We meet at TOP OF SALZBURG, the easily accessible, year-round-open tourist attraction with Gipfel Restaurant, Cinema 3000, panoramic platforms and spectacular views. "Welcome to the Kitzsteinhorn", Nobert Karlsboeck greets us. We observe numerous skiers and snowboarders enjoying their rides on wide glacier slopes before strolling through the tunnel Nationalpark Gallery that runs through the Kitzsteinhorn. Various stations inform about geology and ingenious technical securing of the summit station as well as natural treasures and phenomena in the Hohe Tauern. Here and there are measuring points for the research project aimed at monitoring permafrost. In between, there is silence and dimness. The mountain's slow, strong heartbeat becomes almost tangible. Coming out of the tunnel feels like emerging – crisp, pure air, sunshine and seemingly endless expanse greet us. We have reached the Nationalpark Gallery's panoramic platform. National Park director, Wolfgang Urban, laughs: "Welcome to the Hohe Tauern National Park", pointing at the ridge behind us that forms the border between the National Park's outer zone and the Kitzsteinhorn ski resort.
Since the construction of TOP OF SALZBURG in 2010, the Kitzsteinhorn and the National Park have been cooperating closely. Wolfgang Urban vividly remembers: "During an on-site inspection, I was impressed by the huge number of international guests that come up here to visit the Kitzsteinhorn, providing us with an excellent opportunity for the National Park's educational mission by means of the information tunnel, the panoramic platform and guided National Park ranger tours. We want to sensitize people to the precious inviolability of our National Park's nature. All you need to do that is this view, silence and no staging. Our high-mountain natural landscape perfectly suffices."