Trekking in the Stubai Alps

Walking the Stubai Rucksack Route and the Stubai Glacier Tour

By Allan Hartley

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.



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


Neustift, Fulpmes, Telfes


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

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
25 May 2011
16 Oct 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    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

  • Maps

    Maps and guidebooks

    The following maps are required for the Stubai Rucksack Route and Stubai Glacier Tour. The maps are published by the Austrian Alpine Club and available from the UK Section of the Austrian Alpine Club.

    Maps (Alpenvereinskarte)

    Sheet 31/1 Stubai Alpen: Hoch Stubai scale 1:25,000
    Sheet 31/2 Stubai Alpen: Sellrain scale 1:25,000

    Also recommended, covering the complete region at a glance and available from major map retailers, are:

    Freytag & Berndt Wanderkarte: Sheet 24 scale 1:100,000 Stubaieralpen
    Kompass Wanderkarte: Sheet 83 scale 1:50,000 Stubai Alpen: Serleskamm
    Verlag W. Mayr: Sheet 18 scale 1:35,000 Stubaital


    For guidebooks and other reading, see Appendix C.


    While these are mostly in Geman they will inevitably as some stage be translated to English:

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

    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.
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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.

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