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Furstin Gina Weg (Princess Gina Trail) - East

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

3.5 mile 5.7 kilometer point to point
58% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,409' 734 m
Descent: -922' -281 m
High: 7,725' 2,355 m
Low: 5,421' 1,652 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 47% (25°)

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Trail shared by Megan W

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Marvelous high alpine views in every direction with abundant wildflowers and a charming stone hut - this is a must-do!

Megan W

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

If you choose to ride the Sareis chirlift, check ahead of time for operating dates/times. As of this writing (summer 2019), the lift runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in good weather from June until October. The one-way cost is 9.80 Swiss francs for adults, and 5.40 Swiss francs for children. A single lift ride is free if you have purchased the Museum and Adventure Pass. Taking the chairlift from Malbun to the start of the trail saves about 375 meters of elevation and about 45 minutes of running.

Runner Notes

The trail from Saries lift to the Pfalzerhutte is packed dirt and rocks, pretty standard footing. Because this trail is so popular, you may want to run very early to avoid dodging hikers all day.

Description

Decide whether you want to run from Malbun (on the Malbun to Furstin Gina Weg (Princess Gina Trail) or take the Sareis chairlift. Either way, even the initial views from the top of the Sareis mountain station are great! Towards the north is a paraglider launch zone and info board for pilots. There is also a restaurant with a tempting outdoor seating patio.

Head downhill away from the chairlift, initially on a wide dirt road. Soon, a skinny path veers off through stunted trees to the left. This signed turn immediately deposits you on a ridgeline where you get your first taste of the amazing views to come. The meadows below are full of happy cows munching on impossibly green grass and sounding their cowbell melodies.

The broad ridgeline path is braided in spots, but if you're pointed uphill and towards the looming cross, you won't go wrong. Soon, the incline steepens and the trail surface gets a bit more rocky and challenging. There are natural places to stop and rest; enjoy the wildflowers, imagine skiing down to the village of Malbun, and gaze at the rocky Austrian peaks. A very short section of rock slab is well protected by a wire handrail and should be no problem for anyone not deathly afraid of heights. This is also where the memorial plaque for Princess Gina is affixed to the rock slab.

Continue uphill through small gullies and scramble through rocky outcrops to reach the highest part of the climb (Augstenberg Peak) with its huge guy-wired summit cross. This spot is often crowded with people picnicking, but there are many nearby grassy spots for more tranquility. Pick your way along the ridge, now heading in a more southerly direction. Follow signs to Pfalzerhutte (also called Pfalzer Cabin).

No one would fault a runner who sings a little "the hills are alive" at this point in the run ... the alpine scenery is JUST that good! Descend through flowery fields and contour around craggy buttes. Before long, you'll spy the Pfalzerhutte perched on the comically steep saddle between Austria and Liechtenstein. A bit more tricky descent through blocky rock outcrops is aided by well-placed handrails just where you want them. Take it slow through this section, even though you can likely smell the apple strudel and taste the cold beer waiting for you at the hut. This place rents beds, has bathrooms and sells hot meals and cold drinks (details: tourismus.li/en/lie/place/P…).

Flora & Fauna

Swiss stone pines, Scots pines. Elusive ibex, marmots.

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Photos

View to the south including Naafkopf summit (mountain where borders of Lichtenstein, Austria and Switzerland come together)
Sep 1, 2019 near Triesen, LI
Wonderful views up the ridge line
Sep 1, 2019 near Triesen, LI
Beautiful high alpine views from the Princess Gina Trail
Sep 1, 2019 near Triesen, LI
Plaque for Countess Georgina von Wilczek 1921-1989, Princess of Liechtenstein (mother of current Prince)
Sep 1, 2019 near Triesen, LI
Lush, grassy hillsides around Malbun - from the Sareis chairlift
Sep 1, 2019 near Triesen, LI
Short bit of hand-cable to help hikers over a rocky section of trail
Sep 1, 2019 near Triesen, LI

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