

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Christina Cherry
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