Like most of the mountains used for skiing in winter, Kitzsteinhorn is a sad sight in summer. The panorama from the top is still fantastic, and the four-story structure at 3,000m that houses two restaurants, a small cinema and the viewing platforms, as well as serves as the entrance to a tunnel inside the mountain is quite impressive (from the engineering, not esthetic point of view). However, the mountain slope itself looks completely destroyed. New lifts are being built wherever one has found an empty spot, ugly sport and souvenir shops are being expanded with equally bland-looking structures, winter equipment is lying around covered by enormous white canvases, and huge trucks are speeding up and down, raising clouds of dust. The famous tiny patch of snow where Arab families enjoy a bit of winter while snacking on French fries with ketchup looks absolutely pathetic. I understand that the money coming from the visitors is probably used to keep the other mountains of the national park in good shape, but Kitzsteinhorn itself looks anything but healthy.
The reason I am saying all this is merely to explain why I had no expectations finding a hut with an authentic Brettljause today. Surprisingly, I found an authentic hut. Located not far from the top station of the second segment of the cable car, Krefelder Hütte conveniently conceals the construction works, instead allowing visitors to enjoy the view of the mountains on the other side of the valley as well as a green hill with sheep grazing on it. One can actually stay in the hut overnight, and while eating I saw a large group of serious hikers approaching.
But while the hut was the real thing, the Brettljause was a very simple yet overpriced affair. The thick slice of cheese had a bit of taste but not what I would call strong (and enhanced by some spicy pepper for that reason), the two types of smoked sausage were of supermarket origin, and the butter came industrially packaged. Only the Speck was half-way interesting, but probably only because local supermarkets sell better Speck than those in Vienna. The only really positive surprise came from the bread, which was much fresher than expected.
Again, at a tourist-heavy location like Kitzsteinhorn, I would be the last one to complain about a supermarket’y dish. Still, by watching the sheep peacefully eating the grass just a few meters away, I wondered why some pieces of these sheep could not have been used in the Brettltjause to spice it up a bit.