My Favourite Place: Peter Falkner

Obere Hemerach Alm

As a passionate hunter, he is drawn to where he can best observe game without being spotted himself. He was particularly taken with a high-altitude spot. The fact that his best kept secret is a fantastic vantage point comes as no surprise, and now other mountain hikers can appreciate it as well.
Everything is connected. His favourite place – the Obere Hemerach Alm – with the favourite place of his wife Steffi – the Untere Hemerach Alm. If Peter Falkner heads up to his hunting perch, he has to cross the lower mountain pasture to reach the upper one, which can only be reached through a wide forest belt and a good hour's walk. The ascent is, however, quite steep, so you should be more or less fit.

Reaching your favourite place before dew and daylight

"Even for me it is surprising how we are deceived by appearances anew every time," confesses the early riser, who often sets out to his favourite place before dew and daylight. "Seen from the valley, the rocks above the tree line appear rugged. If you don't know them, you will find them hostile and dangerous; for the inexperienced, the steep walls look unmanageable. But as soon as we enter the area on the unmarked trails, we discover lovely clearings, similar to the ones at Untere Hemerach Alm. An incredible number of bright, green “islands”, where the game roams."
Sometimes Peter heads up there with friends, though mostly he is alone. "It's the little things you learn to appreciate there. Observing nature means spotting the smallest details," he explains. "You extend other antennas and take a leap back in time, even returning to your carefree childhood. It’s a bit like playing Indians for big boys."

No tall tale

His retreat is the hunting perch that leans against the wall of a small rock. "Due to the special situation, I feel protected and even safe enough to spend the night up there". The perch is so hidden that no one but him would find it. "It offers a clear view of the valley, like a priest's pulpit. You simply feel sublime here. And it has a unique aura too."
Animals as well seem to feel attracted by this aura. "Black grouse are usually such shy birds that they are said to have an eye on every feather tip. Once Steffi and I sat on the perch and, as hunters do, not a word was spoken. Suddenly a black grouse came flying by and just sat down right next to us, as if it hadn't noticed us at all." The astonishing experience is no tall tale, as the huntsman credibly assures.