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The Grossglockner looms over the Church of St Vincent of Saragossa in Heiligenblut © Franz Gerdl
This is a mountain of superlatives – the highest mountain in Austria, the highest peak in the Eastern Alps (that is, east of the Brenner Pass), and spewing the longest glacier in Austria and the Eastern Alps.
Stage 1 is a suitably grand opening to the AAT, which commands staggering views of the Grossglockner – a mountain of superlatives. Towering over the border of Carinthia and Tyrol at 3,798m at the head of the Möll Valley, it is the highest mountain in Austria, the highest peak in the Eastern Alps (that is, east of the Brenner Pass), and spewing the longest glacier in Austria and the Eastern Alps from its eastern flanks. Part of the Glockner group in the Hohe Tauern (High Tauern) range, it has a distinctive double summit divided by a high col, and can be seen from miles away.
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road, built in the 1930s between Heiligenblut with a branch o$ to Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, runs over the 2,504m Hochner Pass between Austria’s Carinthia and Salzburg regions, over a distance of 48km in a series of spectacular hairpins (www.grossglockner.at).