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Sonntag, 10. Juni 2018

Kaprun: High Alpine Glacier Water Reservoirs

Sunday I woke up in the morning at 7 and as Marty called me, as we established the evening before, I said to him:
"Look, I have an idea. I want to go up to the Alpine High Reservoirs. You may come with me, if you want." (He imagined himself, we go to have some icecream somewhere ....)
The pictures I saw were pretty incredibile, the water color was so deep, so intensive, so beautiful, endless beautiful.  I wanted to see the beauty of it!
Marty picked me up, it was on his way anyway. A wonderful Sunday morning and I had only about four hours for myself, I wanted to be back home at 12 to take a rest and to et ready for work.
Marty moved out here from Germany nine years ago and he never saw these lakes .... I find it so incredible ...
From Kaprun we drove 10 km to the big parking building at the start point to the reservoirs. A huge high beton parking house in the middle of the forest, deep in the mountain .... another incredible construction and engineering work of Austrians .... The hight of each floor is about only 2 meter, just for a normal car (no picture available, I should fly over and take a picture from the sky in order to give a slight idea about the place!)
The access to the reservoirs is restricted. You have two options: walk/run or taking the first bus, then the cable open vagoonand the second bus. The itinerary is exactly calculated. Amazing work, I am speechless.
We were early there, we took the first bus. A very good idea, really. About two hours later, the buses were overcrowded, thre buses once!
A special and distinctive means of transport - Lärchwand Inclined Lift

Following a two-year interlude for renovation work on the inclined lift, on the drive system and the route, this technical masterpiece is once again in operation. During the construction phase of the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs, this was the only means of transporting heavy equipment, construction materials and lorries into the high mountains. After completion of the dams, it became a tourist highlight in the Salzburg province.

The Lärchwand inclined lift unites two superlatives in one place: the largest open inclined lift in Europe, and the largest track gauge in the world for a passenger rail car. As many as 185 passengers have room in the renovated inclined lift, which has nevertheless retained its charm. Thus VERBUND offers an additional tourist highlight near the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs which reflects the blend of nature and technology. The Lärchwand inclined lift runs above the Kesselfall Alpenhaus to the Wasserfallboden reservoir. In doing so, the inclined lift overcomes an altitude difference of 431 metres over a length of 820 metres. Every year more than 100,000 guests visit the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs.
The first bus is driving through a tunnel, of course. It reach a small turning point. The area is calculated in order to have just enough place for turning back. 

Two or three buses are transported by end of May to the next station, where the tourists get out from the vagoon.
History:
Already in 1941 an inclined lift was installed along the current route, but with a load capacity of only 9 tonnes and the requirements of a construction site high in the mountains, this soon proved to be an insufficient size. In 1952 an expansion to the current track width and a load capacity of 60 tonnes took place. The inclined lift served as a passenger elevator and material hoist for constructing and operating the Glockner Kaprun upper stage power plant. The Lärchwand inclined lift was the only means of transporting the material up to the high Alpine world.

After an operating period of more than 60 years, a general renovation was done from 2012 to 2014. Since the Lärchwand inclined lift is now exclusively used to transport visitors to the Mooserboden reservoirs, the load capacity could be reduced to 14 tonnes. The driving speed is 3.6 m/sec, the travel time is approx. 5 minutes and the conveying capacity is about 900 persons per hour.


With shuttle buses (leaving from the Kesselfall ticket desk) and the Lärchwand inclined lift, the largest open inclined lift in Europe, you have a comfortable trip to the Mooserboden reservoir at an altitude of 2,040 m.
Along the way there is the option of stopping at the Fürthermoar Alm. This is a rustic, privately operated Alpine farm which offers many local delicacies. 
So ..... You get out from the first bus, take the Lärchwand inclined lift which carry you steep, very steep up on the mountain for less than five minutes. 
Technical data:
The complete drive system, the control system and the car, as the lift cabin is called in cableway technical jargon, were all renewed. The two electronically synchronised drive motors, each of which drives its own cable winch, are located in the underground top station and each have a capacity of 500 kilowatts. The hauling rope is redirected via two sheaves on the car and guided along the track by means of hauling cable pulleys. The track is made of two rails laid right and left in longitudinal concrete sleepers on the terrain level of the slope.

The new platform truck with the impressive dimensions of 9 by 5.4 metres holds 185 passengers, as the previous model did, and is open at the top. Special awnings provide sun or rain protection as needed. The all-glass telescopic sliding doors on both sides for boarding and exiting allow for an impressive upward view towards the glorious world of three thousand metre mountains, and on the other side a view of the steep lift route, which boasts a maximum pitch of 81%. The track width is 8.2 metres, the largest gauge in the world for a passenger rail car.

Then you take the second bus and you will be droven for about 10 minutes along the road cut in the mountain and through other tunnels. The road is very narrow, just for one bus driving on it in a direction. Everything is perfectly managed and syncronized. I say it again: an amazing work of human perfection! 
In the midst of the Upper Tauern lies VERBUND's birthplace and one of the most impressive constructions of the post-war period. The Kaprun high mountain reservoirs, including the two reservoirs "Wasserfallboden" and "Mooserboden", at about 2,040 metres above sea level.
The two lakes are situated like fjords in the rear Kaprun Valley. Embedded between the three thousand metre Alpine peaks, at the border of the Upper Tauern National Park.
In the post-war period, this spot was marked by legends that you can still trace today.
Whether in the Electricity Adventure World, which bilingually presents the history and challenges of the construction as well as the diversity in the Upper Tauern National Park.
Or also the spectacular technical achievement that was implemented here amidst the Alps.
Here the power of water and the possibilities for generating electricity from hydropower are shown first-hand.
Especially for families, the play-and-experience stations along the "electricity trail" help to give a better understanding of hydropower and energy production in a fun way. 
VERBUND opens its gates and offers a glimpse of the inside of the Moosersperre Dam and modern electricity generation in the framework of dam tours.
With all of VERBUND's tourist offerings, the focus is on knowledge transfer in the form of a range of guided tours. Whether run-of-river power plants or the large pumped storage power plants in the Alps. Take a look behind the scenes of the largest hydropower electricity producer in Austria and Bavaria and have fun learning interesting facts about our present and former electricity generation. For school classes the platform "Electricity School" has been set up, where teachers can find a great variety of energy topics already prepared for the respective learning stages.
 

A glimpse behind the scenes of electricity generation

The Moosersperre Dam towers 107 m almost straight up and at the same time curves across a width of 494 m between the rocks.
With a dam tour, we offer interested persons the rare opportunity to get to know the inner workings of the construction. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to tell you further details as well as some anecdotes from the dam's long history...
Ticket sales at the cash desk in the valley or directly at the Mooserboden reservoir kiosk. The meeting place for tours is at the Mooserboden kiosk.
Tours take place daily every 45 minutes from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and take about 1 hour.
Costs: 6 Euros.
As all over the places in Austria, a big attention gets the children and the educational tools which are a very strong component of the Austrian society!
So, even here are organized activities for children and a big play area is even available without any risks!
Hiking with children - and learning

Our children's nature trail invites you and your children to a trip around the Mooserboden reservoir. At six interactive stations, young and old guests can have fun learning more about nature and technology. The children's hiking path at the reservoir is the first hiking trail in this region especially for children. With its length (approx. 1 km, approx. 30 minutes incl. stations) and trail conditions it is suitable even for the littlest children and is easily navigable with a stroller.
At the cash desk, children receive a little booklet with a map and a guide for experiencing the children's path. Six questions are asked about nature and technology. With the answer card and the hopefully correctly marked answers, the children receive a small surprise at the kiosk near the Electricity Adventure World

For an excursion to the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs it's recommended to plan a stay of about four hours. I didn't have that time today, so I know for sure, I will take at least one day to come here again and another day to do a trail running up here and down back!
The shuttle buses run according to passenger demand and the Verbund tries to keep waiting times as short as possible.
At 12:15 I was back home (!)
Related image
Source: https://www.potepuh.si/kaprun-zell-am-see
A lot of information here - click the link

Tipp:
Austria's highest dam is located at an altitude of 1,933 m - the Kölnbrein dam. Just getting there along the 14.4 km long Malta Hochalmstrasse panoramic road, characterised by rock tunnels and hairpin turns, is an adventure in itself.

And, to another end of the world, where the nature makes its own reservoires at over 4.500 m ..... just remembering ..... something I will never forget .... never ....

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