NATURSCHAUSPIEL "Mountain Paradise of Warscheneck", Photo walk

Eyes on Alpine Wilderness Warscheneck

Photo walk with the nature photographer, author and expert of ancient forests Matthias Schickhofer in the Alpine wilderness of Warscheneck mountains

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  • Matthias Schickhofer bei der Arbeit
    Matthias Schickhofer bei der Arbeit
  • Trollblumen (Trollius europaeus)
    Trollblumen (Trollius europaeus)
  • Auf der Suche nach dem besten Motiv
    Auf der Suche nach dem besten Motiv ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Bad in der Abendsonne
    Bad in der Abendsonne ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Gewöhnliches Katzenpfötchen
    Gewöhnliches Katzenpfötchen ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Matthias bei der Arbeit
    Matthias bei der Arbeit ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Sumpfdotterblume
    Sumpfdotterblume ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Abendsonne
    Abendsonne ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Bergmolch
    Bergmolch ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • In der Blumenwiese
    In der Blumenwiese ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Innenleben
    Innenleben ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Wasserplätschern
    Wasserplätschern ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Alpen-Soldanellen
  • Letzte Sonnenstrahlen
    Letzte Sonnenstrahlen ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Goldenes Licht
    Goldenes Licht ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Fachsimpeln
    Fachsimpeln ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Abendsonne
  • Rundlbatt-Sonnentau
    Rundlbatt-Sonnentau ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Morgenstimmung über dem Teichlboden
    Morgenstimmung über dem Teichlboden ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Sumpfdotterblumen
    Sumpfdotterblumen ©Manuela K.
  • Rote Wand
    Rote Wand ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Brunnsteinkar im Morgenlicht
    Brunnsteinkar im Morgenlicht
  • Clusius-Primeln
    Clusius-Primeln ©Matthias Schickhofer
  • Holzformen
  • Matthias mit Fan
    Matthias mit Fan
  • Urzeitvogel
    Urzeitvogel @Heidi H.
  • Eine Doline öffnet sich
    Eine Doline öffnet sich @Heidi H.
  • Irokese
    Irokese @Heidi H.
  • Bei der Arbeit
    Bei der Arbeit @Heidi H.
  • Käfer
    Käfer ©Manuela K.
  • Wurzelgebilde
    Wurzelgebilde @Heidi H.
  • Totholz
    Totholz @Heidi H.
  • Flechten
    Flechten ©Manuela K.
  • Tautropfen
    Tautropfen ©Manuela K.
  • Drache
    Drache ©Manuela K.
  • Sumpfdotterblumen im Wald
    Sumpfdotterblumen im Wald ©Maria Felbauer
  • Baumstumpf
    Baumstumpf ©Manuela K.
  • Seidelbast
    Seidelbast ©Maria Felbauer
  • Bilderrätsel
    Bilderrätsel ©Manuela K.
  • Grasfrosch
    Grasfrosch ©Manuela K.
  • Holzkurve
    Holzkurve ©Manuela K.
  • Brunnsteinkar
    Brunnsteinkar ©Manuela K.
  • Holzrätsel
    Holzrätsel ©Manuela K.
  • Holzstamm
    Holzstamm ©Manuela K.
  • Eisernes Bergl
    Eisernes Bergl
  • Clusius-Primel
    Clusius-Primel ©Maria Felbauer
  • Rutsch in den Urwald
    Rutsch in den Urwald ©Manuela K.
  • Totholz
    Totholz ©Manuela K.
  • Na bitte ... !
    Na bitte ... ! @Heidi H.
  • Wolkenstimmung
    Wolkenstimmung ©Maria Felbauer
  • Ast-Auge
    Ast-Auge ©Maria Felbauer
  • Fuchs-Knabenkraut
    Fuchs-Knabenkraut ©Maria Felbauer
  • Holzknoten
    Holzknoten ©Maria Felbauer

Impressions from the "Mountain Paradise of Warscheneck". All photos made by Matthias Schickhofer, Martha Rieß and the participants of the photo workshop 2019.

  • Morning light
    Morning light ©Matthias Schickhofer

NATURSCHAUSPIEL-Photo Walk 2020: " Morning glory on Wurzeralm pasture in "Dead Mountains" area in Upper Austria, taken during photography workshop I hosted last weekend. The Warscheneck mountains complex is a fantastic alpine wilderness area: huge natural larch pine forests, limestone deserts, large remote and lonely mountain heights. Big thx also to chef Brigitte at friendly Linzer Haus mountain refuge. Recommendation! A perfect COVID19 escape..." Thx Matthias Schickhofer!


Next date:

June 2021

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 photography.

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.


Friday, 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.

Location: Spital am Pyhrn
Hike on mountain trails and some parts in trackless area, partly with cable car access. Comfortable hiking speed.

Difficulty: 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 €*. Paypal accepted.

* 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).


Equipment photography: 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 & questions