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Take a “Shopping Cart” Up to the Mountains
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Take a “Shopping Cart” Up to the Mountains

The nostalgic gondola basket lift brings you up to the hiking area of the Texelgruppe Nature Park. People who are sensitive to heights or suffer from vertigo should take care.

If you do not suffer from a fear of heights, enter the small green iron basket, which was designed especially for hikers and gives the feeling of sitting in a shopping cart in the air. The basket lift, which leads from Velloi/Vellau near Lagundo/Algund up to the hiking area of the Texelgruppe Nature Park, is not for people with vertigo. It is made entirely of wire – even the bottom is just a grid.

As you travel up, you stand in pairs (or with a child as a group of three) and hover leisurely above, over meadows and through the forest. During the ride, you can not only enjoy the beautiful landscape and the magnificent view of the Etschtal Valley, but also take great photos.

In the past, there were several such lifts in South Tyrol, but today you can only find this one extraordinary lift. Incidentally, the basket lift has been in operation since 1965. Every day from the beginning of April to the beginning of November – except between 12 noon and 1 p.m., when the operators take a well-deserved lunch break.

Designed especially for hikers, the basket lift brings summit climbers and families up to the Texelgruppe Nature Park. Even dogs may normally be taken in the basket lift, but it is advisable to ask the operator in the Gasthaus Gasteiger inn next door before the trip to be sure.

After arriving at the mountain station, you can reach the Leiter Alm mountain pasture at 1,550 m height with about a fifteen minute walk. This is a popular retreat destination for hikers. In addition to the spacious sun terrace, there are plenty of freshly prepared dishes and typical South Tyrolean fare on offer. Moreover, the Alpine pasture lies directly on the Merano High Mountain Trail, which is considered one of the most beautiful mountain hut stage hikes in the entire Alpine region. For longer hikes or summit excursions, from June to August you can even stay overnight.
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About three hours from the Leiter Alm mountain pasture is the 2,294 meter high Mutspitze peak. The Hochganghaus refuge at 1,893 meters can be reached in about one and a half hours. It has 50 beds and even Internet access. In addition to the usual mountain dishes, there is show cooking every Sunday, when the hosts cook Plentenen Ribl (regional buckwheat meals) over an open fire. If you stay overnight, the next morning you can wake up refreshed and cheerfully hike up to one of the surrounding peaks of the Tschigat, the Rötelspitze or the Hochgangscharte.

And if you are ever in the Texelgruppe Nature Park, you should also plan a hike to the famous Spronser Seen lakes: ten mountain lakes at different heights, which form a large high Alpine lake district. On the way to the Spronser Seen lakes, follow the "Stoanernen Mandlen", the stone figures which have always been considered grateful signposts in the mountains.

As you can see, hiking opportunities in the Texelgruppe Nature Park are endless. The start of the hike with the nostalgic basket lift is itself a true highlight. For who can claim to have started a hike in a shopping cart?
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