Holzknechtnockn is a traditional dish in the Holiday Region Dachstein Salzkammergut (photo: RudiKainPhotografie)

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The mountain stick - so simple and so helpful!

„Stacköstecka, Scheank’nschuah, auf ins Birig steigt das Bua …“, it says in a local song and we want to put our attention on the „Stacköstecka“, also called „Birigstecka“ or  „Gamslöckerln“ or as simple as it is „Bergstock“ (mountain stick).

The mountain stick as modern sport equipment

About two metres long, preferably made of light hazelnut wood with a strong iron tip, it has been lying for centuries in the strong fists of hunters, woodcutters, birdcatchers and mountaineers. And it has probably come off a bit in the time of modern sports equipment. But at least mountaineers, huntersand foresters would feel just as naked without "Birigstecka" as without a backpack. They have often already given the stick of their choice a pattern during its "lifetime" that has grown and developed with it. The advantages of this simple climbing and descending aid lie "in" the hand and not only convince the locals. The sturdy stick supports and reduces the own weight, relieves joints and other weak points.

A hiker without a mountain stick - almost impossible

Due to the "single stick technique" it is suitable as a lever for the own weight, helps to overcome small trenches and to overcome hollow paths. Jumps are cushioned, balancing acts are facilitated. The "Birigstecka" helps to check loose rock, it is a tripod for binoculars and a welcome support when breathing. The stick keeps the sunbathing "mountain blows" at a distance - possibly even too obtrusive "mountain colleagues". In former times the "Birigstecka" was a common melee weapon among poachers and hunters. And anyone who has forgotten this all-round device on the summit will find what he is missing on the descent: a massive support that above all relieves the strain on the knees!


The experienced mountain stick hiker will certainly find other uses for himself. At a local wedding, the Bergstock is given special honours. After "stealing the bride", the bride's guide has to go in search of the missing one, with lantern and "Birigstecka" he searches under the tables of the scene of the kidnapping.

Yes, that's how he is the "Birigstecka" - so simple and so helpful.