The Hills Are Alive … Explorers in Austria

The Hills Are Alive … Explorers in Austria

On Friday August 16th 2019, a group of 37 Northern Norwich Explorers and leaders set off on a 10 day adventure to the Tirol Valley to take part in a multitude of activities. It all started with a 22 hour coach and ferry journey passing through England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and arriving at our destination, Austria, early on Saturday afternoon.

We stayed in a Jeka chalet in the beautiful village of Stanzach, nestled in the Tyroleon Valley, surrounded by mountains and close to a turquoise blue, babbling river.

Although all our food was supplied, we had the task of preparing and cooking it.

Over the following days we participated in the following activities:-

Canyoning – descending a canyoning, following a river via abseiling, jumping in pools, swimming, scrambling and clambering over rocks. This tested the courage of of the explorers with some of the jumps being at least 5 metres high and the abseils, alongside waterfalls, well…..the photos tell the story. We also used this opportunity to invest one of our new Explorers.

Exploring the town of Lecht, taking a ‘hairy’ cable car ride up…and down the mountains and enjoying the scenery, snow…and an iced coffee!!

Completing a mountain hike to stay in a mountain hut, Bernhardseckhutte, 1812M above sea level. The trek up was incredibly testing for a number of our members, especially the last 500 or so metres which was extremely steep!! However, being above the clouds,  the views from the hut were breathtaking and definitely worth the hike!

A cultural evening of Tyrolean entertainment. We enjoyed listening to typical Tyrolean music and watching Tyrolean dancers of all ages perform for us. A couple of our party also had the opportunity to participate in a dance or two on stage!! Much to the amusement of the rest of us!!

White water rafting along Europe’s number 1 white water rafting river. We went from Imst , through Roppen on to Haiming. 14 km´s of rafting fun and excitement. With a fairly gentle start giving us time to learn the paddling technique, learn the different rafting commands and having the opportunity to ‘fall’ out of the boat and to practice rescuing each other, the action was not far away. We soon experienced the exhilaration of paddling through the white water and rapids down to Haiming.

Swimming, at the Alpentherm swimming and spa complex. We had a great time using the Flume,- one at a time please!, riding the rapids and relaxing in the water jets of the outside pool (32degrees)….ahhhhh bliss!

Crossing the Highline 179, officially the longest suspension footbridge in the world. This impressive piece of engineering south of Reutte offered us breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain scenery. Explorers really had to muster all their courage and challenge themselves to make it across the 406-meter long, swaying bridge at a dizzying height of 114 meters, linking the the remarkable Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble with the remains of the 17th-century Roman Fortress Claudia in the market town of Reutte, with stunning mountains and valleys always in sight—not for the faint of heart!

Riding the world’s longest alpine roller coaster. Exactly 3,535-m pure excitement down into the valley at Imst.  Although the bumps, steep turns and unexpected twists awaited our intrepid explorers they also added to the excitement by challenging themselves not to apply the brakes on the way down!!…a breathtaking and hair-raising adventure!

We challenged ourselves at Tiefblick High Ropes Course, an aerial forest adventure park in Tannheimer Tal Valley: The park consists of eight courses with varying levels of difficulty for all. We started by being outfitted with a harness and taught about the park’s SMART Safety Belay (SSB) system, a permanently-activated securing system and then we were off! Our balance and agility were soon tested working our way from platform to platform high in the forest, crossing bridges, climbing ladders, conquering obstacles, and zooming across zip lines. At some points we were 15 meters in the trees and off the ground and we all rode on the exhilarating Flying Fox, two zip line canopy tours that are 120 and 100 meters long.

The Aerial Forest Adventure Park is nestled in a scenic, forested area at the heart of the spectacular Tannheim Mountains. As the day was a hot one, we finished our tree tops adventure with a walk to the local lake where a cool “paddle” was enjoyed.

On the last night we had the traditional camp fire on the banks of the river by our accommodation. Traditional songs were sung as well as a few new to some of us.

Overall it was a fantastic trip, an opportunity for all involved to get to know and socialise with Explorers from units across the district, a chance to try new activities, use and refine scouting skills,   learn about other cultures and challenge ourselves personally. The group really gelled over the time spent together, supporting each other to overcome physical and mental obstacles and working together as a team throughout the week. It was an honour and pleasure to be part of it. Roll on the next one!!!

5th November 2019     Explorers, News

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