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Stories from the Nature Park

Magic peaks

The Enchanting Crown Prince

It is not the highest mountain in the Zillertal Alps. But it is very distinctive. Its pyramid-like structure makes the 3,476-metre high Olperer a truly fascinating sight and a real challenge for alpinists.

The view over his homeland in Zillertal gives Leonhard Stock a special feeling of happiness every time he goes hiking. If everything goes smoothly and he feels safe, he likes to take a peak with him, but he doesn't necessarily have to reach it.

Turning back isn't a big deal for him. Because to achieve that absolute elation at the top, everything has to be just right. The 1980 downhill Olympic champion has only been to the third highest mountain in the Zillertal Alps once before, but he still vividly remembers his !rst face-to-face encounter with the exalted Crown Prince Olperer.

"Most people often underestimate the
Olperer. My admiration goes out to those who are
able to reach the edges or even go beyond and successfully
reach the summit. Especially if they opt for the more difficult
Nordgrat ridge. But regardless of the route, absolute
concentration is always needed. The more respect you
climb the mountain with, the greater the emotion."

Leonhard Stock (Olympic champion)

As a young boy he stood on the summit together with his siblings Hans, Josef and Maria. Leo's enthusiasm for this striking landmark in the Tuxertal and Valsertal valleys has remained unbroken since he was at least 13 years old. The imposing ridge of gneiss and granite has impressed him since his training on the Hintertux Glacier.

"It's beautiful on all sides. Even if it's just a panoramic picture on TV." For the people of Finkenberg, the mighty mountain, whose geographical dominance makes it a perfect vantage point, has never lost any of its fascination.

Images Tom Klocker and text: Franz Neumayr
Zillertal magazine Winter 2020/21 

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