Trekking in Austria's Hohe Tauern

Venediger, Glockner and Reichen Groups

By Allan Hartley

This trekking guidebook describes 4 multi-day treks in the Reichen, Venediger and Gross Glockner mountain groups. It also contains an outline for a 10-day traverse of the whole region. The Hohe Tauern National Park takes in the Tirol, Salzburg and Karnten. It's ideal for trekking, with some of the best mountain huts in the Alps.



the summer alpine season runs from mid-June to the end of September; snow can linger to June and early July; mid-July through to mid September is warmer and more settled


Matrei in Ost Tyrol for the Venediger Group; Kals for the Gross Glockner; Mayrhofen for the Reichen group


paths and tracks are waymarked and frequently signposted; unless you intend to venture onto glaciers no special equipment is needed, nor additional climbing skills required
Must See

Must See

some of the best alpine scenery in the Eastern Alps; Gross Glockner, Gross Venediger and Reichen Group containing the greatest concentration of 3000m peaks in the Eastern Alps
20 Jan 2010
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.9cm
  • Overview

    Situated in the heartland of Austria and the Eastern Alps the Hohe Tauern National Park has international status as a World Heritage Site. Its stunning valleys are headed by scores of peaks that are home to some of the best huts in the Alps. This guidebook concentrates on three areas – the Reichen, Venediger and Gross Glockner Groups. In each section, descriptions are provided for various hut-to-hut tours along with excursions and recommended climbs.

    This guidebook describes five routes in the Reichen Group, the Venediger Group and the Gross Glockner, any of which would make an ideal introduction to the delights of Alpine trekking. There are 4 multi-day treks described and a 10-day traverse of the whole region from Mayrhofen, through the Reichen Group and across the Venediger to end with a climb on the Gross Glockner is outlined.

    Routes described in this guidebook, such as on the Reichen Group Runde Tour and the Venediger Hohenweg, vary from traditional mountain paths to tracks across boulder fields and rough ground. There is also steep ground, late summer snow and fixed wire ropes here and there to aid stability.

    The Hohe Tauern provides opportunities for all mountain enthusiasts, whatever their aspirations. It is ideal for the first time visitors to the Alps, particularly family groups with adventurous children, but it is even more so for aspiring alpinists, who would be wrong to see the Hohe Tauern as tame. These mountains can challenge even the most experienced alpinist, you will not be disappointed.

    The tours are moderately strenuous and require the ability to carry a full pack for an average of six hours a day. In terms of alpine grading, the majority of the routes fall into the mountaineering grade of easy to moderate, comprising of sustained mountain walking, requiring the ability to negotiate steep ground, scramble over rocks, cross late summer snow, make use of fixed wire ropes and have a good head for heights.

  • Contents

    When to Go
    Getting There (and Back)
    Places to Stay
    Visiting Innsbruck
    Tourist Offices
    Post Offices
    Places to Leave Luggage
    Health and Fitness
    Emergencies, Mountain Rescue and Insurance
    The Austrian Alpine Club
    About Huts
    Using this Guide
    Maps and Guidebooks
    Alpine Walking Skills
    Kit List
    Mountain Guides
    The Reichen Group Hut-to-Hut Rucksack Route
    Stage 1 Mayrhofen to Plauener Hut
    Excursion 1.1 Ascent of Reichen Spitze (3303m)
    Stage 2 Plauener Hut to Birnlucken Hut
    Stage 3 Birnlucken Hut to Warnsdorfer Hut
    Stage 4 Warnsdorfer Hut to Krimmler Tauern Haus
    Stage 5 Krimmler Tauern Haus to Zittauer Hut
    Stage 6 Zittauer Hut to Richter Hut
    Stage 7A Richter Hut to Plauener Hut via the Zillerplatten Scharte
    Stage 7B Richter Hut to Plauener Hut via the Gams Scharte
    The Venediger Group Hut-to-Hut Rucksack Route
    Stage 1 Matrei in Ost Tyrol to Essener Rostocker Hut
    Stage 2 Essener Rostocker Hut to Johannis Hut via the Turmljoch.
    Stage 3 Johannis Hut to the Bonn Matreier Hut via the Zopat Scharte and Eissee Hut
    Stage 4 Bonn Matreier Hut to Badener Hut via the Galten Scharte
    Stage 5 Badener Hut to Neue Prager Hut via the Loebbentorl 94
    Excursion from Neuer Prager Hut
    Stage 5A Badener Hut to Venediger Haus (alternative bad weather route)
    Stage 6 Neue Prager Hut to Sankt Poltener Hut
    Stage 7 Sankt Poltener Hut to Matreier Tauern Haus
    The Venediger Glacier Tour
    Stage 1 Mayrhofen to Warnsdorfer Hut
    Stage 2 Warnsdorfer Hut to Essener Rostocker Hut via the Gams Spitzl and Mauertorl
    Excursions from the Essener Rostocker Hut
    Stages 3–6 See Venediger Rucksack Route stages 2–5
    Stage 7 Neue Prager Hut to Kursinger Hut via the Gross Venediger
    Excursion from Kursinger Hut
    Stage 8 Kursinger Hut to Warnsdorfer Hut via the Obersulzbach Kees glacier and Gams Spitzl
    The Glockner Group Hut-to-Hut Rucksack Route
    Stage 1 Lucknerhaus to Studl Hut
    Excursions from the Studl Hut
    Stage 2 Studl Hut to Salm Hut via the Pfort Scharte
    Stage 3 Salm Hut to Glockner Haus
    Stage 4 Glockner Haus to Fusch via the Phandl Scharte
    Stage 5 Fusch to Gleiwitzer Hut
    Stage 6 Gleiwitzer Hut to Heinrich Schwaiger Haus
    Excursions from Heinrich Schwaiger Haus
    Stage 6A Gleiwitzer Hut to Kaprun
    Stage 7 Heinrich Schwaiger to Rudolfs Hut/Berg Hotel
    Excursions from Rudolfs Hut
    Stage 8 Rudolfs Hut to Sudetendeutsche Hut via the Kalser Tauern and Gradetz Sattel
    Excursion from the Sudetendeutsche Hut
    Stage 8A Rudolfs Hut to Kalser Tauern Haus
    Stage 9 Sudetendeutsche Hut to Matrei in Ost Tyrol
    Hut Directory

    Appendix A Useful Contacts
    Appendix B German–English Glossary
    Appendix C Further Reading
    Appendix D Across the Hohe Tauern National Park

  • Maps

    The following are available from the UK Section of the Austrian Alpine Club.

    Maps (Alpenvereinskarte)
    Sheet 35/3
    Zillertal Alpen Ost (east)
    Scale 1:25,000

    Sheet 36
    Venediger Group Scale

    Sheet 39
    Granat Spitze Group
    Scale 1:25,000

    Sheet 40
    Gross Glockner Group
    Scale 1:25,000

    Freytag & Berndt Wanderkarte sheet 152 scale 1:50,000 (Mayrhofen-Zillertaler Alpen-Gerlos-Krimml).

    Rudolf Rother Wanderkarte 1:50,000 scale (Glockner, Granatspitz and Venediger groups).

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    October 2016

    Heinrich Schwaiger Haus page 206
    The seilbahn rucksack service is no longer available
    Address Herr Stefan Borger
    Heinrich Schwaiger Haus
    Mooserboden 123
    A 5710 Kaprun
    Telephone, 0043 664 656 5555
    Hofmanns Hut page 207
    The hut remains closed and is likely to be demolished
    Kalser Tauern Haus page 210
    Telephone, 0043 664 985 7090

    October 2014

    Stage 7B Richter Hut to the Plauener Hut via the Gams Scharte

    Page 73; Info panel. Despite having new wires fitted in 2013, a large rock fall in
    the winter of 2013/14 has destroyed most of what was installed. The route is
    still passable but proceed with utmost caution.

    Stage 5;Badener Hut to the Neue Prager Hut

    Page 97, top of the page, signpost at the junction.
    Due to retreat of the glacier the signs on both sides of the route have been
    removed, accordingly follow the safer well marked route for the Gletscherweg.

    Stage 8; Kursinger Hut to the Warnsdorfer Hut

    Page 123; Map, dotted green line for Turkische Zellstadt, despite having been
    re-opened in 2012 the route is no longer sign-posted and no longer appears
    on the Alpenverein maps. A shorter route has now been established with
    the provision of a Klettersteig protected climbing path, sign-posted from the
    Kursinger Hut. The ground is very steep but since you will have Alpine kit it is
    a very good route and scenically stunning. Alternatively go the long way round
    following Route 914

    Hut Directory

    Erzherzog Johann Hut, page 200 info panel, address is
    Herr Peter Tembler,
    Grossdorf 20

    Glorer Hut, page 205, info panel, height is 2642, address,
    Herr Alfred Graf,
    Glorer Hut,
    Berger Toerl 1
    A-9981 Kals am Gross Glockner
    Omit Valley telephone number
    Update email to;

    Plauener Hut, page 218, info panel,
    Open; Mid June to mid September - address,
    Edith Haberl and Michael Puntigam,
    Pleuener Hut,
    A-6290 Brandberg

    Richter Hut, page 222, info panel, change name Herr Armin Bachmaier

    Venediger Haus, page 232, info panel, address
    Fr Monika Resinger
    Venediger Haus
    A-9971 Matrei in Ost Tyrol

    April 2011

    The following huts remain closed
    Heinrich Schwaiger Haus (Glockner Round Tour)
    Alte Prager Hut (Venediger Rucksack Route; Hoehenweg

    Glockner Runde Tour - Stage 6

    Gleiwitzer Hut to Heinrich Schwaiger Haus
    Note that the Heinrich Schwaiger Haus is closed for the foreseeable future.
    Alternative accommodation can be sought at Fuerthermoaralm located at Mooserboden Stausee reservoir.
    Contact; Martina Aberger, Fuerth 3, A-5721 Piesendorf

    Tel; (0043)6547 7158 23435 / Email; / Website;

  • Reviews

    Allan Hartley’s colour photo-studded gospel of Europe’s largest National Park and World Conservation Area concentrates of three mountainous areas. The guide provides descriptions of various hut-to-hut tours in the region, along with excursions and recommended climbs.

    This along with the wealth of detail included makes it ideal for first time visitors to the Alps, especially family groups with adventurous kids.

    (Trek & Mountain magazine, April 2010)

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Allan Hartley

Allan Hartley has maintained his close links with Austria, which he discovered by accident in the early seventies in respite from atrocious weather conditions on the higher mountains of the western Alps. He has climbed extensively throughout the Alps, in east Africa and in the greater ranges in Nepal and Pakistan.

View Articles and Books by Allan Hartley