About summit crosses and summit books

About summit crosses and summit books

Sonnenaufgang am Gipfelkreuz Seekarspitze ©TomKlockerPhoto

Many people have their very own ritual on the mountains, and one of them is an entry into the summit book. After a long ascent and rewarded with a spectacular view, mountaineers find it easier to elicit a line or two. Originally, the purpose of summit books was to give mountain rescuers clues of when a missing person was at the summit, where they came from or where they were going. In the age of smartphones, this is no longer necessary, but mountaineers still like to write funny and witty remarks into the summit registers.

Franz Waldhart has compiled a selection of summit book entries from the Seekarspitze in Achenkirch. He came across funny and witty remarks, poems, drawings and mostly quick notes such as the date of the tour, the name of the hiker, the weather and the view. Sometimes there are artistic sketches or poetic outpourings. In addition, there are “philosophers” from all over the world who have left remarks, written poetry or drawn in the books. Naturally, Tiroleans are in the majority, closely followed by our Bavarian neighbours.

Digital summit book: Seekarlspitze
Summit crosses are usually made from wood or iron, some are covered in ice year-round due to their altitude, some are ornately decorated. However, summit crosses made of stone are very rare, at least in our part of the world. Last year, a summit cross made of granite was erected on the Seekarlspitze in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Maurach Mountain Rescue Service. Because of its uniqueness, one of the first digital summit books was established in the Achensee region rather than a traditional summit register.

More from this category:

Summer Hiking