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Go trekking in the Stubai Alps with a Cicerone guidebook - Sample Route

Cover of Trekking in the Stubai Alps
25 May 2011
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
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Trekking in the Stubai Alps

Walking the Stubai Rucksack Route and the Stubai Glacier Tour

by Allan Hartley
Book published by Cicerone Press

An essential guidebook for trekking in the Stubai Alps, in the Austria Tyrol. Two multi-day hut-to-hut hikes are described. The Stubai Rucksack Route links 8 huts without crossing glaciers or difficult passes, whereas the challenging Stubai Glacier Tour involves much glacier work. Either route will easily fit into a 2-week holiday.

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Of all the many Alpine areas, few can match the Stubai Alps in the Austrian Province of Tyrol. With shapely peaks, good paths and some of the best huts in the Alps, it offers ideal hiking routes for mountain walkers. Trekking in the Stubai Alps offers two brilliant routes  for the experienced walker: the Rucksack Route and Glacier Tour, both of which fit easily in a two week holiday.

The Rucksack Route

This 9 to 11 day route links eight huts each with connections directly to the main Stubaital valley, with the exception of one, which means it’s possible to start or end the route according to your preference and can be done in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction.

Its complete traverse is possible without crossing glaciers or difficult passes which makes the route ideal for mountain walkers, families and others with limited alpine experience. However that is not to say you will not encounter snow, steep ground or the odd scramble here and there. The guidebook also recommends several summits that are attainable along this route for those with sufficient experience.

The Stubai Glacier Route

This  7 to 8 day route, also known as the Hoehen Weg, involves a lot of glacier work. It is essential that you have the necessary skills to deal with a great variety of terrain that will be crossed. Familiarity with the use of equipment such as ice axes and crampons as well as having good knowledge and experience on crevasses and rope management is essential.

Nevertheless this is a fantastic multi-day route which is ideal for climbers visiting the Alps for the first time as long as they have done the necessary preparation. This is also a hut to hut tour yet instead of avoiding the glaciers as in the first route, the very essence of this tour is to traverse the them. It will suit aspirant alpinists wanting to add to their alpine experience without feeling over-committed and out of their depth.

  • Seasons
    the summer alpine season starts when the huts open in mid-June through to the end of September; snow can linger on north facing slopes well into July; mid- July through to mid-September is warmer and more settled
  • Centres
    Neustift, Fulpmes, Telfes
  • Difficulty
    all tracks and trails are waymarked and frequently signposted; unless venturing onto the glaciers no special equipment is needed nor additional climbing skills required
  • Must See
    the Stubai embraces some of the best scenery in the Eastern Alps; the snow-capped peaks of the Wilder Freiger and Zuckerhuetl chain stand proud along the Frontier Ridge in an area with over 100 peaks above 3000m

October 2015

The following huts have changed there phone numbers. Bremer hut: 00439(0)6642728071.
Nurnberger hut: 0043(0)6644032188

(with thanks to Tom Kenny)

August 2013

page 38
Other useful maps are Alpenvereinkarte
31/3 Brennerberge; Scale 1 to 50,000
31/5 Innsbruck; Scale 1 to 50,000

Stubai Rucksack Route

page 61
Alternative start: Stage 1B Maria Waldrast Monastery to Padasterjoch Haus
The path has been cleared from the Kalbenscharte to the summit of the Kessel Spitze. However, the route from Serlesjoch to the Lampermahd and across Uber der Mauer is still ill-frequented and not recommended.
page 73
Stage 2; Innsbrucker Hut to the Bremer Hut
The path has been cleaned up and improved in several areas with new fixed-wire protection being added. The alternative high-level route via Lauterer See and Innere Wetter Spitze (page 76) is currently closed due to a rock fall. There is a large sign in place to say the route is Gesprutt and closed.
page 96
Stage 5B; Sulzenau Hut to the Dresdner Hut via the Grosser Trogler
Fixed-wire rope protection on both sides of the mountain has been renewed and improved.

Stubai Glacier Tour

Due to severe recession of the glaciers, the following routes are affected:
page 141
Stage 5; Hildesheimer Hut to the Mueller Hut
Ascent of the Zuckerhutl
The mountain has lost such a severe amount of snow/ice covering that it has lost its snowy mantel from the summit. The result being that the top third of the previous snow dome is now rock. As per the guidebook, climb to the Pfaffensattel and dump your rucksacks to allow a minimal rucksack-free ascent of the mountain. Follow the well beaten snow trail to the foot of the summit rocks. Discard ice axe and crampons and adjust the rope for short roping to the summit. The routes meanders left (south), scrambling around boulders and blocks with fixed aid in place to emerge on the summit complete with ornate summit cross.
page 144
Alternative Ascent of the Zuckerhutl via the Pfaffenschneid and interconnecting ridge
Due to recession of the snow on which the route depends, this route is now only possible during early season.
page 144
Ascent of the Wilder Pfaff
The route as described in the guide is still viable but an alternative is to round the base of the Wilder Pfaff (north), then turn to climb the steep snow slopes (south) towards the summit.
In descent the ridge has been fitted with new wire ropes.
page 157
Stage 6; Mueller Hut to the Nuernburger Hut; Escape Routes from the Mueller Hut and Becher House
The descent from the Mueller Hut to the Sulzenau Hut via the Fernerstuebe Glacier and Pfaffennieder is not possible due to a huge rock fall and recession of the glacier.
The descent from Becher Haus to the Nurnberger Hut via the Freiger Scharte is not possible due to severe recession of the glacier.
In severe weather you should sit out the weather at Becher Haus until it is safe to cross back into Austria via the normal route to the Nurnberger Hut. Should the weather continue to deteriorate, the only safe exit is to descend to the Teplitzer Hut or further down the valley into Italy and make a safe return back into Austria via Sterzing and the Brenner. There are frequent trains.

Hut Directory

page 163
Bremer Hut
The hut is under new management:
Georg and Anni Segar
Mauern 66
A-6150 Steinach in Tyrol
Telephone: (0043) 0664 272 8071
page 172
Mueller Hut
New telephone numbers:
Heidi: (0043) 0669 18 678965
Likas: (0039) 0329 234 6943
page 178
Sulzenau Hut
The hut will be under a new manager in 2014.


Villages of the Stubai and Stubaital
When to Go
Getting to Austria
Places to Stay
About Innsbruck
Tourist Offices
Post and Post Offices
Places to Leave Luggage
Taking Children
Health and Fitness
Emergencies, Mountain Rescue and Insurance
The Austrian Alpine Club
About Huts
Using this Guide
Maps and Guidebooks
Alpine Walking Skills and Equipment
Mountain Guides
Alternative Start
Stage 1A Mieders to Klostergasthof Maria Waldrast
Excursion from Klostergasthof Maria Waldrast
Stage 1B Klostergasthof Maria Waldrast to the Padasterjoch Haus
Stage 1C Padasterjoch Haus to the Innsbrucker Hut
Traditional Route
Stage 1 Neder to the Innsbrucker Hut
Excursions from the Innsbrucker Hut
Stage 2 Innsbrucker Hut to the Bremer Hut
Stage 3 Bremer Hut to the Nuernburger Hut via Simmingjochl
Excursions from the Simmingjochl
Stage 4A Nuernburger Hut to the Sulzenau Hut via the Niederl
Stage 4B Nuernburger Hut to the Sulzenau Hut via the Mair Spitze
Stage 4C Nuernburger Hut to the Sulzenau Hut via the Wilder Freiger
Stage 5A Sulzenau Hut to the Dresdner Hut via the Peiljoch
Stage 5B Sulzenau Hut to the Dresdner Hut via the Grosser Trogler
Excursion from the Dresdner Hut
Stage 6 Dresdner Hut to the Neue Regensburger Hut via the Grawagrubennieder
Stage 7 Neue Regensburger Hut to the Franz Senn Hut via the Schrimmenneider
Excursions from the Franz Senn Hut
Stage 8 Franz Senn to the Starkenburger Hut
Excursion from the Starkenburger Hut
Stage 9 Starkenburger Hut to Neustift
Stage 9A Starkenburger Hut to Fulpmes
Stage 1 Milders to the Franz Senn Hut
Stage 2 Franz Senn Hut to the Amberger Hut via the Wildgrat Scharte
Excursion from the Schwarzenberg Ferner glacier
Stage 3 Amberger Hut to the Hoch Stubai Hut via the Wuetenkar Sattel
Stage 4 Hoch Stubai Hut to the Hildesheimer Hut via the Bildstoeckljoch
Excursion from the Schaufeljochbahn
Stage 5 Hildesheimer Hut to the Mueller Hut via the Zuckerhuetl and Wilder Pfaff
Stage 5A Hildesheimer Hut to the Siegerland Hut
Stage 5B Siegerland Hut to the Mueller Hut via the Sonklar Spitze
Stage 6 Mueller Hut to the Nuernburger Hut via the Wilder Freiger
Escape Routes from the Mueller Hut
Stage 7 Nuernburger Hut to Ranalt, Neustift and Innsbruck
Hut Directory
Appendix A Useful Contacts
Appendix B German–English Glossary
Appendix C Further Reading

Sample Route

Innsbrucker Hut to the Bremer Hut
StartInnsbrucker Hut
AscentAbout 900m (and 800m down)
Standard time7–8hrs

This is a wonderful walk that is characterised by lots of up and down and plenty of challenge and ever-changing scenery. The scenery throughout the day embraces some of the finest of the Stubai Rucksack Route. If you have children with you, you should allow all day for this route. It's best to be on your way by 07:00hrs and no later than 08:00hrs.

Pick up the trail from behind the hut and follow Route 124 southwest, contouring across the hillside over rocky broken ground to an obvious col at 2559m, with a large stone cairn on a spur off the Alfairkamm, above a tiny lake (a short 1hr). From first leaving the hut until this point unrivalled views of the Tribulaun peaks dominate the horizon.

The col is clearly visible from the hut and the approach is frequently snow-covered early in season. At the col, you are greeted with a particularly fine retrospective view of the Innsbrucker Hut and rock pinnacles of the Serleskamm group.

En route to the Bremer Hut with the Tribulaun mountains on the left

From here the route continues to traverse the hillside southwest above Pfann Alm and Glatte Alm roughly on or around the 2500m contour to a saddle (2504m) at the foot of the Grosser Glatte Spitze southeast ridge, west of the rock outcrop of Pramarn Spitze (2½–3hrs). By this point, the magic of the Tribulaun has given way to the snow-capped peaks of the Feuerstein and Pflerscher Hochjoch and a fabulous view of the Gschnitztal valley.

The path descends steeply west, with fixed ropes in places to aid stability, into a broad couloir of Beilgrube above Traul Alm. Continue around the open rocky combe and ascend the slopes south to round the Ochsenkogl's east ridge, traversing west along the 2200m contour into the boulder strewn slopes above Traul Alm to a stream at Plattental, 2400m.

Ascend broken rocky ground south crossing a number of small spurs to an obvious col at 2590m, on the east ridge of the Aussere Wetter Spitze (4hrs). The slope just before the col is often snow-covered late into season and will require a little extra care to climb. Once on top of the col, the Bremer Hut is clearly visible across the Simming Alm void, complete with little Simming See Alpine tarn.

From the col, descend steep rocks, protected by fixed ropes, zigzagging southeast to round the foot of the ridge then traverse south on the northern slopes of the Simming Alm. Cross the Simming Alm basin southwest where, after a short distance, a junction of paths and a signpost is reached: both lead to the hut. If the weather is good continue to the Lauterer See (2425m), thereafter following the track to the foot of the Innere Wetter Spitze east ridge. Ascend steep broken rocks, with good scrambling following fixed ropes, to emerge on the broad plateau just below the hut (6hrs).

Alternatively, if the weather is poor or you are feeling all but done in, continue to follow the slightly longer but easier normal way on Route 124 over rock-strewn boulder slopes around the head of the Simming Alm couloir, then climb through the steep rock face making use of fixed ropes, metal staples and a ladder that eventually emerges some distance below the hut, joining up with the main track from the Gschnitztal valley head at Feuerstein and onto the magnificently sited Bremer Hut (about 7hrs). This track variation came into being several years ago when the Jubilaumssteig Weg was established along with the Gschnitztal Runde Tour.

All the steep down parts are protected by fixed wire ropes but the path descending from the Pramarn Spitze is on the scrappy side due to a combination of poor ground and lack of maintenance.

Also, because the route crosses a number of ridges and spurs patches of old snow tend to linger on the north facing slopes and in the gullies, in particular north of the Alfeirkamm opposite the Innsbrucker Hut and on the northern side of the col when crossing the Aussere Wetter Spitze. Neither is insurmountable, but they can be problematic and the route is best avoided in bad weather.

At the Bremer Hut

Escape Routes

Should you experience bad weather at the Innsbrucker Hut but still want to make the journey to the Bremer Hut the most straightforward way is to follow Route 60 down the steep track of the Alfair Alm into the Gschnitztal valley to Feuerstein (2hrs). You can also arrange for rucksacks to be transported between the two huts, making use of the seilbahn. From Gasthof Feuerstein follow Route 102 on the Central Alpine Way to the hut (3hrs).

Alternatively, abandon this stage and proceed to the Nuernburger Hut by returning down the Pinnistal valley making use of the jeep-cum-taxi service then Stubaital bus service from Neder to the bus stop for the Nuernburger Hut and on to the hut.

Approaching the Simmingjochl, Pflerscher Hochjoch and Simming Ferner glacier to the left

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