[Translate to EN:] Romantischer Sonnenaufgang

22.05.2020 | Living in Kitzbühel

A summer on the alp - Romantic or a lot of work ?

Summer months on the alp

Since I can remember my father has spent the summer months from the end of May to the end of August on the alp. Already at the age of 15 he started to take care of the cows on the various alpine pastures in the region. According to his stories, it was not always romantic, depending on the number of cows and the size of the alp. There was a lot to do every day. The sometimes quite violent thunderstorms also gave him a hard time now and then.


Day wake-up and start of work - daily at 4:30 a.m.

The days on the mountain always start quite early for the dairymen, around 4:30 a.m. it's off to the barn. The dairy cows must be milked, the stable must be mucked out. The cows then come back to the alpine pasture. Many operations are necessary until breakfast. The midday nap is then well deserved.


Fresh milk daily

Today, a milk truck drives to the alpine pastures every day and sucks up the milked milk there. This is then processed as quickly as possible at Tirol Milch. Of course, in the past there was no milk truck to the alpine pastures, at that time the milk was still processed directly on the alpine pastures to cheese or butter.

Wooden hut on a mountain

Animal husbandry on the alp means a lot of work

Milking is done twice a day, so the cows have to be collected again in the afternoon. The older, more experienced cows know exactly what to do and come back to the pasture on their own, the younger ones were a bit more self-willed. Before the cows are driven or herded to the pasture, the farmer must ensure that his pastures are appropriately fenced. 

Not every alpine pasture is managed with dairy cows anymore, there are many alpine pastures that care for and nurture young cattle during the summer months. Depending on the yield and profitability, the farmer decides on the management of the alp. I spent my childhood during the summer months mostly on the alp, which are very nice memories for me and my siblings. 

Hut in summer

Summer vacation DELUXE

As children, my siblings and I usually spent the weekends on the mountain pasture. Depending on where my father was working. My brothers were often allowed to spend the summer vacations with our dad, but of course they also had to work. I never had to go to the stable, I was a bit more spoiled than my brothers. In the meager free time my father was an enthusiastic mountaineer, so the one or other summit was also climbed. His carving knives were also always with him, the most beautiful works were always created during the summer months high up on the mountain pasture.


A summer without cell phone and internet

When I think back on it today, it was a wonderful time, especially on the alp in Fieberbrunn. There was an inn right next door. On the weekends, we were always allowed to get ice cream. My father usually cooked himself, our favorite dish was his "Miasl" (Kaiserschmarren with homemade cranberry jam). That was a highlight every time. We had a lot of fun back then, without cell phones, without TV and without internet. For us it was romantic, for our father not always.

For over seven years now, my father has spent the summer months in the valley. He now enjoys his "free time" in the summer hiking and traveling. All the things that were not possible for him in the past in terms of time. Nevertheless, he remembers very fondly the wonderful time on the mountain pasture. The many mountain peaks he has seen, the pleasant silence, the wonderful balmy summer nights and of course the sounds of the cowbells. 

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