Trail maintenance and upkeep

21. Dec. 2020

A great challenge with responsibility: in all their projects, the Trail Angels point out that the upkeep and maintenance of the long-distance trails is one of the greatest challenges, with a great responsibility that goes with it.

Trail crew in action: the operation of a trail is unthinkable without their work. In the picture a team of the Austrian Alpine Club at the Alpe Adria Trail. ©Peter Angermann

Especially in years following catastrophic weather events, this task can push the responsible trail operators to the limits of both human and financial resources. The avalanche and mudslide disaster of November 2019 left a trail of devastation, especially on many trails in East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia. For example, the damage to the new Höfe Trail in East Tyrol’s Lesachtal valley was so severe that its opening had to be postponed for a year in the first place.
www.hoefetrail.at

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau
This is how the Höfe Trail presented itself this spring. There could be no thought of an opening ©TVB Osttirol

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A weather event like the catastrophic snowfall in November 2019 presents a significant challenge to trail teams for trail restoration.

Ron Kapteyn

(Trail commissioner Alpe-Adria-Trail)

The situation was also particularly critical on the Mölltal stages of our flagship, the Alpe-Adria-Trail. Several stages remained closed and had to be extensively rehabilitated. A task exemplarily coordinated by the tireless trail expert Ron Kapteyn, on behalf of the Hohe Tauern National Park Region. The hotspots on stages 3, 4 and 5 are now, at the beginning of July, accessible again, and hikers can once again hike the original route of the trail.
Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

A tireless fighter for the Alpe-Adria-Trail and yet always up for a bit of fun: Ron Kapteyn. ©Klaus Dapra

An exception, however, is still the completion of stage 5. Here, in July, rehabilitation measures are necessary. In order to ensure the accessibility of the finish point of this stage, the Innerfragant, nevertheless, the regional association of the Austrian Alpine Club, has acted quickly! On the initiative of their regional association chairman and trail expert of the Klagenfurt section Dr. Werner Radl, an old path was reactivated and renovated by the volunteers of the OeAV. What a great move!
Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau
A hard job in alpine terrain: the Alpine Club troop doing trail work on stage 5 of the Alpe-Adria Trail. ©Peter Angermann
Without the remarkable work of the trail workers and the volunteers of the alpine associations, sustainable hiking tourism in the Alps would not be possible. This should be remembered, especially in times of Corona, which will bring a higher load on the alpine infrastructure. Therefore, we Trail Angels would like to thank you in this way!

Author

Günter Mussnig

The geographer is one of the founders and managing directors of Trail Angels, who are responsible for the online platform Bookyourtrail.com. As a trekking & outdoor freak, he is one of the fathers of the Alpe-Adria Trail and has been exploring the Nepalese Himalayas for more than 25 years.

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