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Hunting edelweiss thieves

1 by Lena Wiesler  • 2018-04-23 • Report • Allgäu
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Outdooractive Editors
  • Edelweiss at the Höfats
    Edelweiss at the Höfats
    Photo: Christian Reiser, Outdooractive Editors
While they climb over slippery grass slopes and jagged rock formations, they have only one goal in mind: edelweiss. This is the story of the edelweiss thieves and their top secret mission in the alpine flora of the Allgaeu Alps.

Edelweiß-Räuber auf Tour

Zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts wurde das Edelweiß an der Höfats beinahe vollständig ausgerottet. Nicht nur Bergsteiger und Pflanzenliebhaber pflückten das Edelweiß, auch Einheimische sammelten büschelweise die streng geschützte Gebirgsblume, verkauften sie an Touristen und verdienten sich so ein Zubrot. Nicht selten sah man am Oberstdorfer Bahnhof Touristen mit Edelweiß-Sträußen in den Zug steigen. Doch dadurch reduzierte sich der Edelweißbestand an der Höfats rapide – bis Mitte der 1920er Jahre betrug er nur noch 10 % des Bestandes von 1900. 

Der sogenannte „Oberstdorfer Bergwachtkrieg“ flammte auf: Zusammen mit der Polizei riegelte die Bergwacht einmal mit 50 Mann das gesamte Höfatsgebiet ab und nahm alle Edelweiß-Räuber fest, worüber die einheimische Bevölkerung furchtbar empört war. Die Gemüter beruhigten sich nach und nach wieder, aber die „Edelweiß-Bewachung“ wurde fester Bestandteil der Allgäuer Bergwacht.

Edelweiß

Mountain rescue post at the Höfats

Summit · Allgäu

Höfats (2258 m)

Summit Höfats
Allgäu
Outdooractive Editors
Bivouac · Allgaeu Alps

Biwakschachtel an der Höfats

Bivouac Die Biwakschachtel der Bergwacht an der Höfats
Sleeping berth: none
Elevation: 1918 m
by Lena Wiesler,  Outdooractive Editors
The rapacious development forced the Allgaeu mountain rescue service to set up a post in 1935. On 1996 m of altitude they pitched a small tent for two people on a narrow rocky ridge. Summer after summer, the “edelweiss guards” kept an eye on the steep sides of the Höfats and caught the edelweiss thieves. Staying in the tent during rain, thunderstorms or unexpected summer snow was at times very rough. Thus, the idea of a bivouac was born and 1969 a helicopter flew up a weather resistant and 6 m² big bivouac. The small mountain hut was warmly welcomed by members of the Allgaeu mountain rescue service and even became a second home to some of them.

Not only did the mountain rescue service prevent the extinction of edelweiss, but the Höfats guard also rapidly decreased the numbers of deathly mountaineering accidents. By now, the edelweiss stock has recovered nicely and a permanent surveillance of the region is no longer necessary. Thus, the bivouac has not been occupied since 2007, but still serves as a shelter for mountaineers.

Exploring the Höfats

Mountain Hike · Allgäu

Crossing of the Höfats Mountain

Mountain Hike Höfats
2015-02-10
difficult
13.2 km
7:00 h
1045 m
940 m
5
by Hartmut Wimmer,  Outdooractive Editors
Crossing the Höfats is an unforgettable adventure for experienced mountaineers. Narrow and winding paths lead up to the four peaks that almost have the exact same height and provide the mountain with its characteristic appearance. Due to the extremely steep “Schroffen” terrain and almost no climbing protection the tour is very demanding. But the rich alpine flora and the fantastic views reward all efforts.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Lena Wiesler 
Updated: 2018-04-23

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 Comment
outdooractive.com User
Publish
Hartmut Wimmer
2015-10-14
Auf der Höfats gibt es echt die schönsten Edelweiß. Gottseidank hat sich das Schützen gelohnt.
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Map / Hunting edelweiss thieves

Keywords

Summer Top story
  • 3 Related contents
Mountain Hike · Allgäu

Crossing of the Höfats Mountain

Mountain Hike Höfats
2015-02-10
difficult
13.2 km
7:00 h
1045 m
940 m
5
by Hartmut Wimmer,  Outdooractive Editors
Summit · Allgäu

Höfats (2258 m)

Summit Höfats
Allgäu
Outdooractive Editors
Bivouac · Allgaeu Alps

Biwakschachtel an der Höfats

Bivouac Die Biwakschachtel der Bergwacht an der Höfats
Sleeping berth: none
Elevation: 1918 m
by Lena Wiesler,  Outdooractive Editors
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