It's early in the day, and we have already trekked down from the Grüne Wand mountain hütte at the head of this valley - the pathway travelled can be seen meandering off into the far distance. The Stilluptal is a beautiful 'U' shaped valley that was once home to a mighty glacier which has now split into three, two parts can still be seen on the mountain top, the third is hidden by crags. On the walk through the valley we counted 25 waterfalls cascading down its rocky sides, and our attention was continually captured by the abundance of alpine flowers
How lucky were we to have it all to ourselves apart from busy bees, butterflies, insects, and the inevitable cows. As well as enjoying the magnificient scenery I was in botany heaven. The Stillup Valley is privately owned by 15 local Mayrhofen families, and entry is allowed only with permission.
Years ago the farmers would travel up to these high alpine meadows with their cattle and stay from early summer until September. Today with the advent of their own power for milking the cows and 4WD vehicles it is not now necessary for them to remain in these high pastures for weeks on end.
This chalet is over 400 years old, and although no longer used as a residence it still provides shelter, and a place in which to work from and stay if necessary
It is these grazing traditions that have given the Alps their distinctive appearance of large flower strewn meadows that would originally have been covered in forest
Finally after several hours the end of the valley comes within sight terminating
at a reservoir filled with turquoise glacial waters. This is the main source of hydro electric power for the whole of the Zillertal Valley.
Time to enjoy our well earned ham and cheese rolls
and absorb our beautiful surroundings