Route from Lake Garda (Campi) to Staffelsee (Bad Kohlgrub)
Variants are marked in italics and partly make more sense
1st day: In the afternoon by car from Riva via Tenno up towards Lago di Tenno, at T-junction (bus stop, campsite) left to Campi and following the signs "Rif. Nino Pernici" up to the junction of the hiking trail. Starting point approx. 750 m. To the right of Torrente Gamella on a cart track north-westwards in the low forest up the valley (bent or fallen little trees) to an alpine pasture (Malga Grassi, 1056 m) with a cleared track and car park coming from the right. Here also on this track, which leads sharply up to the right at the starting point. Keep left over the area and on a track (possibly snowshoe tracks) straight up with a new right-left loop to the abandoned Malga Dosso Fiori. Ascending traverse to the Bocca di Trat saddle (1581 m) and continue left to the Rifugio Nino Pernici (al Bocca di Trat; 1600 m, 4.5 km, 850 hm, 3 to 3.5 hrs).
Enger winter room with 6 sleeping places and canopy for skis, but no cooking facilities except on some stools.
Info: Ingarda Trentino Azienda per il Turismo, Largo Medaglie d'Oro al Valor Militare, 5, I-38066 Riva del Garda (TN), Tel: 0039/ 0464/ 554444, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gardatrentino.it/en/lake-garda
2nd day: After crossing back to the Bocca di Trat, descend briefly on the track southwestwards towards Val dei Vai, roughly following the invisible summer track on the right westwards down into Val Sorda and right to a track and into a side valley (approx. 1200 m; you can cross to the left on the track to the variant). Up to here extensive high forest, from here narrow low forest. Shortly straight down, cross to the right to the path and keep right through a steep forest down to an open area. Downhill on a cross-country ski trail, then on foot on a track to the left into the Valle dei Concei and briefly southwards out of the valley until the Val dei Molini branches off to the west (820 m).
From here it is more convenient to continue on the track towards the Val dei Vai and descend on it (be careful of the branches!) to Lenzumo (788 m). Walk northwards along a small road into the valley to Val dei Molini. The hamlet of Lenzumo in the municipality of Concei can even be reached by bus from Riva via Lago di Ledro and is a more sensible starting point for ski transalpers than Campi. Unfortunately, it could not be ascertained whether the logical crossing through the Valle dei Concei to Tione via Bocca del Usso (1878 m) and Val Gavardina to Bondo is a sensible option in winter, as the valleys leading there seemed narrow and the slopes below the pass so avalanche-prone and steep that we opted for the diversions via the Val dei Molini with ski touring route. On a road with a rest area in Val dei Molini westwards on foot in the high forest, partly steeply uphill (snow passages), then on skis to sloping alpine pastures and the idyllic saddle setback of Malga Vies (1556 m) with signposted path branching. Turn right (north-westwards) up towards Malga Cadria and in an ascending, sometimes avalanche-prone left traverse to a striking rocky ledge, which can be climbed on skis or on foot, depending on the conditions. Behind it, turn right through a small valley to a wide high valley (right ski tour to Monte Cadria, 2254 m), which is followed westwards to its abrupt end (steep slopes, drop-offs) behind the Pozza di Cadria lake depression (approx. 1950 m). Lunch break.
On the right, short downhill traverse on a steep slope (possible avalanche danger) to a steep ridge (a supposedly developed path according to the map is not recognisable). Slightly downhill and via a short steep gully into a slightly less steep valley (avalanche danger from above). Keep left and descend westwards to the beginning of a track that leads away to the left. Follow the serpentine path down to the Malga Ringia alpine pasture and turn left again on the continuing path downhill. At a fork, continue left and finally flat to the village of Deserta (1143 m), where a tarred road begins. Follow this road, always keeping to the right at forks, down over the Rio Sadacla (1059m). Here it is probably better to turn right at the junction below Malga Ringia. Total approx. 7.5 km on foot to Lardaro in the Valli Giudicarie (732 m, 1200 m, 19 km, 7.5 to 8.5 h from Rif. Nino Pernici). By bus or taxi to the main town of Tione di Trento (637 m).
Overnight e.g. at Hotel Roma at the bus station, eat e.g. at the good Ristorante Pellegrino.
Taxi (with ski/bike transport): Ingoviaggi (Giulio Bonomi), fraz. Verdesina 51, I-38080 Villa Rendena (Trento), Tel. 0039/0465/323113, Mobile /339/8022936, www.ingoviaggi.com
Info: Consorcio Turistico Giudicarie Centrali, Via Damiano Chiesa 3, ??? Tione di Trento, Tel: 0465/323090, email@example.com, www.valligiudicarie.it
3rd day:Taxi ride through the upper Sarca Valley towards Madonna di Campiglio to Spiazzo, fraction Borzago (643 m), and short ascent to Sperre (approx. 710 m). Normally it is possible to enter the Val di Borzago up to 1000 m or to the end of the tarred road at 1097 m.On the road into the valley on foot, above 1000 m on skis westwards inwards to the Case di Fe. Straight into the valley on a track with snow cat tracks along the Rio Bedu di Pelugo, at a fork briefly keep right uphill (instead of clearing left) and continue into the valley to the material cable car of the Rifugio Carè Alto (1450 m) at the ruined Malga Coel di Pelugo. To avoid a stream gorge, continue briefly along the edge of the forest, up a little valley on the right and keep left through spruce forest (possibly better as summer trail along the edge of the forest to 1550 m) and over boulders laboriously to an open area (up to here the route is unclear; from here there is danger of avalanches from above), which you leave at 1650 m to the left (north-westwards) via an aisle (marked tree), i.e. the rediscovered trail. Through this to the open spaces of the upper valley, up the valley on the right and over the snow-covered stream on the left under a steep ridge between two wide, avalanche-prone steep gullies. The best route is probably up the initially flank-like right one westwards until you should cross to the left onto the upper ridge. Climb this briefly until you can cross the left gully southwards and slide down under rocks, keeping to the right, to a ledge (approx. 1940 m). Lunch break. Across wide slopes initially south-westwards upwards, west to north-westwards along a humpbacked ridge and northwards (avalanche danger) on to the Rifugio Carè Alto (2459 m, approx. 1800 hm, 10 km, 7 to 8 hrs.).
Hut with raised winter room (cannot snow), beam-protected door and 8 sleeping places, but no cooking facilities except for a table; possibly melt water from the roof. Info: Parco Naturale Adamello-Brenta, tel. 0039/0465/804637, www.parcoadamellobrenta.tn.it
4th day: Up approx. 40 m above the hut and to the right down a striking wide gully approx. 100 m eastwards very steeply. Left (west-north-westwards) onto a steep moraine ridge, over this and another upwards towards Carè Alto and before the glacier basin of the Vedrette di Niscli with giant hole briefly slide off to the right into a small valley (approx. 2640 m) under a striking, very steep appearing east-southeast ridge. Over the not so steep ridge (mostly straight ascent possible; at the top possibly a short walk) up to the 4 km long, terrace-like glacier band of the Vedretta di Lares below Monte Folletto (3338 m) and its satellites between Crozzon die Lares (3354 m) and Carè Alto (3462 m). You can also cross the lower ridges north-northwestwards, glide up to Sella di Niscli and ascend on the left (southwestwards) quite flat over the Lares glacier. In an arc south-westwards to southwards upwards towards Carè Alto with consistently difficult foot ascents over the rocky cutting of the north-west ridge (difficult and exposed) or better directly through the very steep north flank (approx. 100 hm from the ski depot; crampons and ice axe required).
Downhill traverse around the 3200-metre line: with as little loss of gradient as possible northwards under Monte Folletto. Start the downhill traverse and cross the eastern glacier ridge upwards. Downhill and downhill traverse under the Denti del Folletto. Depending on the conditions, traverse with or without skins around the eastern glacier ridge of Corno di Cavento (3406 m). Downhill traverse over its north-eastern steep flank (avalanche danger) below the Passo di Cavento. Very steep ascent on foot to the rotorange Bivacco Laeng (3198 m; possibly crampons) and steep descent on the west side. Ski northwest down to the wide glacier area of Vedretta della Lobbia. From Passo di Val di Fumo (2980 m) traverse northwards and push towards the distant snow peak of Lobbia Alta (3196 m) on the west side of the glacier, below which the Adamello Hut is ducked. At approx. 2925 m, saddle up to a small, blocking ridge, traverse northwestwards on its north side and up the short steep slope to the Passo della Lobbia Alta (possibly on foot). Cross the very steep south-western slope of the Lobbia Alta to the Rifugio ai Caduti dell' Adamello (3040 m, approx. 1300 hm, 11 km, 7 to 8 hrs due to frequent strapping on/off skis or with Carè Alto).
The "Adamello Hut" or "Lobbia Alta" is newly renovated and since then also catered for in the winter season; pellet-heated, cosy guest room, friendly and helpful innkeepers/staff, rubbish bins, good homemade (!) food, clean bedding. Monte Adamello is unfortunately hidden from view by Corno Bianco (3434 m).
Rifugio ai Caduti dell' Adamello (alla Lobbia Alta, 3040 m), private, sleeps 90 (winter room 8), open in winter 15.3. to 1. May, tel. 0039/0465/502615 (valley /503311), firstname.lastname@example.org
5th day: Retour traverse on the slope of the Lobbia Alta and high downhill traverse westwards to the Vedretta del Mandrone (approx. 2920 m; vulgo Adamello glacier). Start the descent and ascend over the wide glacier surface, at first clearly, then hardly recognisable, over a kind of ridge to the southwest. Behind a rock spur (eastern spur of Corno Bianco; approx. 3125 m) on the Pian di Neve, keep to the right and climb a short steep glacier/ice slope that extends to the rocky peak of Corno di Salarno (3327 m) on the southern edge of the glacier plateau. Westwards flat towards the glacier basin, cross out the steep lower slope of Monte Adamello and to the ski depot. On foot, initially very steep, then always keeping to the right on the south flank of the south-west ridge (boulders in places) to the summit (3554 m, bell to ring; ski descent possible if there is a lot of snow).
Back, skim down and return to the rock spur (you can also cross the south-west flank of the east foothill of Corno Bianco). Not too close below it (crevasses), cross to the left (northwards) and start climbing at the bottom (approx. 3000 m). North-westwards between the western edge and a large rock island of the north-western branch of the Vedretta di Mandrone, shallowly upwards, briefly up to the right, then northwards sloping traverse under the steep snow ramp to the right to the Passo Venezia and up to it (3226 m). Take off the skins and follow the almost always existing downhill tracks on the Vedretta di Pisgana northwards, first keeping to the right, then descending relatively steeply. Flat over the glacier tongue (watch out for the Getschertor!) north-eastwards to a ledge in the Valle Narcanello (better known as Valle Venezia). Keeping right over humps down to a flat passage and below keeping right to a steep step. Very steeply down the key passage, into the gully to the right of it and into a flattening valley section. On the right side over the slopes of the notched valley down to another flat section, from which a cart track leads to the right into a wooded area (1910 m). Follow this path briefly to open alpine pastures and descend north-westwards to the shortened cart track. Follow this partly in the forest down to a track and on this flat to a piste. Descend this, turn left over the Oglio Narcanello and continue flat (possibly pushing) to a subway of the road to the Tonale Pass (1260 m, just before the cable car to the Tonale Pass). Walk down the north side of the road to the left and take the road to the right into the village of Ponte di Legno (1257 m, 800 m, descent 1900 m, 23 km, 6.5 h ). On this road signpost to Hotel Bleis.
6th day: Ponte di Legno is recommended for a rest day (pretty old town with many cafés, good tourist office, wild mountain peaks above; swimming pool).
Hotel Ristorante/Albergo Bleis, Via Corno d'Aola 4, I-25056 Ponte di Legno (Brescia), tel. 0039/0364/900061, www.hotelbleis.com (excellent homemade food, helpful landlady speaks German).
Info: Ufficio turistico IAT, Corso Milano 41, I-25056 Ponte di Legno, tel. 0039/0364/91122, www.pontedilegno.it.
7th day: By taxi towards Passo di Gavia (2621 m; only open in summer) and in San Apolonia turn left below to the cross-country ski trail parking area in Valle delle Messi (1585 m). On the cross-country ski trail always to the right of the Oglio Frigidolfo, down the Valle delle Messi in the direction of Baite Valmalza or the ski tour to the Cima di Savoretta (3053 m) northwestwards until the summer trail branches off to the right to the Passo di Gavia (1700 m). On this path you can climb over steep, avalanche-prone slopes keeping to the left (northwards) to a flatter traverse after a small rock bar with a steep slope. Slide on more safely for a short while to a trail level under locking rocks, through which a striking gully runs on the left. Ascend in its direction, but first climb a hidden gully northwards on foot or with crampons (a stream flows under your shoes!) and when it widens above the rocks, turn left around a ridge. Ski up the flatter traverse to the ruined Baite Gaviola (2113 m, waymarked) on the Gaviola stream. Left onto a broad ridge (partly open) west of the valley, along this up to a saddle and briefly down to the depression of Lago Nero. It is best to keep slightly to the left up through a small valley and cross to the right through a slope to the Rifugio Gonetta (2618 m, unattended in winter, no winter room) on the Passo di Gavia. Direct, but demanding: straight north up a very steep 100 m firn flank with crampons, with skis through a hollow and briefly keeping to the right up to the Rifugio on the uncleared road.
Slide northwards on the road marked with poles across the plateau of the upper Valle di Gavia to the Rifugio Berni al Gavia (2541 m).
More rewarding variant: turn right via the road to the east side of the Gavia stream, traverse northeastwards on the summer path towards Punta San Matteo up an increasingly steep slope (avalanche danger) and traverse eastwards above the Rio Dosegù to a depression. Southeastwards up into a gully and northeastwards (left) through a hollow up to the Ghiacciaio di Dosegù (right-left loop and northeastwards to the very steep Punta San Matteo, 3678 m). Cross this northwards upwards and between two long rock ribs up to the final steep saddle (3570 m) east of Punta San Matteo. Left to foot to the summit (3594 m).
Descend along the northeast ridge, from 3200 m right (eastwards) over the wide, here unusually flat glacier surfaces of the Ghiacciaio dei Forni to the ridge that leads northeastwards down to Isola Persa (2742 m). Keeping to the right, northwards to the right (eastern) glacier bank and cross to the moraine ramp below the Palon de la Mare (a little uphill; or cross below to the hut ascent). Descend on this and briefly ascend on a levelled track to the Rifugio Cesare Branca (2487 m).
Bypass in case of avalanche danger, weakness, cold/storm: Descend on the levelled pass road from here, crossing parallel to the slope, to the ski area of Santa Caterina Valfurva and descend via the piste to the village (1738 m). Lunch break. It is best to take a taxi for about 5 km up the Val dei Forni to the ski touring car park (2158 m; slightly downhill before the end of the road). Ski towards the Branca Hut along the Torrente Frofolfo eastwards and into the valley on the levelled path continuing south-eastwards (left turn to the Pizzini Hut). Follow this uphill to some hairpin bends and northeastwards to the Rifugio Cesare Branca (2493 m, 1900 m, 20 km, 10 h).
Rifugio Cesare Branca (2493 m), CAI, 85 beds (winter room 10), open 15.3. to 30.5. and 30.6. to 30.9., tel. 0039/0342/935501 or /935350 (food and drink very good, landlady speaks German).
8. day: From the Branca Hut (2493 m) briefly northwards onto a ridge, on this right into the Val delle Rosole and through this only relatively flat north-eastwards upwards.
From approx. 2900 m over a ridge and, keeping to the left, slowly uphill over the Vedretta delle Rosole below a striking snow flank (approx. 3250 m). After a steep left traverse up northwards in serpentines and cross the very steep upper end to the right to Colle del Pasquale (3423 m).
Descend over the steep (watch out for crevasses!) Vedretta di Cedec at the top until you recognise a saddle in a rocky ridge opposite from a flat section (approx. 3040 m) to the north. With skins, cross under the rocky west flank of the north ridge of Cevedale up to it and shortly before it, up a very steep snow passage moving to the left. Above this on the ski track serpentines of the path from the Pizzini hut or straight up on foot north-eastwards between scree and crags, finally left to the Passo del Cevedale (3266 m) and on the other side briefly downhill to the Rifugio Gianni Casati (3254 m, old food). From here you can ascend south-southeastwards over a northern ridge on the edge of the Zufallferner to Zufallspitze (3757 m) and Cevedale (3769 m; steep step below the double peak).
From here it is also easier but unspectacular to descend northwestwards over a levelled ramp into the Val di Cedec and northwards on a levelled path into the valley to the Rifugio Pizzini-Frattola (2700 m; here also directly from the ski touring car park). Climb up the valley basin north-eastwards, keeping to the right under rocks and finally between scree and crags up to the Cevedale pass (as above).
Shortly behind the hut up to the Rifugio Guasti and along the south ridge (below intermediate descent, at the top turn left) up to the Suldenspitze (Cima di Solda, 3376 m).
Descend briefly north-westwards to the Janiger Scharte and because of the danger of crevasses on the upper Suldenferner first keep right north-eastwards, then briefly left (approx. 3200 m; right winter crossing) and descend northwards. Cross to the right to the mountain station of the Sulden ski area and stop at the Schaubachhütte below (2581 m). Shortly up again to the mountain station, turn right to the valley descent and follow it down. At the bottom, ignoring the valley station, you can push on to Sulden-St. Gertraud and take the road on the left to the old village centre to the bus stop in front of the tourist office (1844 m, 1250 m ascent, 15 km, 7 hours + rests). Here bus info/ taxi booking and info/ booking Vinschgau/ Matschertal. By taxi via Vinschgau to the Almhotel Glieshof in the Matschertal (1807 m).
Tourism Association Schlanders-Laas in the Stilfser Joch National Park, I-39028 Schlanders (BZ), Göflanerstraße 27, Tel. 0039/0473/737050, email@example.com, www.schlanders-laas.it.
Almhotel/Restaurant Glieshof, Matsch 69 (end of the valley), 0039/0473/842622 (rooms and food hotel standard, but relatively inexpensive).
9th day: From the Glieshof (1824 m) briefly on the tarred road back to the north-west side of the Saldurbach and shorten straight to a track. Follow the path northeastwards into the valley and at the open space below the Matscher Alm continue flat over a bridge to the east side of the stream (2000 m). Southeastwards briefly to the Inner Matscher Alm and northwards on the road, which slopes steeply in places towards the stream, flat further into the valley to an alpine hut with a material cable car to the Oberetteshütte. Behind the hut, follow the summer trail in flatter terrain until you can turn left again and cross the stream to its western side (approx. 2250 m). Continue northwestwards through the broader valley and climb northwards in steps (the shorter route to Hintereisferner parallel north-eastwards through a narrow steep valley is no longer common). At approx. 2640 m, turn right over a snow flank up to a narrow south-west ridge and climb along it, finally crossing the south-east flank to a small summit plateau (just under 2850 m). Up here it is probably better to cross straight over a steep step and above (approx. 2750 m) up to the right. Northeastwards to the edge of the plateau and slide down an eastern slope for about 40 m to Hintereisferner. Across this eastwards up to a flattening and left across the Matscher Ferner northwards below the Innere Quellspitze (3516 m), up a rock island (not marked on maps!) normally left immediately to the Hintereisjoch (3469 m) in front of the Weißkugel (to this in the snow across the south-west flank and up the south ridge with rock spires, 3738 m).
On the border with the Austrian Tyrol and the rest area of the Ötztal Alps, descend eastwards to the Hintereisferner and initially enjoyable, then over the flat glacier north-eastwards. Before the end of the glacier (from approx. 2600 m) cross to the right on the northern flank of the Rofenberg, then over to the left (north) side of the Hintereisbach (from approx. 2400 m). Here also by descending over the glacier tongue and pushing out of the valley. After crossing a lateral stream bed, briefly ascend, then level traverse on exposed southern flank and briefly somewhat downhill to the Hochjochhospiz (2412 m, 1750 m ascent, 20 km, 8.5 hrs + rest/breaks).
Hochjoch-Hospiz (2412 m), DAV, open mid-March to early May and late June to September, 86 beds (winter room 16), tel. 0043/(0)664/5402574, www.dav-berlin.de (quaint, good food, heated dormitories with red-checkered blanket covers. Subtenants do not know each other well).
10th day: From Hochjochhospiz (2412 m) fairly straight up northwest to north and over an avalanche-prone steep slope to a depression (2900 m). Take the unmarked right ridge, up to the east ridge and over this partly over rocks on foot to the summit of the Mittlere Guslarspitze (3128 m).
Over an often icy, narrow ridge on foot north-northeastwards down to the Scharte (3073 m) in front of the Vordere Guslarspitze (3118 m). Here it is easier to go around the unmarked ridge and the east ridge on the right and turn left north-westwards into the valley between Mittlerer and Vorderer Guslarspitze. Westwards, ski down very steeply to the right edge of the Guslarferner and slowly flatten out over it to the north, down to a flattened slope. Keeping slightly to the left to the edge of the moraine (Steinmann), briefly descend steeply and with as little height loss as possible over to the left north-west side of the Guslar valley. Head northeast down the valley for a short distance, at approx. 2700 m start the ascent and keep left, finally head north to the Vernagthütte alias Würzburger Haus (2755 m, 750 m ascent, 4 km, 4 hrs. + breaks).
Vernagthütte (Würzburger Hütte, 2755 m), DAV, open March to mid-May, Whitsun and July to September, 131 beds (winter room 16), Tel. 0043/(0)664/1412119, www.dav-würzburg.de (spacious hut with all comforts; popular with mountain guides with groups).
11th day: From the Vernagt hut (2755 m), descend south-eastwards for a short distance and, before the Guslarbach cuts into the valley, turn left to the bridge over the Vernagtbach (approx. 2600 m). Start the descent, walk north-northwestwards through the wide Vernagt valley and up to the glacier tongue of the Vernagtferner. Here, with less avalanche danger, from the hut on the western side moraine northwards, briefly traverse its steep slope (approx. 2820 m) downwards and cross the southern foothills of the Vernagtferner.After the end of the right rock face below the Schwarzkögele at approx. 2920 m, turn right up a relatively steep section, then flat across the wide glacier plateau of the Großer Vernagtferner north-eastwards up towards the Kleiner Vernagtferner behind a long rock spur. To the right of this, climb more steeply, continue flat and in a left loop under the Brochkogeljoch. Keeping to the left, up a ramp and continue on foot over the Joch (3423 m; blown clear in a southerly wind). From here optional right traverse under the Hinteren Brochkogel (3628 m), behind it east to south-east through a hollow up to the west ridge of the Wildspitze and over this due to cornices on the left to the rocky summit, 3770 m. Descend northeastwards over the Taschachferner, traverse right (approx. 3300 m) into the glacier hollow below the northern ice breaks of the Wildspitze and down to the glacier plateau (just under 3100 m) below the Mittelbergjoch. From a rim meadow to a very steep downhill slope and to the right of this on foot up over a snow ridge, finally by ski to the Mittelbergjoch (3166 m). Here, with less avalanche danger, northwards by crossing a steep western slope (traverse tracks) and a short steep section to the yoke.On the other side, skim down, briefly down to a lift station and across the piste on the Mittelbergferner, taking the right at a junction until you can cross below the Rechter Fernerkogel (3300 m) from the piste to the right to the eastern section of the glacier (approx. 2750 m). Flat past the winding practice track eastwards and up a side glacier, which swings to the left (northwards) between Tiefenbachkogel (3307 m) and Linker Fernerkogel (3277 m) to an unnamed saddle (3155 m). Here right over an avalanche-safe, rocky ridge on foot very steeply up, after a chain over the key passage, left traverse northwards on a ribbon and over the barrier up to the viewing platform at the mountain station of the Tiefenbachjoch cable car (3234 m). The normal route with traverse below the north-west flank of the Linker Fernerkogel and ascent via the Braunschweiger Hütte over the Pitztaler Jöchl (2996 m) into the Rettenbachtal valley can unfortunately not be described in more detail here. However, it is unproblematic in avalanche-safe conditions (-50 hm; very steep at the Joch).
After skinning down, cross to the left (north-eastwards) on a drawing path that is closed during avalanche blasting at the upper end of the Tiefenbachferner downhill to a ski tunnel and go through (slight counter incline). On the other side northwards down the piste on the Rettenbachferner, continue on the piste in the Rettenbachtal and keep right on a piste in the forest to the Gaislachkogelbahn valley station in Sölden (1486 m, 1400 hm ascent, 22 km, 8.5 hrs + rest/rest breaks). By bus to Längenfeld (1180 m).
Info: Tourismusverband Sölden - Ötztal-Arena, A-6450 Sölden, Tel. 0043/(0)5254/510-0, www.soelden.com
12th day: Längenfeld is recommended for a rest day (village with a few restaurants, good tourist office, mountain peaks above); overnight e. g.E.g. at Gästehaus Elsa Schöpf, Oberlängenfeld 29, A-6444 Längenfeld, Tel. 0043/(0)5253/5473; thermal/wellness bath Aquadome with various warm water pools, small sulphur bath, huge sauna area, restaurant.
Info: Ötztal Tourismus, Information Längenfeld, Unterlängenfeld 81, A-6444 Längenfeld, Tel. 0043/(0)5720/0300, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.laengenfeld.com or www.laengenfeld.oetztal.com.
Day 13: From Längenfeld (1180 m) by taxi to Winnebach (1691 m) above Gries in Sulztal. On a cart track overall north-eastwards in hairpin bends towards the Winnebachseehütte and from an east crossing straight down (1860 m, no sign; left up Sommerweg) into the open ground of the Winnebach valley (water hut). A little above on the southeast side of the Winnebach and parallel to it up (places avalanche danger from above). At a narrow point, steeply up into the almost flat middle valley and into the valley until the cut of the upper Winnebach descends on the left. Normally before that, steeply left up northwards under a prominent rock and along the summer path further to the hut (avalanche danger!). If there is a risk of avalanches, climb increasingly steeply up through the stream bed, continue along the rock-strewn right edge into flatter terrain and traverse left upwards to the rustic Winnebachseehütte (2361 m, catered). Follow the summer path back down the valley into the wide Winnebachkar and at the beginning of a shallow cirque ascent from approx. 2400 m keep left (north-westwards; straight to the Winnebachjoch) towards the Breiter Grieskogel (3287 m). Behind the low rock face of the lower southern ridge of the Zwiselbacher Weißkogel, turn right (northwards). In case of avalanche danger at 2650 m, cross a wide hollow under rocks on the left and over the ridge on the left of it northwestwards up to a bowl-shaped plateau. Right up towards the rocky south-west flank of the Weißkogel, left traverse on a steep slope (key point; in summer scree) to a hollow, right through this and over the left ridge to a moderately sloping slope and over this northwards to a saddle (here left to the Breiter Grieskogel). When avalanche conditions are good, the ski route leads in a short right-left loop up the south ridge and crosses under the south-west flank north-westwards to the steep slope.Keep right for a short while up to the Zwieselbachjoch (2868 m) and skim down.
After a steep entry on the remains of the Zwieselbachferner, always keep your distance from the avalanche-prone north-eastern slopes of the Larstiggrat on the left (so never take the summer trail!) via stepped slopes north-eastwards down to the Gräsern (2520 to 2380 m), a stepped stony area, which should be skirted on the east side if possible (danger of snow slabs on short steep slopes below the Sonnenwand!). Then keep to the left and descend to the summer path along the Zwieselbach stream and, after a level, through its incision. Across another plain to the right of the stream to a barely recognisable cart track (from 2140 m) and push and slide along this for 1.5 km out of the valley to the Guben-Schweinfurter Hütte (2028 m, 1200 hm ascent, 11 km, 6 hrs + waiting and rest/rest breaks).
Guben-Schweinfurter Hütte (2028 m), DAV, open March to April and mid-June to mid-September, 62 beds (winter room 6), tel. 0043/(0)5255/5702, www.dav-sw.de (friendly and helpful hosts, good food).
14. Day 14: From the Guben-Schweinfurter Hütte (2028 m) directly north-eastwards over a steep ridge (appears neither harmless nor like a Scharten access) and after a step (approx. 2400 m) more moderate further into the eastern Weite Kar (around 2600 m). Keeping left (northwards; right to the Kraspesspitze, 2953 m) after a short steep step to the Toten Böden and up through hollows on the left, finally briefly right to the Finstertaler Scharte (2777 m).
Abfellen and keep right (north-eastwards) down to a rocky ridge, briefly steeply down and cross to the right above a hollow to a saddle. Follow the Finstertal valley in a wide left-hand loop, always descending quickly north to west (possibly bypassing a steep slope on the right) and continue right (northwards) to the Finstertal reservoir (approx. 2300 m). After the downhill run, turn right along the shore of the lake, northwards up and down a little and up to the top of the dam. Downhill and next to the dam keeping left (north-westwards) downhill, below the dam steeply downhill keeping right and through a flattening hollow to a cleared track towards Kühtai. From below the dam, you can descend moderately on this path, which is not cleared at the top.On this path to a road (opposite the lift station and piste) and briefly on foot to the right up into the village of Kühtai to the Kuhstall restaurant (tourist filling station, but good goulash soup).
At the western exit of the restaurant terrace, put on skis, under the chairlift uphill into a small valley with piste and without serpentines very steeply northwards up to a flat section. After this, turn left up a very steep slope and turn right down the slope to the old mountain station (2427 m; straight ahead a new one). In the ascent track straight north-westwards, up to the eastern ridge of the Hinterer Grieskogel, up the steep eastern slope to the right of it and in a right-left loop to the uncrossed summit of the Pirchkogel (2828 m).
After skinning down, briefly slide northwards into the saddle in front of the Kreuzgipfel, which looks into the Inntal, quickly descend to the right through the east-northeast-facing snow valley and, after a step, keep to the right downhill to a Schartl (approx. 2500 m; do not descend the tempting valley on the left!). Briefly very steeply down the other side into a wide cirque, straight northwards quickly down and before the lower bottleneck right onto a ridge. Here, do not follow the ski tracks crossing into the Stamser Tal (climb up to the Kreuzjoch-Scharte back into the Kühtai), but keep left over the ridge (north-westwards) towards the Stamser Alm (1873 m) and shortly before this turn right on a new track into the Stamser Tal. Here it is better to descend (i.e. not cross) to the right of the ridge through sparse Swiss stone pine forest and out of the valley to the left of the Stamser Bach stream. This trail crosses the Pillwald forest on the left and can be shortened after a while via an open area with larches. Right across the Zamser Bach (1551 m), long crossing of a steep flank and a steep forest and again overall northwards in long, flat serpentines through the Stiftswaldung down to the hamlet of Hauland (914 m). Unstrap your skis here at the latest and walk on a tarred road down to Stams in the Inn Valley to the Alte Hammerschmiede inn (672 m; 1580 m ascent, 20 km, 9 hrs + rest/breaks).
Take a taxi to Mieming-Aschland to the Aschlandhof inn/guesthouse (1115 m; Aschland 117, A-6416 Obsteig, Tel. 0043 (0)5264/8245, www.aschlandhof.com). Spacious rooms with good facilities, best Wiener Schnitzel outside Vienna; also open in low season.
Info: Mieminger Plateau Tourism Association & Fernpass Lakes
A-6416 Obsteig, Tel 0043/(0)5264/8106, email@example.com, www.mieminger-plateau.at.
15. day: From the Aschlandhof (1115 m) over meadows and through initially sparse forest slightly to the right (north-east) up to a track, possibly finally under a power line. Turn left uphill, after a serpentine turn right into the Marienbergtal valley and on the left side cross surprisingly flat northwards (an avalanche gully on the left!). In a clearing, turn right to the valley station of a drag lift (1622 m), to the right of the valley bottom in the open on the drag track, partly very steeply straight up and briefly left to the Marienbergjoch (1789 m). After skinning down, descend on the Marienberg piste to the middle station (1151 m). Follow the piste a little further, at a good 1100 m turn right into the forest (watch out for the summer toboggan run) and cross until you meet the "Höhen-/ Panoramaweg" coming up from Biberwier towards Ehrwald 50 m below.
In favourable conditions without skins, follow this flat north-eastwards uphill, at a small clearing turn half-left off the wider track and for the most part level or slightly downhill to light larch forest. Do not follow the trail to the right but the footpath straight ahead, on a footbridge over the Geißbach stream to Ehrwald and on foot left downhill to the main road. Follow the main road northwards for a good 1 km through the village (994 m), turn right in the direction of the Ehrwald-Zugspitzbahn cable car and walk up the north-eastbound road until a cross-country ski trail appears on the left at the beginning of the forest. Follow it parallel to the road uphill to Ehrwald-Zugspitzbahn (1228 m) and the excellent Dorfschänke restaurant of the Tiroler Zugspitze Active and Family Resort on your left. A short walk eastwards past the cable car station and bus depot to a levelled track, north-eastwards flat and with hairpin bends up to the Hochtörlehütte (1459 m) and on towards the Eibsee to a saddle (1490 m).
After skinning, descend on the other side to the end of the trail, continue straight to a sign (straight ahead to Eibseeblick), briefly turn left down the border between Austria and Germany and cross to the right (eastwards) through young forest and down between boulders to a trail parallel to the slope (1380 m; key passage). Follow this to the right to the Riffelriß piste, down this, above the Eibsee, partly pushing, cross to the right to another piste and via this down to the Eibsee (970 m) and the Hotel Eibsee with excellent Eibsee cake.
As it turns out, there is no overnight accommodation in the Loisachtal above Untergrainau. Therefore, it makes no sense to mention the original route - especially since the bridge here was washed away and not rebuilt. On the road east and northeast on foot (just under 4 km) to Grainau. Alternative route if there is enough snow: Cross the other slope briefly further north-eastwards to a lift house, right over the tracks of the Zugspitz cogwheel railway (1005 m) and on a track eastwards to north-eastwards through the Riffelwald flat uphill, without skins in good conditions. At 1080 m, turn left and follow a cart track initially flat north-eastwards down to another track leading down to Obergrainau (760 m; or straight across the meadows). Stay overnight here or in Untergrainau (742 m)(1400 hm ascent, 25 km, 10.5 hrs + rest/rest breaks).
Overnight e.g. in the holiday flat Schmöger Hubert in Untergrainau on the Loisach (730 m; only useful if you take a taxi).
Tourist Information Zugspitzdorf Grainau, Parkweg 8, 82491 Grainau, Tel: 0049/(0)8821/981850, www.grainau.de
16th day: By taxi up the Loisach valley to the car park at the Ochsenhütte (820 m). Take a road towards Linderhof through the wide forested Rotmoos valley in a large arc from west to north-east up to the flat plateau around the Rotmoossattel (1210 m; still behind the Rotmoosalm junction).
After skinning behind it, continue northwards through the Ellmautal valley and after a long slide/push/shuffle to a fork (923 m). Turn right (north-eastwards) towards Graswang, on the left side around a "Schaufütterung" and over the Linder east of the village to a road. In front of it on the cross-country ski trail (low season), right along the road eastwards, at the turn-off to Oberammergau left and north-eastwards possibly on foot on the road, finally north-westwards further to a large bridge over the Ammer. If you want to walk through Oberammergau (840 m) or spend the night there, walk right on a footbridge underneath across the Ammer River and in a loop through the pretty village with relatively few open restaurants/cafés in the low season.Continue straight on foot to the arterial road at Oberammergau railway station, left on the pavement to the main road, underneath it and right on a tarred path to Unterammergau. Here, in snowy conditions, also continue along the Ammer.On the banquette of the B23 continue to the bridge over the Ammer, behind it right over the tracks and on the Kappeler Weg north-eastwards after more than 5 km on foot to one of the holiday flats (836 m, 350 hm, 22 km, 7.5 hrs + rest/breaks).
Info: Tourist Information Unterammergau, Dorfstr. 23, 82497 Unterammergau, Tel: 0049/(0)8822/6400, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ammergauer-alpen.de
17. Day 17: From Kappeler Weg in Unterammergau (836 m) northwards parallel to the main road on a tarred path to a small road, up this to the right in the direction of Kappel and straight on (Kappel on the left) on a track northeastwards across flat meadows. At the beginning of a south-western ridge, do not turn left into a valley, but keep to the right up a kind of ramp (formerly a road) until a summer path branches off sharply to the left and leads onto the ridge. Follow the path uphill on the left side of a row of trees over free slopes, avoiding a section of forest in a steep right-left loop to some striking maple trees and after keeping slightly to the right to a track coming down from the left. Follow this uphill through the forest, along a track on the now flat undulating ridge and, at a fork in the path, turn half-left (straight crossing to Hinteres Hörnle, 1548 m), briefly through the forest steeply up to Mittlere Hörnle (1496 m, unobstructed view, except to the west).
After skinning down the north ridge, turn left (northwestwards) to the mountain station of the Hörnlebahn with the Hörnlehütte (1390 m, open all year except November and cable car revision period before Easter, tel. 08845/229) and via the piste northwards, at a junction right down to the valley station of the Hörnlebahn on the outskirts of Bad Kohlgrub (910 m, 670 hm, 5 km, 3 hrs + wait for sunrise). Walk north down into the village (828 m) for a snack/drink in one of the two butcher's shops (everything else closed in the mornings in low season). Train connection via Murnau am Staffelsee to Munich.
Info: Kur- und Tourist-Information Bad Kohlgrub, Haus der Gäste, Tel: 0049/(0)8845/74220 email@example.com, www.ammergauer-alpen.de