The Ascend to Grosser Speikkogel: Navigating the Steep Roads of the Lavanttal Alps
Grosser Speikkogel is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.130m (6,988ft) above the sea level, located in the extreme east of Carinthia on the border with Styria, in Austria.
Historical and Modern Significance of Grosser Speikkogel
Perched within the Lavanttal Alps, the summit's approach road is fully paved, though it remains closed to general public traffic. This peak is not just known for its breathtaking views; it also houses radio, TV, and two large radar domes of the Austrian Army, integral to the "Goldhood" air traffic surveillance system. Constructed in 1976, this road has seen the passage of time. Historically, it's believed that the summit, being the highest point of the Koralm ridge, held military significance even during Roman times, serving as a strategic lookout point.
The Steep Ascent to Grosser Speikkogel
Situated in Austria's southern region, the road leading up to the summit is notably steep, with portions exhibiting a daunting 20.4% maximum gradient. Commencing from Parkplatz Koralpe, the uphill journey spans 4.3km (2.67 miles). Throughout this stretch, travelers experience an elevation gain of 480 meters, maintaining an average gradient of 11.16%. The ascent is challenging due to its irregular path and particularly strenuous final kilometers.
Pic: Alexander Schrenk