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Guidebook to trekking the Zillertal Rucksack Route (or Berliner Hoehen Weg) and the Zillertal South Tyrol Tour in the Austrian Tyrol. The ZRR avoids glaciers and difficult passes so is suitable for inexperienced trekkers, while the ZSTT traverses the range along the Austro-Italian border. Each takes 8-10 days and has excellent Alpine huts on route.
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Few areas can match the Zillertal, in the Austrian Tyrol, for a first Alpine season. Shapely peaks, good paths and some of the best huts in the Alps make it ideal for experienced trekkers and mountaineers alike.
This guide describes two popular hut-to-hut routes, both of which can be accomplished in eight to ten days, with the option to add in day excursions from the huts to climb local peaks on both sides of the border, including the Zillertal’s highest summit, the Hochfeiler.
The Zillertal Rucksack Route, or Berliner Hoehen Weg, links eight huts without crossing glaciers or difficult passes, with ample opportunity for scaling nearby peaks. It starts above Mayrhofen and follows a circular route ending high above the charming village of Ginzling. The length of this tour is 70-80km, depending on your exact start and finish points, and ascends some 6700m. As the name suggests, the Rucksack Route can be traversed entirely without crossing glaciers and without specialist climbing skills. However, it does involve negotiating steep ground, crossing late summer snow and making use of fixed wire rope here and there that are installed to aid stability.
The Zillertal South Tyrol Tour traverses the whole range along the Austro-Italian border, starting at Turistenraste then linking back to the Rucksack Route to make a circular tour. It is virtually unknown outside the South Tyrol, which helps make it into an interesting and unusual route choice. Overall it is about 55km long and ascends just over 5000m (not including any additional peaks.) It is a physically demanding trek, providing an excellent challenge to more experienced alpine walkers who wish to undertake a tour that is remote and challenging.
The following are updates to the guide posted at August 2017
Page 20 Hotels
The Siegelerhof Gastehof has changed hands and is now managed by Michael Thaler. Contact Mike at 0043 664 3410423 or email email@example.com
Page 24 Bus Services
Mayrhofen, Ginzling, Schlegeis
Schlegeis to Mayrhofen
Page 64 Ascent of the Woellbach Spitze
Due to previous posts in 2013, the route continues to deteriorate due to a lack of traffic and further deterioration of the Stilluppkees glacier. The traverse of the mountain as shown on the photograph on page 66 is no longer possible. The normal way via the Stangenjoch should be followed by making a rising traverse over very difficult ground of boulders and loose rubble to access the glacier.
Page 73 Ascent of the Grosser Loeffler
Due to further retreat of the glacier the climb/route is becoming increasingly problematic. Enquire at the Greizer Hut.
Page 83 Greizer to the Berliner Hut via the Floitenkees glacier
Due to further retreat of the glacier, access onto the Floitenkees glacier is becoming very difficult. Access is only possible at the point of the letter N of the word Floitenkees on the AV map via a steep sliver of ice. Enquire at the Greizer Hut.
Page 141 Ascent of the Hochfeiler
The summit snow arête has now almost disappeared making the ascent very straight forward over rock.
Page 143 Hochfeiler to the Edelraute Hut
Para 1, new wires have been installed, however access onto the Glider Ferner glacier remains problematic.
Page 146 Edelraute to Nevesjoch Hut
The Gesprutt sign mentioned on page 148 has now been removed and the path is open aided by a new bridge over the menacing ravine.
Page 159 Schwarzenstein to the Berliner Hut or Greizer Hut
Both routes are still possible but are becoming increasingly problematic due to glacial retreat. For the Greizer Hut the only way off the glacier is at point N on the AV map as mention above.
Page 167 Friesenberg Haus
The hut is now managed by Florian Schranz and Susanne Alberini,
Tel 0043  676 749 7550 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stage 4; Greizer Hut to the Berliner Hut
Page 79, photograph, the RED line indicating the route going to the left hand
gap/col is incorrect and should go to the right hand gap/col.
The map however on page 78 is correct
Stage 7; Olperer Hut to the Friesenberg Haus
Page112; General info panel, ascent given as 580m should read 245m
General Update at September 2013
Hotels; Page 20
The hotel is now managed by Michael Thaler all contact details remain the same
Hut Information and Reservations; Page 33
For small groups……………………………..
With the advances in mobile technology it seems most folk are reserving beds. Best to make a reservation particularly at weekends.
Ascent of the Wollbach Spitze; Page 64
The traverse of the mountain via the Wollbachjoch is not recommended due to a general retreat of the glacier and a rockfall near the col making access very difficult.
Schwarzenstein Hut; Page 188
Gunther Knapp has left the hut. Contact details remain the same.
|The Rucksack Route and South Tyrol Tour|
|When to go|
|Accommodation in the valley|
|The Zillertal valley and Mayrhofen|
|Trekking with children|
|Health and fitness|
|Emergencies and mountain safety|
|The Austrian Alpine Club|
|Maps and guidebooks|
|Alpine walking skills and equipment|
|Using this guide|
|Zillertal Rucksack Route (Hoehenweg)|
|Stage 1 Mayrhofen to the Karl von Edel Hut|
|Excursion 1.1 Ascent of the Ahorn Spitze|
|Stage 2 Karl von Edel Hut to the Kasseler Hut|
|Excursion 2.1 Ascent of the Woellbach Spitze|
|Excursion 2.2 Ascent of the Grune Wand Spitze|
|Stage 3 Kasseler Hut to the Greizer Hut|
|Excursion 3.1 Ascent of the Grosser Loeffler|
|Stage 4 Greizer Hut to the Berliner Hut|
|Stage 4a Greizer Hut to Berliner Hut via the Floitenkees glacier or Schwarzenstein Hut|
|Excursion 4.1 Ascent of the Berliner Spitze (Horn Spitze III)|
|Stage 5 Berliner Hut to the Furtschagl Haus|
|Excursion 5.1 Ascent of the Grosser Moseler via the west spur|
|Stage 6 Furtschagl Haus to the Olperer Hut|
|Stage 6a Furtschagl Haus to the Olperer Hut via the Pfitscherjoch Haus|
|Excursion 6.1 Ascent of the Olperer|
|Stage 7 Olperer Hut to Friesenberg Haus|
|Excursion 7.1 Ascent of the Hoeher Riffler|
|Excursion 7.2 Ascent of Peterskopfl|
|Stage 8 Friesenberg Haus to the Gams Hut|
|Excursion 8.1 Ascent of Vorderer Grindberg Spitze|
|Stage 9 Gams Hut to Mayrhofen|
|Zillertal South Tyrol Tour|
|Stage 1 Touristenraste to the Geraer Hut|
|Stage 2 Geraer Hut to Pfitscherjoch Haus|
|Stage 3 Pfitscherjoch Haus to the Hochfeiler Hut|
|Excursion 3.1 Ascent of the Hochfeiler|
|Stage 4 Hochfeiler Hut to the Edelraute Hut|
|Stage 5 Edelraute Hut to the Nevesjoch Hut|
|Excursion 5.1 Ascent of the Grosser Moseler|
|Stage 6 Nevesjoch Hut to the Schwarzenstein Hut|
|Stage 7 Schwarzenstein Hut to the Berliner Hut or the Greizer Hut|
|Appendix A Route summary tables|
|Appendix B Further information|
|Appendix C German-English glossary|
|Appendix D Further reading|