Kalkalpen National Park

Blisters, loads of them. Soaked clothes and gear. But a dented mood? Never! Plenty of natural wonders to enjoy and lift our spirit: from fire salamanders, goosanders to chamois. Welcome to Kalkalpen National Park, home of the mysterious Eurasian lynx. 

Earlier this year I traveled to Kalkalpen National Park on behalf of the European Wilderness Society. I spent a week documenting wilderness themes like natural processes, landscapes, species, and wilderness–human interaction. I provided the European Wilderness Society with a whole range of photos to be used in their wilderness campaigns.

Kalkalpen National Park features the largest forest region in Central Europe and the largest karst well in Austria. Kalkalpen was awarded the Gold Candidate Wilderness Diploma at the beginning of this year and has been subject to an international wilderness assessment this summer. Read more about Kalkalpen NP on the website of the European Wilderness Society.

Seeing firsthand the devastation brought upon forests by either avalanches, bark beetles and the wind was very impressive. It makes you realize how small humans are compared to the full force of nature and I’m grateful there are still places in Europe that are simply wild.

Katrin Schikorr of the European Wilderness Society: “Wilderness can – and as we experience – needs to be defined by sets of criteria. But the wilderness is also about emotions and feelings, it needs to be touched, smelled, discovered, experienced. Thanks to Bart who went through the challenge of picturing wilderness in one of Europe’s wilderness areas, the Kalkalpen National Park, and to share his impressions via some stunning visuals!”

Special thanks go to the Österreichische Bundesforste and Nationalpark Kalkalpen for their support and on-site assistance. Also a big thank you to my lovely assistant who had to carry equipment up and down, up and… It was fun spending some quality father-son time, despite the foggy and rainy conditions 🙂

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