Embach 128, 6320 Angerberg.
Inntalautobahn A12 exit Kirchbichl, at roundabout towards Mariastein. Gasthof Schlossblick turn right towards Angerberg, Embach car park (signposted). Walk to the Restaurant Alpengasthof Buchacker and on a marked track to the cave entrance. 3 hours, 6.5 km, 870 m height.
Mid-MAY to JUN Sat, Sun, Hol 10-16.
JUL to AUG daily 10-16.
SEP Sat, Sun, Hol 10-16.
Adults EUR 8, Children EUR 4.
|Classification:||Karst cave ice cave Wettersteinkalk.|
|Dimension:||L=264 m, VR=52 m, A=1,490 m asl, T=0 °C.|
|Guided tours:||D=30 min, L=144 m, VR=35 m.|
Hundsalm Eis- und Tropfsteinhöhle, Brixentalerstraße 1, 6300 Wörgl, Tel: +43-664-1551425.
Tourismusverband Wörgl, Tel: +43-5332-76007.
Tourismusverband Angerberg, Tel: +43-5332-6305.
Josef Kogler, Tel: +43-5332-71664.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1921||first exploration by Otto Engelbrecht.|
|1956||declared a Naturdenkmal (Natural Monument).|
|1967||opened to the public.|
The name Hundalm Eis- und Tropfsteinhöhle (Hundalm Ice and Dripstone Cave) is an ice cave, a karst cave which contains ise formations. Hundalm is the name of the area where it is located, a typical name in the German-speaking Alps. "Hund" means dog, "Alm" means high pastures, so put it together, and you will get "high pastures of the dog". However, sounds better in German....
The cave is located on an Alm, an area high above the valley with its villages, where only gras and shrubs grow. Winter here is very snowy and lasts for a very long time. But it is possible to bring cattle up here during the summer. A few people, maybe only a single man or woman, live here the whole summer to look after the cattle and produce cheese from the milk. In autumn the cattle is brought back to the valley, a big event called Almabtrieb, a ceremonial driving down of cattle from the mountain pastures.
You will see an ice-filled hall and fossil stalactites, which means they do not grow currently due to the low temperatures, the path even leads under the ice. Most parts of the cave are rather narrow, looking like a widened fissure. In German, it is called Spaltenhöhle (fissure cave), which is an outdated term and only describes the morphology of the cave. It is not used anymore, as there is a scientific term fissure cave which means something completely different and this causes confusion. The cave is managed by the Wörgl section of the Landesvereins für Höhlenkunde in Tirol.
The cave lies in the Wetterstein limestone and owes its formation to a striking tectonic fault that cuts steeply through the forested hill. According to recent research the main cave formation happened in the Oligocene and Miocene, about 20-30 million years ago. About 10 Million years ago it was lifted to its current height by the orogeny of the Alps. During the last 2.5 Million years the Ice Ages had a great influence on the cave. During the cold ages the cave was covered by glaciers and no water entered the cave, so it remained unchanged. But during the warm ages the melting water of the glaciers entered the caves and widened them and caused the formation of dripstones. Dripstones were dated to an age of between 125,000 and 130,000 years which was the last warm period. Another dripstone is at least 350,000 years old.
The ice in the cave was also dated, and wood pieces at the basement had an age from 605 to 690 AD, the early Middle Ages. Of course the upper parst of the ice regularly melt and are rebuilt, so they are much younger. The cave is an ice cave of the cold trap type. While caves at this level above the sea normally have an average temperature of 4 °C, this cave is entered by cold air during winter. During winter, despite the suitable low temperatures, little ice growth occurs because the ground above the cave is frozen and the cave is dry. The main phase of ice formation occurs in spring, when the cold melting water of the snow enters the cave and freezes again. During summer warmer rain water rises the temperature and causes the melting of a part of the ice formations. In other words, the best formations can be seen early in the year, but the cave has ice the whole year.