On the trail of Auguste Piccard...
You will feel part of an event that was of world historic importance on the Gurgler Ferner glacier. Here in 1931 physics professor Auguste Piccard made a specacular emergency landing with his high-altitude balloon. Back then the 16,000 metre-high flight had the same significance as the moon landing and instantly made Obergurgl world famous.
The basket of the high-altitude balloon is at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels but even without this relic, his risky manoeuver is vividly comprehensible.
Additionally, the mountain air in Gurgl inspired Nobel Prize winner Friedrich August von Hayek to pen “The Constitution of Liberty”, his famous plea for a free social order.
Hiking suggestion: Piccard Hike
Walking time: approx. 8 ½ hours. From Obergurgl walk over the bridge on the slightly steep trail to the “Beil”, then over the high alpine promenade full of flowers and great views, and over the Gurgl farmers’ alpine farms to the Küppel-Schäferhütte (no service).
From there you will hike uphill, steeply at first, and then upwards to both “Herrenbäche” streams. The trail turns to the right in steep hairpin bends from the former goods cable car to the “Köpfle”, where you will find the serviced Ramolhaus alpine hut (DAV Sektion Hamburg). Head back over the Gurgler Ferner glacier crossing to the Schwärzenkamm (only for those with alpine experience or a mountain guide, and only in good weather).
Decend to the Langtalereck hut (partially secured with ropes) past the Schönwieshütte hut and back to Obergurgl.Return