“Lei las’n“ hike on the SaualmContact
The gently sloping alpine pastures of the Saualm (Saualpe) in Lower Carinthia that stretch from north to south make a fantastic whole-day hiking experience. The Carinthian expression “lei lasn” stands for something like “take it nice and easy” meaning that true strength lies in calmness.
Hiking is the millers’ delight (to quote a German folk song). But not only millers love it! First of all, drive from Petschnighof farm in the direction of Diex. There you take the road leading to Grafenbach. After around 6 km, you turn left when you see the place sign Wolfstratten. You have already entered the Saualm area. After another 12 km or so, you can park your car in one of the special car parks. Equipped with rucksack and hiking boots (take your rain coat with you, the weather can change very quickly) you take Trail No. 308 to Schwaigkogel. After the first climbs you’ll reach a pretty clearing at Karawankenblick (Karawanken view): a very fitting place to have a little sit-down to catch your breath. Now you might be wondering how the Saualm got its slightly odd name. Well, there are two theories. One of them says that a lot of wild sow used to breed here, due to the ideal vegetation. According to the other one, it received its name because of the peculiar shape of the mountain pasture – together with its foothills it looks very much like a suckling sow.
Refreshed you continue in the direction of Kleiner Sauofen across the Windische Wiese covered in lovely moss. Here you can risk taking off your boots and walking barefoot over the soft mossy ground. This is great for tired feet!
True strength lies in calmness. At the first summit cross at the Großer Sauofen almost all of Lower Carinthia is at your feet. No matter in what direction you gaze, you will be handsomely rewarded for all the hard work the climb involved. Later on, when you’re back home in your everyday life, you can keep recalling this image along with the sense of peace and calm you had when you experienced it.
So don’t forget to capture the scenery in a photograph and pause for a while to contemplate every detail of this special moment. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, you’ll find the climb to the Speikkogel (1,901 m above sea level) a piece of cake. Why not take a little Speick home with you. In the Alps, Speick refers to various aromatic Alpine plants – in our case a kind of primrose.
When you reach the Wolfsberger Hütte (at an altitude of 1,827 m) there is still plenty of time to have a nice Brettljause (a farmer’s snack served on a wooden platter). To descend, you take the same way you came and you can once again enjoy the delightful natural beauty around you and the feeling of “lei las’n”!