Photo walk with the nature photographer, author and expert of ancient forests Matthias Schickhofer in the Alpine wilderness of Warscheneck mountains
Impressions from the "Mountain Paradise of Warscheneck". All photos made by Matthias Schickhofer, Martha Rieß and the participants of the photo workshop 2019.
In the mountain paradise of Warscheneck you can find a multitude of different photo motifs that make photographers' hearts beat faster. But how can we capture them and show the dramatic of the scene?
Due to Martha's local knowledge we find the most beautiful photo opportunities in the untapped, alpine primeval landscapes, of which there are still plenty in the Warscheneck area. For one, it is the wild limestone mountains that make up the 1100 square kilometre karst plateau of the Dead Mountains. Here, in one of the largest wilderness areas of the Eastern Alps, large natural forests spread out - with gnarly pine trees dating back to the end of ice age, ancient larches as well as old-time spruce trees forced by snow and wind to a bizarre growth. The larch-pine forest on Warscheneck plateau is the largest of its kind in Austria. Away from the (today mostly dilapidated) alpine pastures even jungle-like stocks have survived to this day. And above the tree line there is a magnificent, almost vegetationless rocky desert.
Even right next to the Wurzeralm ski area, the Warscheneck awaits you with special natural highlights: orchid-rich wet meadows and fascinating bogs with highly specialized plants such as mountain pines, sundew - a carnivorous plant, and the pink rosemary heather with her bewitching flowers.
In the alpine forest and mountain wilderness, there live many rare and endangered plant and animal species: among them a number of endemic species such as Clusius primrose, Anemone ornamental flower, Austrian spurge and Ennstaler Lady’ Mantle, but also golden eagles, peregrine falcons, woodpeckers and grouse.
The two and a half day photo walk leads us right into the heart of this secluded natural landscape: in enchanted natural forests, to alpine cliffs and strange bogs. Matthias shows us the basics of the photographer's craft to keep alive these exciting moments at its best.
Base camp is at Linzer House - a mountaineering hostel run by the Austrian Alpine Club.
Matthias Schickhofer is nature photographer,
book author, campaign and NGO consultant, journalist, and promoter of nature
tourism. Grown up in the Waldviertel, he lives in Vienna, works in Europe. He is
committed to the protection of primeval forests (mainly in Romania) and
threatened wilderness refuges. Focus on wilderness and primeval forest
About his books: "Unser Urwald. Die letzten wilden Wälder im Herzen Europas" [transl.: "Our jungle, the last wild forests in the
heart of Europe"] as well as "Schwarzbuch Alpen. Warum wir unsere Berge retten müssen" [transl.: "Schwarzbuch Alpen - Why we have to save
our mountains"] both are published at Brandstätter Verlag, Vienna.
June 5th, 2020: Arrival and meeting point at 15:00 p.m. Check-in at
Linzer House, getting to know each other. First walk to Brunnsteiner See and to
the moorland in the evening light (based on the NATURSCHAUSPIEL script
"Bergparadies Warscheneck: The Wurzeralm in summer").
Saturday, June 6th, 2020: sunrise photography (5:00 a.m.), breakfast (8:00 a.m.), hike in the larch-pine forest *. Lunch picnic. Return to Linzer House approx. 17:00 p.m. In the evening exchange of experiences and tips, picture evaluation ... (* based on the NATURSCHAUSPIEL script "Bergparadies Warscheneck: The larch-pine forest in summer").
Sunday, June 7th, 2020: After breakfast ride up into Frauenkar, a narrow trough valley, hike through the wild karst mountains [based on the NATURSCHAUSPIEL script "Mountain Paradise Warscheneck:" Wild karst mountains - where the ‘Kohlreserl’ (Black and Red Vanilla Orchids) grow and the Gentian blooms"]. Return back to the valley around 4:00 p.m.
Our photo workshop takes place in all weather!
Depending on the circumstances, we will adapt the program.
Hike on mountain trails and some parts in trackless area, partly with cable car access. Comfortable hiking speed.
easy, sure-footedness necessary.
Beginning and meeting point: Friday, 15:00 p.m. at the valley station of the Wurzeralm funicular
End: Sunday, approx. 16:00 p.m.
Participants: Accomplishment guaranteed. 10 persons maximum.
Prices photowalk p.p.: 150 € plus 2 nights with half board and luggage transport 100 €*.
* The ascent and descent with the Wurzeralm cable cars as well as luggage transport are included in the Pyhrn-Priel guest card.
Discounts: For members of alpine clubs like Österreichischer Alpenverein or Naturfreunde, there is a membership fee for the overnight stay at the Linzer House (take ID card).
Telephoto lens, wide angle, macro // polarization and gray gradient filter // tripod // resting pad // umbrella (in wet weather) // functional description of your camera
Equipment overnight stay and photo walk:
A list of equipment you will receive upon registration.
Booking and questions