Gesause National Park – chasing waterfalls and dodging storms
Delving a little deeper into the Styrian region of Austria we spent a few nights in Liezen and used it as a base to explore the Gesause National park.
Parking the van in one of the car parks within the national park we set out on foot following a path that promised to take us up to a waterfall. The first narrow section led us along an overgrown path into a woodland of pine and birch trees.
It was a hot and humid afternoon but a natural spring ran through the forest providing refreshing cool water for Chief.
Eventually we left the forest behind as the path climbed steeply up the mountainside and over some scrambles. We picked our way higher towards a hugely impressive rock face.
Chief is very experienced with mountains and is excellent at negotiating scrambles, in his mountaineering gear he has a harness with a handle we can use to support him and boots if the surface underfoot is very rough but for scrambling he needs to feel the rock under his paws and be able to grip with his toes and claws. As ever, on this occasion he just got on with it and found his way up, he seems to really enjoy the challenge. We knew the path eventually led to some ladders and we weren't sure we'd be able to get beyond those, our plan was to just continue as far as was safe and then turn back. The weather had other ideas though and as we climbed higher the wind began to pick up and we heard the rumble of thunder in the distance. We've experienced some pretty big storms on our trip already and so a bit of thunder while halfway up a mountain was not to be taken lightly. We decided to turn back, the path was getting trickier and coming down on wet rock would be significantly more difficult. As we descended the thunder grew louder and eventually when we were about 20 minutes away from the van the heavens opened. We were all a bit soggy when we got back but it was a good day nonetheless.