The Reisalpe from the southwest (from the eastern slopes of the Türnitzer Höger)
|Parent range||Gutenstein Alps|
|Easiest route||Walking trail|
The Reisalpe (1,399 m) is the highest mountain in the Gutenstein Alps and lies between Lilienfeld, Hohenberg and Kleinzell in Lower Austria. It is a popular destination, both for hikers in summer and also for ski mountaineering and snowshoe walks in winter, and is classed as relatively safe from avalanches.
Near the summit stands a Madonna, recently joined by a summit cross, as well as the Reisalpe refuge hut (Schutzhaus) opened on 9 October 1898. A small Austrian Armed Forces hut is also located in the vicinity of the summit.
In October 1898, the Reisalpe Schutzhaus was opened. It was a beautiful autumn day, and over seven hundred people attended the elaborate opening ceremony. The black and gold flags fluttered in the wind, symbolizing the pride of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. Prior to the building's completion, the Austria-Hungarian Alpine club erected the four-meter Christian Gipfelkreuz (summit cross). The carving in the crossbeam reads "Gods Beautiful Homeland". Two hundred local villagers attended the festivities while five hundred guests were hiking tourists who came from far away.
Everyone who attended the celebration was dressed in their traditional Austrian and Bavarian Tracht clothing, emphasizing their unity for this event. The women wore their dirndls, while the men wore their Lederhosen. The twelve-piece brass band play the traditional Austrian folk music and polkas all day long with the accompanying accordionist.
The event was a spectacular occasion that opened with everyone singing 'The Day of Our Father.' The voices rang high into the heavens. After the song, the organizer of the event, Julius Firetag von Hohenberg, introduced the architect of the Schutzhaus, Herr Hanz Kornberger. He stepped up on the platform and gave his speech. Herr Kornberger was deeply honored for being given the opportunity to design and oversee the construction of the alpine shelter. For three long years, he and his men toiled under some very severe weather conditions to build the hikers' refuge hut. Other time, he said the weather was so beautiful that only God himself could make our beautiful homeland. The architect acknowledged the fine work of the stonemasons, carpenters, roofers, local villagers, and farmers. He spoke about his closeness to the building. Every part of his soul was living within every piece of wood, every nail, and in every block of stone. When he was finished with his speech, Herr Kornberger handed the keys of the Schutzhaus to the Vice President and Director of the Austrian-Hungarian Alpine Club, Dr. Klotzberge. He accepted the keys with great honor and declared to preserve the integrity of this shelter for future generation. But, the festivities did not end there. The Reisalpe poem was read out loud:
"Great calm and deep peace is only with you,
when you are on this land.
What is the magic of the forest? Of the trees?
Of the birds and the bees?
Of God's great commands?
The trunk of the great Black Pine still lives,
when it bleeds.
You are in the Alps so high,
are you not dreaming of the Reis'alpine?
Seek friendship with the ones you meet.
Learn to speak so they understand.
Anyone who brings the good towards you,
will be your friend on this mountain grassland."
The crowd gave a warm applause at the end of the poem. The public announcement for the official opening has been made, and Herr Kornberger and Kerr Klotzberge cut the ribbon. The doors opened, and everyone gave a resounding cheer. When everyone walked inside they noticed the fine natural decorations used from the surrounding forest. It felt as if they became one with the mountain while inside the refuge hut. The Helenenthaler Alpine Club provided the natural forest decorations, and everyone celebrated with Edelweiss beer along with Vienna sausage and bread.
- "Reisalpe - peakbagger". peakbagger.com. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Local-Nachrichten. Die Eröffnung des Schutzhauses auf der Reisalpe. Badener Zeitung, 15 October 1898, p. 3, rechts Mitte 
- ' 'Through Innocent Eyes,' Cynthia A. Sandor p. 121-122
Sandor, Cynthia A. (2012). Through Innocent Eyes,ISBN 978-0-578-17724-3.