Go trekking in the Stubai Alps with a Cicerone guidebook
Trekking in the Stubai Alps
Walking the Stubai Rucksack Route and the Stubai Glacier Tour by Allan Hartley
An essential guidebook for anyone trekking the scenic Stubai Alps, in the Austria Tyrol. Two multi-day hut to hut hikes are described. The Stubai Rucksack Route links eight huts without crossing glaciers or difficult passes, whereas the challenging Stubai Glacier Tour involves much glacier work. Both treks easily fit into a two week holiday. More...
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Stubai Rucksack Route
Dresdner Hut to the Neue Regensburger Hut via the Grawagrubenneider
Standard time 8hrs
Ascent 900m (and 900m down)
A fine day’s outing, and one of the longest of the Stuba Rucksack Route involving crossing the Grawagrubenneider, the route's highest pass.
From the hut, follow Route 135 west on a broad track to a signposted junction with the path leading to the Schaufel Spitze. Take the right-hand fork and head northwest over rocks to a col at 2506m and a signpost on the west ridge of the Egesengrat, overlooking the Wilde Grube. A short hour.
Alternatively, from the hut pick up the various signposts and take the more scenic high level path to Bei der Lacke, initially climbing steadily then levelling out to pass the small alpine tarn, then dropping down to the col (again a short 1hr). Excellent views.
The col is home to a family of Murmeltier Marmots: if you proceed quietly, you may be just lucky enough to catch sight of this somewhat illusive furry mountain dweller.
The area overlooking the Wilde Grube was at one time a very wild place indeed where many streams congregated. The very dramatic German name ('wild ditch') was as direct as the place itself.
From the col either descend the original route north, negotiating a steep path of boulders to join the obvious haulage road constructed by the Stubai Glacier Company: or proceed to follow the newly constructed track around the head of the couloir to pick up the road, then follow the graded road down into the Wilde Grube, trudging around various tight bends until a footbridge is reached (1hr). A signpost that boldly declares 'NRH 5hr'.
If the weather is deteriorating at this stage, you are advised to duck out and follow the service road to Mutterberg Alm. Take the bus to Falbeson followed by a 3hr walk to the hut.
Cross the streams. The track now contours around the open couloir of the Glamergrube, climbing steadily on a good path across steep alpine pasture to a signpost south of the Mutterberger See (2414m) (about 3hrs to here).
If the weather is good make the 1hr detour to the small alpine lake, the first highlight of the day with the best panoramic view there is of the of the Schaufel Spitze mirrored on its surface: a good spot for a second breakfast before descending to rejoin the route proper once more at the signpost.
In reality it will take you 2½–3hrs to reach here even without the detour to the lake. Hereafter getting to the Grawagrubenneider will take a further 2hrs, followed by 2hrs descending to the hut. If the weather is good and you are travelling light then maybe 3hrs is just about possible.
Continue on the path northeast, now on Route 138, ascending steadily across the southern flank of the Ruderhof Spitze in the direction of a col with a large stone cairn. Climb the rocks, making use of the fixed ropes, to the col and a signpost.
This cairn marks the approximate halfway point in the day’s promenade and provides an excellent panoramic view across the main Stubaital valley to the snow covered peaks of the Wilder Freiger, Wilder Pfaff and Zuckerhuetl. The Dresdner Hut is just about visible from here.
From the col, descend the very steep rock flank, with wires fixed in place, and continue east, contouring across a rocky couloir to another col on the Schaf Spitzl (2760m). Scramble down steep rocks, making use of the fixed ropes. Continue northeast across the rocky southern flank of the Gams Spitzl in a series of rock steps and zigzags to the Grawagrubenneider (2888m), a col on the Ruderhof Spitze's east ridge (5–6hrs). There is a signpost. The route is part waymarked by marker poles for a short distance before the col.
From the col, with fine views of the Ruderhof Spitze/Hochmoos Ferner glacier ahead, descend steeply north over loose rocks and other dubious ground in a series of zigzags, using the fixed ropes, to reach the foot of what remains of the once mighty Hochmoos Ferner glacier. This is marked by a permanently fixed aluminium ladder, not for our use but more so for summer skiers going in the other direction: it is however a very good indicator that you are on the correct course. Get on to the glacier, more these days just a patch of very old snow, looking for route markers and cairns. Cross the glacier/snow north, over difficult rocky ground strewn with large boulders: be careful at the lower edges as the rocks and rubble overlay bare ice and hide a number of hidden crevasses. Allow 1hr for this descent. Once on easier ground continue northeast through boulders and other glacial moraine debris to a signpost below the Falbesoner See alpine tarn.
With the hut now in sight, the route proceeds to descend more easily on a good path northeast to enter the very picturesque flat marshy valley area along the Falbesonertal to the very pleasant Neue Regensburger Hut, 2hrs from the Grawagrubenneider. The walk along the Falbesonertal valley, fringed with cotton grass, is one of the most pleasant of the Rucksack Route, with an excellent view of the Ruderhof Spitze before the Habicht returns to view.
Although the route has a liberal amount of sections making use of fixed ropes, the only real danger that requires more than a degree of caution is in the crossing of the Grawagrubenneider. In descent, the route is a grotty affair, being a mix of snow, ice, rocks, scree and other loose rubble.
At its lower edge, where the rocks approach debris left behind from the retreating Hochmoos Ferner glacier, route finding is not always obvious. Parties are advised to keep close together to avoid knocking rocks down on each other and to provide assistance while crossing the loose rocks and scree slopes. Care also needs to be exercised in getting onto the glacier, which is more often than not a mix of old snow and ice. Look for marker poles and the usual daubs of red paint.
Apart from the difficulty in negotiating the Grawagrubenneider’s northern slopes, this section of the route is no place to be caught in bad weather.
The only other word of caution needed is that the route is quite long. Although 6hrs is said to be the standard time between huts, this is rarely achieved and 7–8hrs is more realistic. Therefore you should be on your way no later than 08:00hrs.