Power places in Tirol: The ancient fir tree from Steinberg
A tree which has clocked up some 300 years
Marked by wind and weather, the ancient fir tree at Steinberg stands near the treeline, directly in front of the impressive peaks of the Kaiser Mountains. No one can tell just how many storms this once large, strong tree has weathered, but one thing is sure: The 300-year-old fir tree exudes energy and peacefulness. A power place in a beautiful setting.
Rise to a history-charged three
Getting to the power place by Steinberg requires time and wanderlust. "You should allow for around an hour and a half of walking time. The tour is perfectly suited for families", says mountain guide Harald Löffel. It begins at the lower terminus of the Kaiserlift, which will take hikers up to the Brentenjoch in half an hour. "From there, follow the signs for Gamskogel. A little above the Steinbergalm Lodge – just a meadow away – you'll find the power place", says Harry.
The tree that causes a stir
The destination – the ancient fir tree – is visible to hikers from afar. Even though the old tree has long lost its beauty, it is its irrepressible power above all that captures visitors' imagination. The branches hanging down towards the ground, the top sparsely soaring to the sky and the circumference of the trunk alone measuring some five metres. Amidst the blooming alpine meadow, it is completely on its own. "Normally, fir trees are found in mixed forests getting protection from other trees during severe weather. But that is not the case with this ancient fir tree", says Harry pointing to a giant tree stump: "Two years ago a branch broke off. It's almost as big as a tree on its own and goes to show how much energy the storms took out of it."
Old, older, ancient fir tree
No one knows how many years the tree at the foot of the Kaiser Mountains has already survived. "It is estimated that it's between 250 and 300 years old. It's hard to believe just how much this ancient fir tree has been through", Harry explains thoughtfully. But where does the tree take its strength from? "You can see the impressive roots sprouting into the the ground. "The soil provides the necessary ingredients for the ancient fir tree to develop like this", Harry explains. But it's not just the tree by itself, but the surrounding backdrop that is unique. Majestically the peaks of the Wilder Kaiser tower behind the natural landmark, guarding the power place from above. The meadow with its colourful flowers, such as purple gentian and yellow buttercup, also gives the place a charming character.