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BergZeitReise Tagestourentipp - Rax

Hiking route · Hochsteiermark
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  • Reißtalersteig im Sommer
    Reißtalersteig im Sommer
    Photo: Andreas Steininger, Hochsteiermark
m 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 10 8 6 4 2 km Edelweißhütte Edelweißhütte Parkplatz Parkplatz Waxriegelhaus Moassa, Almgasthof
A hike in the Mürzer Oberland Nature Park at the foot of the Raxenmäuer, which gives a little alpine feeling without exposing yourself to too many alpine dangers. Culinary, panoramic, historically significant (after all, the first mountain rescue service in the world was founded here!) and, depending on the choice of route and length, perfectly suitable for the whole family.
Distance 11.5 km
5:00 h
870 m
870 m
1,699 m
1,069 m
The back story of this tour: March 8, 1896, almost exactly 125 years ago - the three Viennese alpinists Max Schottik, Josef Pfannl and Fritz Waniek want to climb the 2,007-meter-high Rax via the Reißtalersteig, which is extremely difficult in winter.

But a huge avalanche buries the three young men underneath - none of them should survive this tragedy. When the climbers do not return to Vienna in the evening, a rescue operation is organized by Josef Pfannl's brother, in which the well-known Mürzzuschlager hotelier Toni Schruf also participates, unfortunately in vain.

This tragedy caused a sensation throughout the Habsburg Empire and, starting from Vienna, the first alpine rescue stations were set up in Mürzzuschlag, Reichenau and the Gesäuse.

On the traces of this tragedy

Hiking where this sad accident happened? Don't worry, this tour does not take us over the upper Reißtalersteig, which is, by the way, extremely dangerous in winter, but also in spring when there is snow. There lurks above the ladders a huge cornice that can thunder into the valley at any time!

No, we go from Preiner Gscheid to the flowery Siebenbrunnerwiese with the hospitable Waxriegelhaus and further along the picturesque Raxenmäuer on easy paths and trails to the Almgasthof Moassa. The return journey is then a leisurely one along the lower Reißtalersteig trail.

Author’s recommendation

In addition to the culinary rest options, the small climb to Imhofrast and to the mountain rescue - memorial plaque at the foot of the wall of the secured Reißtalersteig (magnificent vantage point) should definitely be integrated into the tour.

Huts along the tour:Waxriegelhaus, Tel.: 02665/237, Almgasthof Moassa, Tel. 03857/20010.


The first mountain rescue in the world - why here?

Who were those daring men (and occasionally women, of course) who climbed the mountains in their free time from the middle of the 19th century? Of course, not the local people, who could hardly waste their time with such senseless actions, but had to use their time to earn a living, which was often difficult.

The imperial capital and residence city of Vienna was close by!

But with the construction of the Semmering Railway (opened in 1854), the Rax, Schneeberg and Stuhleck moved within reach of the Habsburg metropolis of Vienna - and thus within reach of the aristocrats and upper middle classes, who, unlike the local people, had the time as well as the money to climb the Alpine peaks voluntarily. So it came as it had to come - because with the climbing and descending also began the falling down - and thus the now already 125-year-old history of the mountain rescue.

There is also an exhibition section on the history of mountain rescue in the Mürzzuschlag Winter Sports Museum (

Profile picture of Andreas Steininger
Andreas Steininger 
Update: September 27, 2022
Highest point
1,699 m
Lowest point
1,069 m
Best time of year

Track types

Dirt road 4.38%Forested/wild trail 34.27%Path 60.94%Road 0.39%
Dirt road
0.5 km
Forested/wild trail
3.9 km
7 km
0 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Moassa, Almgasthof

Safety information

The entire path is safe to walk, proper clothing or hiking equipment necessary!

Emergency call mountain rescue: 140,

Tip for emergency reporting - give answers to the six W-questions:What happened? How many injured? Where did the accident happen (possibly GPS coordinates)? Who is reporting (callback number)? When did the accident happen? Weather at the accident site?

Attention: the memorial plaque at the entrance to the insured Reißtalersteig (not part of this hike) is located at a place dangerous for rockfall, do not rest here under any circumstances!

Tips and hints


Huts along the tour:Waxriegelhaus, Tel.: 02665/237, Almgasthof Moassa, Tel. 03857/20010


P am Preiner Gscheid, Achtung, sehr frequentiert! (1,069 m)
47.675789, 15.723473
47°40'32.8"N 15°43'24.5"E
33T 554305 5280520
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P am Preiner Gscheid

Turn-by-turn directions

In the Mürzer Oberland Nature Park

We first start at the Preiner Gscheid (parking regulations and parking prohibitions must be observed) and hike comfortably in about an hour over a former ski slope to the Siebenbrunnerwiese and keeping to the right to the nearby Waxriegelhaus in the Mürzer Oberland Nature Park. In spring, the meadow is often covered with alpine flowers, and high above us tower the mighty rock faces of the Predigtstuhl. The Styria-wide hiking route "from glacier to wine" also passes by here.

At the foot of the Raxenmäuer

From the Waxriegelhaus, the so-called "Kontrussteig" takes us in an easy up and down in a southwesterly to westerly direction to the unmanaged Reißtalerhütte. Here, not far from the hut, we follow the yellow-marked lower Reißtalerersteig uphill for about 20 minutes to a striking vantage point - the "Imhofrast", a perfect resting place!

In front of us spreads the Raxenmäuer and the secured upper Reißtalersteig located just above us, behind us offers a magnificent view of the Mürztal mountains. If conditions allow it later in the year (snow conditions), you can still hike up to the entrance of the upper Reißtalersteig in about 15 minutes. There is a large memorial plaque for the three mountaineers who died in an accident in 1896 (do not rest here, it is a dangerous place for falling rocks).

From here we descend again and at a marked turnoff we follow the path (partly forest path) in the forest, passing the "Mitterbach Stall", to the Almgasthof Moassa.

From the "Moassa" back

After a rest at the "Moassa" (great location, excellent cuisine, however, in the spring necessarily ask in advance by phone!) it goes first on the same way back. From the Reißtalerhütte, however, we hike along the lower, yellow-marked Reißtalersteig trail downhill to Preiner Gscheid.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Timetables and travel information can be found directly at:

Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB)

Styrian State Railways (STLB)


With the BusBahnBim app from Verbundlinie, finding a timetable has never been easier:

All bus, train and streetcar connections in Austria can be queried by entering places and/or addresses, stops or important points. The app is available as a free app for smartphones (Android, iOS) - on Google Play and in the App Store.

Important: this is currently (March 2021) only accessible by bus from the station Payerbach - Reichenau, from Mürzzuschlag there is no bus connection.


Large and busy parking lot (especially on weekends).


47.675789, 15.723473
47°40'32.8"N 15°43'24.5"E
33T 554305 5280520
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

BergZeitReise - Weitwanderweg: Hiking guide - Experience the history(s) of HOCHsteiermark on foot

Author’s map recommendations

ÖK Mürzzuschlag 1:50.000 of the BEV as well as the free BergZeitReise hiking map (overview map) of Hochsteiermark, Kompass hiking map Wiener Hausberge 1:50.000


Proper backpacking makes a lot of things easier:

Pack heavy things first. The water bottle should always be within easy reach in a side pocket. All things that are often needed, such as sunglasses, camera or hiking map, belong on top. An emergency kit including blister plaster belongs in every backpack and a clothing according to the "onion system" is always recommended!

For all hikes, be sure to wear good, ankle-high shoes!

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11.5 km
5:00 h
870 m
870 m
Highest point
1,699 m
Lowest point
1,069 m
Public-transport-friendly Out and back Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Dog-friendly


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