Ibex, chamois, marmots, and golden eagles: they belong to the Tyrolean mountain world like ski slopes and alpine pastures. But if you want to see them in the flesh, where are they? Trisanna knows where to find them in Paznaun.
Many animals are at home in Paznaun, in summer just as much as in winter. Now, in the autumn, is a particularly good time to see many of them live and in 3D. It’s high season for ibex, chamois, marmot and golden eagles at the moment, and the best way to see them is to hike over the Bielerhöhe pass to the Wiesbadner Hut. At this time of year it’s like walking through the Innsbruck Alpine Zoo. And if you prefer to take it more easily, you can also reach the hut by bus or car.
ROUTEThe way begins at the north-eastern end of the Silvretta reservoir. First you go along the lake to its southern end, then follow the road through the Ochsental valley. At the beginning it is only slightly uphill, but it gets fairly steep at the end, until you come to the Wiesbadner Hut. On the way up or down, you may well meet these animals:
Now that it’s a bit colder, the chamois stay further down the mountain than in summer. The chamois’ typical habitat is actually the high mountain region and the alpine pastures down as far as the tree line. In the winter, however, they also move around in the mountain forests. But how can you recognize a chamois? In the winter, their awn hair is black, and only their masks and underbellies are white. Chamois live in herds. The rutting season begins in November.
Ibex are good climbers and live all year round in the mountains above the tree line. You can recognize them by their large horns. The horns of the male animals are longer, darker and more curved than those of the female animals. Incidentally, you tell the age of a buck even from far away. As a rule of thumb, the buck grows two decorative ridges on its horns every year.
The golden eagle builds its eyrie in cliff faces. It is at home in mountain regions and high forests. In Austria there are around 350 eagles. You may come across one as you climb up to the Wiesdbadner Hut – it is rare, but it happens. Golden eagles have dark brown feathers and a wing span of up to 2.3 metres.
Of course, you can’t always see the animals – you do need a bit of luck, as well.