Whilst we are looking for a free place to sit in the rustic dining room, a voice suddenly booms: „Griaß aich! Kunnt vo aich gach wer obwoschn?“ (“Welcome! Can one of you quickly do the dishes?”)
Ah, so that is the innkeeper. And the cook, the waiter, the guard, caretaker of guests. Richi, the man from Gamskarkogel.
For 15 years, Richi has been spending the summer months up here, far from civilization and modern technology. Going almost completely without electricity, most appliances are manually operated. Time and the outside world are of no importance here and entertainment is provided by hikers, who are on their way up to, or down from, the peak. The only important thing here is the weather. Drastic changes or onsets of winter can be tricky.
A few years ago in September, Richi got stuck in his hut for 17 days, due to 2 meters of snow. Persistent cold and dense fog forced him to solitude, which is not that rare up here, though usually of shorter duration. Bad weather in the Alps is not to be underestimated.
Richi can not only deal with loneliness well, but confidently manages two dozens of hungry hikers arriving at his hut around lunchtime, like today. Chosen guests clear the tables, whilst others are asked to help with the dishes. In return, you are rewarded with a chat with the innkeeper and homemade cake to enjoy with your coffee. And of course a schnaps. Until, at some point, you need to make a move to reach the valley in the remaining daylight.
Address: Gamskarkogel, 5630 Bad Hofgastein
Tel: 0043 676 4158840
Open for visitors from mid-June until the end of September
(dependent on the weather)
Overnight stays possible with reservations made prior to arriving