This is an "Alm" in the Austrian Alps, high up in the mountains, just below treeline. Farmers keep their cattle in these high meadows for the summer for grazing. I am the "Almhalter" (shepherd) that stays with the cattle all summer. I live in a very rustic but super comfy cabin, where I'm looking for some help with the daily chores resulting from living off the grid. There is no Internet whatsoever and no cell phone reception except a sat phone for emergencies. A solar panel provides just enough electricity for lightbulbs throughout the cabin, and to charge walkie-talkies used for communicating while I search for cattle. Water for cooking, drinking, cleaning, personal hygiene etc. is carried from the spring. About 140 head of cattle are in my care each summer. I count them every day and check their health and soundness, all of which can entail hours of hiking in difficult terrain. They also have to be fed salt & minerals on a regular basis. Usually, several calves are born each summer. If cattle goes missing, lots of hours of hiking are added to the daily chores, until the animals are found and cared for. Checking and repairing fences is also part of my job. About once a week to once every 10 days, we drive down to the village for groceries and supplies. A hiking trail that's popular among locals as well as some National Park visitors leads by the cabin, where you never meet a stranger! My Austrian family loves everything Alm and is very involved with the whole experience.
I am originally from Austria, but live in Texas in the winter (been in the USA for 20 years), where I am a Medical Biochemist/Cell Biologist with an MA in English by trade, and work with horses professionally. (I know, unusual combination - and I love it.) Summers I spend in the Alps of Austria grazing cattle. I have epilepsy.
COVID update: I am fully vaccinated - so whether you are vaccinated or not, either way works for me.
Betreuung von Tieren
Zubereiten / Kochen von Mahlzeiten für die Familie
Cultural exchange is what I'm all about! I've lived internationally my whole life, and for 20 years, my main winter residence has been in Texas, Arizona, or Utah. My English is fluent, I barely notice which language I'm speaking at the moment, haha. I'm happy to help you learn German, or speak English with you if that's your preference. On the Alm you can dive deep into Austrian culture and traditions - food, music, get-togethers, farm animals (and yes, cow bells, lol), hiking, mountain folklore...to name just a few. The mountain folk are very welcoming, and you can become part of our little world.
Most importantly, I'm looking for help with the off-grid household, which includes cooking on a wood-burning stove, keeping the fire going, carrying water from the spring, etc. You can help with animal care as much or as little as you choose - I'm happy to show you what caring for cattle in the mountains is all about. If you enjoy handywork such as fixing fences and various DIY projects around the cabin, there's always something to be found. You may or may not witness an epileptic seizure while you spend time with me, and I'll ask you to lend a helping hand with that (no experience required).
About once a week, once every 10 days, I'd ask you to drive down to the village for grocery shopping (a good opportunity to see more of the area).
All workaway scheduling and arrangements for the summer have to be made before May 31, since I won't have Internet then. Thanks! :)
Dieser Gastgeber bietet Sprachaustausch an
I am bilingual German/English and happy to speak and teach either or both!
The attic is newly finished, dorm-style in the traditional Austrian manner, and ready for you to use. Keep in mind that this is an off-grid, primitive cabin in the Alps, with all that this entails. There's no stove in the attic.
We are are directly surrounded by a stunningly beautiful National Park with diverse flora and fauna. Activites include hiking, climbing, and whitewater rafting. Furthermore, there is an ancient monastery nearby with one of the oldest libraries in the world. The hiking and climbing is straight out the front door, and you can use the car for your cultural explorations down in the villages.
Eingeschränkter Internet Zugang
Wir besitzen Tiere
Wir sind Raucher
Pets are welcome if they don't interact with cattle.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week