Pitztal Holiday

Hiking and sightseeing
in and around Pitztal Tyrol

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    1. The Steinseehütte

    The Steinseehütte is framed by the mighty Parzinn group, in the Oberinntal, in Tyrol. The hut is situated below the Steinsee, on a green terrace. Nowadays, it is owned by the section Landeck of the ÖAV, the Austrian Alpine Club.

    Steinseehütte
    © lechtaler-hoehenweg

    1.1 History

    The first very small Steinseehütte was built in 1924. It was visited by regional living climbers. A kitchen was built in a new room and after the Second World War, the hut was enlarged, by attaching a stone building to the existing wooden hut. This expansion was completed in 1954.

    The visits to the new hut increased continuously. Therefore, another enlargement was started in 1966 and finished in 1968. From 1980, the small winter room hut had become dilapidated. In a construction period of 2 ½ months, during the summer of 1983, another annex was created. In 1984, all internal work and facilities could be realized. In September 1999 the installation of a photovoltaic system was completed. Through this modern and environmentally friendly facility, the energy supply of gas could be converted to electricity.

    Also the water supply has been completely renovated. In June 2002, the sanitation was improved by the installation of a solids separator. In the autumn of 2007, the hut was provided with two hot water showers. In the years 2010 – 2011, the kitchen was renovated and a drying room was built. Also the photovoltaic system was expanded and renewed. The parking lot on the Alfuz Alm was enlarged. In 2012, the terrace was redesigned.

    2. The hiking trail

    The trail starts from the parking lot at the Alfuzalm, near Landeck. From there it goes in a relaxed walk in 2,15 hours up to the Steinseehütte. The total distance to the hut is almost 5 kilometers. The climb from the Alfuzalm to the hut rises almost 800 meters.

    From the hut, in an half hour walk, through green meadows, you can reach the Steinsee, a lake at a height of 2222 meters. Deep blue water, with a green frame and surmounted by wild jagged peaks.

     

     

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    2.1 Starting point

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    The trail starts at the Alfuz alm, here is a parking lot (free of charge).

    Parking lot at the Alfuzalm
    © alpenvereinaktiv

     

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive through Piller and Flieβ towards the railway station (Bahnhof) in Landeck. Follow the B171 towards Innsbrück, through Zams (do not take the Autobahn A12). Approximately 1 km before Zams it branches off from the highway B171, directly after the avalanche shelter on the left (signpost), under the motorway and before gravel sharply to the right (signpost). Now follow the left forest road about 4.3 km to the Alfuzalm.

    By bus: There is a bus connection between Wenns (centre), via Immst to Starkenbach.

    2.2 Turn-by-turn directions

    From the parking lot, descend about 100 meters towards the Alfuz Almhütte. Follow roadnr. 625, after 3 km to the junction Württemberger Haus. Bear to the right, there is a signpost to the road to the Steinseehutte.

    Take the right road to the Steinseehütte
    © alpenvereinaktiv

     

    2.4 Duration

    For people used to heights it takes 2.15 hours to reach the Steinseehütte. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photo’s etc. it will take 2.5 to 3 hours.

    4. Photos

    ACTION UPLOAD PHOTOS

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    1. History of the Martin-Busch-hutte

    The location of the Martin-Busch-hütte has a long tradition. Already, in 1877, its predecessor, a small shelter with the name “Samoarhütte” was built here. This cottage was purchased in 1911 by the former Deutsche Alpen Verein (DAV), the German Alpine Association, section Mark Brandenburg. However, this hut was soon proved to be too small.

    Therefore, the section began in 1938 with the construction of a new house, which was called the “Hermann Göring House”. The Second World War prevented the completion of the interior design.

    05 Blick-vom-Marzellkamm

    View from the mountain Marzellkamm
    © dav-berlin.de

     

    300px-Martin-Busche-Haus

    Martin Busch Hütte
    © de.wikipedia.org

    After 1945, the not quite finished hut, now used under the name New-Samoar hut, was used by the Austrian customs authorities. However, only in 1952, the completion was succeeded by the provisional administration of the ÖAV (Österreichischer Alpenverein, in english Austrian Alpine Association), headed by Councilor Martin Busch.

    In 1961, the “Samoarhütte” was found destroyed by an avalanche. Today, the remains of this originally build hut can still be seen slightly above the Martin-Busch hut.

    1.1 The iceman “Ötzi”

    On September 19, 1991, the tourists Helmut and Erika Simon were walking off the path between the mountain passes Hauslabjoch and Tisenjoch, in the Ötztal Alps, when they found a body. They believed that the body was of a recently deceased mountaineer. It was transported to the office of the medical examiner in Innsbrück, together with other objects found. On September 24, 1991 the find was examined there by the archaeologist Konrad Spindler of the University of Innsbrück. He dated the find to be “about four thousand years old”, based on the typology of an axe among the retrieved objects. The mummy with the nickname Ötzi is Europe’s oldest known natural human mummy.

    Ötzi, photographed by Helmut Simon
    © en.wikipedia.org

    Nowadays, his body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaelogy in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy. An Ötzi memorial is made near Tisenjoch. Ötzi was found ca. 70 m north-east of here, a place indicated with a red mark. The mountain in the background is the Fineilspitze. From the Martin Busch Hütte, this memorial can be reached as a comfortable day hike.

    170px-Oetzi_Memorial

    The Ötzi memorial
    © en.wikipedia.org

    1.2 The sheep drive

    The sheep drive across the Ötztal alps main ridge enables sheep farmers from Schnals and Passeier in South Tyrol, in Italy, to use their grazing rights in the back of the Ötztal valley, in Austria. In early June, these sheep are driven from the Martin Busch hütte, by three different, partially glaciated pass routes, in the north. In mid-September, the sheep are driven in the opposite direction, back to South Tyrol. Since October 2011, this so called Transhumanz was placed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO.

    Schaftrieb_Hauslabkogel

    Sheep drive
    © wikipedia.org

    2. The hiking trail

    The trail to the Martin Busch hut is a popular hiking trail in the Ötztal in Tyrol in Austria. It is a trail full of cultural and historical highlights, because it runs through the special protected areas of the Vogelschutzgebiet Ötztaler Alpen and the Naturpark Ötztal.

    The trail starts in Vent. You walk along a hillside near the Niederjoch creek on a wide country lane. The “hardest” of this trail is that you always see the long-drawn way up in front of you. Due to the overwhelming panorama, the ascent is very entertaining and in this way you really enjoy to gain height.

    staticmap schutzgebiet

    Map of the SPA Ötztal alps
    © www.outdooractive.com/de/schutzgebiet

    As European bird sanctuary or in English “Special Protection Area” (SPA) is called the protected areas, which have been designated on the basis of Art. 4 (1) of the Birds Directive. Together with the protected areas under the Fauna Flora Habitat Directive (1992), the FFH areas, the special bird protection areas make up the European network of protected areas  Natura 2000. The size of the SPA in the Ötztal alps is 396.84 km².

    The Martin Busch hut also is a base for the 6th stage of the long-distance trail E5 Oberstdorf-Meran,  and waymark of the Ötztal Trek/Route 3.

    martinbusch001

    Almost at the hut
    © hotel-vent.at/martinbusch

     

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    2.2 Starting point

    Parking lot: In Vent after the valley station of the Stablein lifts, section P 8 is for hiking people (free parking lot, near the church). Note: You have to pay for the parking lot near the lift!

    Starting point of the trail: Turn left at the small church over a wooden bridge and up to the village. At Hotel Vent right slightly downhill to Venter Ache, over the bridge and along the small drag lift upwards. Keep to the left, along the driveway, then to the south in the Niedertal.

    After the first steep 20 minutes, you can take a look at the remains of a hunters camp from  800 – 400 years before Christ. At the signpost, over a narrow path, in about 2 minutes up to the hunters’ camp “Hohlenstein”.

    hohler_stein_vent2

    Hunters house Hohler Stein
    © naturpark-oetztal.at

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal valley, take the B171 to Oetz, take the Ötztal exit, drive through the Ötztal (B186) via Sölden to Zwieselstein. Turn to the right through the Ventertal valley into the mountain village of Vent.

    By public transport: From Wenns, take the bus to Imst. Change to Zwieselstein. There is no bus connection between Zwieselstein and Vent.

    start-in-vent

    Start of the trail in Vent
    © outdooractive

    2.4 Duration

    For people used to heights it takes 3 hours from to reach the Martin-Busch-hütte. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking pictures etc. it will take 3.5 to 4 hours.

    4 Photo’s

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    1. The Winnebachseehütte

    The Winnebachseehütte is located in the west Stubai Alps. The start of the trail is in the Ötztal, in Gries (near Längenfeld). A crystal clear mountain lake is nestled next to the hut.

    At a height of 2362 meters you can enjoy the views of the magnificent mountains and a majestic waterfall. The hut is finishing point of the famous long distance trails “Adler-weg” (Ealgle-walk), etappe 48 and The Ötztal Trek route 1, etappe 3. In a ten minutes walk, you find a litlle climbing park, with 25 routes, named “Kleinkanada”.

    In the summer, the hut is open from the end of June until mid October. During the winter, the hut is open from the end of February until the beginning of May. It is possible to transport your luggage by the ropeway.

    During the spring of 2015, the hut was completely rebuilt and renovated, by the DAV section Hof (DAV = Deutsche Alpen Verein, in English German Alpine Association). Also due to regularly requirements, the conversion and extension had become urgently necessary. Of course, the section tried to keep, as far as possible, the original and very popular character of the cottage.

    2. The trail

    In the summer, from the parking place, walk along the driveway, between the houses of Winnebach, follow the marked path (no. 141) in switchbacks up into the forest. First, you follow a somewhat broader way, then the trail follows over a narrow mountain road, northwest of the Winnebach creek, on the lateral slopes into the valley.

    After the tree line, a few meters down and along the Winnebach alp, further along the valley. Traverse underneath the climbing park “Kleinkanada”. In the end, the trail goes steep up to the now already visible hut.

    In the winter, you take the same trail on touring skis or snowshoes, don’t take the small rising path to the left but remain on the wider path. For use of the winterroom, no key is needed.

    2.1 Map

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    2.2 Starting point

    From Gries, follow the road to Winnebach. In the second turn, there is a small parking area for the visitors of the hut. Attention: in spring snow chains are necessary. If you are using a GPS, the coördinates of the parking place are 47.072553N, 11.024842E. There is also a large parking place at the end of Gries, for the hikers to the Amberger Hütte (coördinates 47.069590N, 11.026656E).

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal. In Imst, take the B171 to Roppen and Ötztal Bahnhof. Follow the B186 into the Ötztal. In Längenfeld, drive left to Gries, after the village is the parking lot.

    By public transport: From Wenns, there is a bus connection to Längenfeld (change in Imst). Duration 1 hour 30 minutes. There is no bus connection between Längenfeld and Gries.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    From the parking place, walk along the driveway, between the houses of Winnebach, follow the marked path (no. 141) in switchbacks up into the forest.

    2.4 Duration

    The trail is a round trail, the hut is on the highest point. The total distance is 7,3 kilometers, the duration is 4 hours. This is only an indication, it takes longer when you stop to take pictures or if you take a break at the hut.

    300px-Winnebachseehütte

    Winnebachseehütte
    © de.wikipedia.org

     

    kinder_mit_goass am winnebachsee

    Winnebachsee
    © Winnebachseehütte

     

    HütteSeeWasserfall_medium

    Waterfall behind the Winnebachseehütte
    © Winnebachseehütte

     

    Trail to the hut in the winter
    © Winnebachseehütte

     

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    1. Background

    The Ötztal Nature Park consists mainly of alpine and high alpine terrain. Its landscape is dominated by the intense glaciation. Due to the large vertical height difference of almost 3,000 meters, almost all elevations of the Central Alps can be found in the Ötztal Nature Park, each with its characteristic plants, animals and habitats.

    The Natural Monument Obergurler Zirbenwald (at a height between 1950 and 2100 meters), is a closed nature sanctuary. It is situated in the Ötztal Nature park, it is covering an area of over 20 hectares. In addition to partially far over 300 year old pine trees, there is a raised bog, alpine rose fields and an impressive waterfall to explore. During a hike on the adventure road, 13 panels explain more about the flora and fauna in this region. And the incomparable odor of pine trees is omnipresent! Relax with a stop at the Hohe Mut Alm on the comfortable deck chair terrace at a height of 2670 meters and enjoy the vast views of the surrounding mountains with 21 three-thousanders. The Alm is also the starting point for a variety of hikes.

    Obergurgler Zirbenwald
    © www.naturpark-oetztal.at

     

    obergurgler_zirbenwald_moor_04

     

    Botanical highlights
    © www.naturpark-oetztal.at

     

     

    obergurgler_zirbenwald_03

     

    A forest fire in the 1880s almost destroyed this jewel. Only than, already old pines have survived. Because of fresh young growth, today there arises a two-stage forest. Since 1977, on the Austrian side of the central part of the Gurgler Kamm, from the Seelenkogel to Schwenzerspitze, is recognized by the UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and as a biogenetic reserve. However, since May 2014, this area no longer maintains this status, because this area would no longer meet the complex requirements of UNESCO.

    High alpine moorland
    © www.outdooractive.com

     

    hochmoor-im-zirbenwald

    2. The trail

    The hike is a round trip, with beautiful views, a lot of cultural, historical, geological and botanical highlights. The tour runs through the protected area of the Biosphärenreservat Gurgler Kamm. This biosphere reserve exemplifies sustainable development in environmental, economic and social terms. In this area, please respect the local instructions for the protection of nature.

    2.1 Map

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    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts at Hotel Alpenaussicht, Schlossweg 1,6456 Obergurgl, Austria. There is a free parking lot at the Festkogelbahn, at the beginning of Obergurgl.

    How to get there:

    By car: From the Autobahn A12 (Bregenz – Innsbrück), take the exit 123 (Haiming/Ötztal), follow the B186 to Obergurgl.

    By public transport: From Oetztal Bahnhof you can take the bus 4194 to Obergurgl, duration 1.30 hours.

     

    Hotel Alpenaussicht Obergurgl
    © www.alpenaussicht.at

     Hotel alpenaussicht 8bc47db987

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    The trail starts at Hotel Alpenaussicht, Schlossweg 1,6456 Obergurgl, Austria.

    2.4 Duration

    For people used to heights it takes x-y hours to reach the destination. For others it will take zz minutes more. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take around xx hours. Going down to the village yy goes much faster; around xx hours including zz minutes break for people not used to heights.

    4. Photos

     

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    1. Introduction

    This hike of 7.5 kilometres takes us along a part of the Kaunerberger Wasserweg in the Kaunertal. It starts at the Falkaunsalm, where the car can be parked. From the Falkaunsalm we walk downwards to the initially hidden irrigation channel. We walk along side it till the Gallrutt tunnel, which we enter. After some 1000 meters we are again in the open air and walk up till the Gallrutt alm. From there we walk back to the Falkaunsalm.

    2. History of the Kaunerberger Wasserweg

    Although the south oriented slopes in the villages Kauns and Kaunerberg are fertile, the local population suffered over decades from crop failure because of water shortage as this area belongs to the few with the lowest amount of rainfall in Austria (rainfall less then 600 mm/year). This resulted in closing of farms accompanied by massive migration of locals in the first half of the 20th century.

    Building the channel from the Gallruttalm towards the Gallrutt tunnel (August 1950)

    Building the channel from the Gallruttalm towards the Gallrutt tunnel (August 1950).
    Source: Bildarchiv der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek

    After the Second World War it was decided to build a 12 kilometer long irrigation system fetching water from the “Gallrutt Gletscher” (Gallrutt glacier) and leading this water via a channel and two tunnels along the mountain slope towards the village Kaunerberg.  This water could then be used to irrigate the fields, orchards and gardens.

    The required capital was funded by the Marshall Plan (officially named the European Recovery Program – ERP), an initiative of the United States after the Second World War to help rebuild the Western Europe economy. The “Kaunerberger Wasserweg” is the only project within the Alps realized with funds from the Marshall Plan.

    Building the irrigation system took place from 1947 to 1954 and was at that time an engineering masterpiece. It created opportunities for the local people to generate an income after the war. Since then the “Kaunerberger Wasserweg” assured the irrigation of the fields and orchards of the Kaunerberg and Kauns villages for over 50 years.

    The water flows through two tunnels in the rock, open and covered gullies (made from quarry stones) and basins downwards. Along the channel the water is mainly being distributed via sprinkler systems.

    This irrigation system is nowadays called the “Kaunerberger Wasserweg” (Kaunerberger waterway). Other name still used is the “Kaunerberger Hangkanal” (Kaunerberger hanging channel). The map below shows the route of the “Kaunerberger Wasserweg”, including nearby mountain cabins and the beginning and the end of one of the tunnels; the “Gallrutt stollen” (Gallrutt tunnel).

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    4.1 Starting point

    Drive by car from Wenns (Pitztall valey) via Piller to Kauns. From there drive into the Kaunertal valley towards the village Kaltenbrunn. From there drive upwards to the Falkauns alm.

     

    MAP

    Parking is possible nearby the trail towards the Gallrutt stollen or  little bit further at the Falkaunsalm.

    How to get there by public transport?

    PHOTO FALKAUNSALM

    4.2 The Kaunerberger Wasserweg trail

    The hiking trail starts at a path from the Falkaunsalm straight down to the woods below it. After some 200 meter descend a path is crossed which follows the “Kaunerberger Wasserweg” towards the Gallrutt tunnel.

    4.3 The Gallrutt tunnel

    It is possible to walk through the almost 1000 meter long Gallrutt tunnel if it is not locked, which may happen in spring during snow-melt or in dry summers if water is required for irrigation. To pass the tunnel pocket lamps are required and water-proof shoes are recommended. Instead of electric lights torches are really atmospheric, but you should bring them by yourself as the box at the tunnel very likely will not contain torches as can be seen in the photos below from summer 2014.

    The height is about 1.8 meter so that most people can walk upright or slightly ducked.  Be  aware that the height fluctuates now and then! Halfway the tunnel there is a small side tunnel providing a great view to the Kaunertal.

    Note:

    • There is no light in the tunnel; bring your own light or get them at the Naturparkhaus.
    • Wear solid footwear as the tunnel bottom is not completely smooth.
    • Claustrophobic persons should not pass the irrigation tunnel.
    • In dry periods when water is required for irrigation or in spring with a lot of melting water the tunnel is closed, do not try to enter it! Information with respect to closure of the tunnel can be requested from the Naturparkhaus.

    4.4 The Gallruttalm

    Die Gallruttalm (1.980 m) können Sie nur zu Fuß durch den Gallruthstollen oder über die Falkaunsalm erreichen.

    4.5 Back to the Falkaunsalm

    From there we walk back to the Falkaunsalm via the “Dr. Angerer Panoramaweg”.

     

    4.6 Turn-by-turn directions

    Describe how to get at the start of the trail. Include photos if required

    4.7 Duration

    For people used to heights it takes x-y hours to reach the destination. For others it will take zz minutes more. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take around xx hours. Going down to the village yy goes much faster; around xx hours including zz minutes break for people not used to heights.

    5. Recommended maps for this region:

    Pitztal/Kaunertal – Mayr Verlag Ötztaler Alpen – Kompass Wanderkarte Blatt 43

    6. Photos

     

    7. Useful links

    8. Sources

    interaktiv.tiroleroberland.at

     

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    1. History of the Taschachhaus

    The original lodge was built from natural stone, in 1873/74, as third hut of the German Alpine Club, (in German Deutsche Alpen Verein (DAV)). In 1898/99, the new Taschachhaus was built by the DAV section Frankfurt. In the years 1969 and 1979/80, it was expanded and modernized.

    The current winter house was built in 1999. From 2005 to 2008, the main building was renovated and expanded, the volume of the house was doubled. The roof shape was retained and now it has a storm-proof form. From 2010, the Munich section of the DAV has acquired the Taschachhaus of the section Frankfurt.

    The Taschachhaus is situated near Mittelberg, at the end of the Pitztal valley, at an altitude of 2434 meters, next to the tongue of the Taschach glacier.

    Taschachhaus with mouth of glacier
    © taschachhaus

    As European bird sanctuary or in English “Special Protection Area” (SPA) is called the protected areas, which have been designated on the basis of Art. 4 (1) of the Birds Directive. Together with the protected areas under the Fauna Flora Habitat Directive (1992), the FFH areas, the special bird protection areas make up the European network of protected areas  Natura 2000. The size of the SPA in the Ötztal alps is 396.84 km².

    Map of the SPA of the Ötztal alps
    © www.outdooractive.com

    2. The hiking trail

    The trail starts at the parking lot of the Pitztaler Gletscherbahn in Mittelberg, take the rightmost parking, right next to the start of the trail. Just follow the yellow signs towards the Taschachhaus. During the hike, the Taschach creek is passed a few times, before reaching the goods lift, at the end of the valley. From there, the trail goes steep uphill, over the moraine hills, to the Taschachhaus.

    The trail is situated in the following protected areas: Naturpark Kaunergrat and Vogelschutzgebiet Ötztaler Alpen.

    2.1 Map

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    During the Second World War, an American Boeing B17 Flying Fortress (a four-engined heavy bomber for the long haul), crashed on the glacier. On October 23, 1944, this bomber was on the go from Sterapone (Italy), to an ammunition factory in Pilsen (Czechoslovakia). After the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft fire, the bomber got leaderless and the pilot Howard Dallman tried to reach neutral Switzerland. About Sölden in the Ötztal, the nine-man crew bailed out with a parachute.

    The bomber crashed on a mountain wall and the wreckage crashed to the underlying Taschach glacier. Nowadays, still several wreckage pieces are lying on the western edge of this glacier, to about 2,500 m. The largest pieces of wreckage are a tire (Ø 1,5 m), incl. rim and shock absorbers, an engine block (Ø 1.2 m), several wing parts (corrugated iron), up to 10 m2 and 2 empty tanks. This place is called “the Flyer” (in German: beim Flieger). From the hut to the Flyer is a 30 minutes hike, surefootedness is required.

    Coördinates beim Flieger (page 3, 23-10-1944) 46°55’N, 10°50’E (46.9146922, 10.8342988).

    Location of components of the B17
    © Keith & Helene Bullock

     

    A destroyed engine block of the four-engined B17
    © Keith & Helene Bullock

     

    From the place “Beim Flieger”, you can reach the Taschach glacier in a 15 minutes walk.

    At the Taschach glacier
    © Taschachhaus

    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts at the parking lot of the Pitztaler Gletscherbahn in Mittelberg, the rightmost parking place is the closest to the start of the trail.

    Parking lot with starting point of the trail
    © Outdooractive

     

    How to get there:

    By car: From the center of Wenns, follow the L16 (Pitztaler Landesstrasse), up to Mandarfen and turn just outside the town on the right to “Parking Talstation Gletscherbahn”.

    By bus: There is a bus connection between Wenns and Mittelberg (ÖBB 4204), it takes 54 minutes.

    Mountains and summit near the Taschachhaus
    © berge-gipfel.de

    2.3 Turn by turn directions

    From the starting point, follow the yellow signposts towards the Taschachhaus. First you cross a wide wooden bridge over the Taschach creek, which is also designed for downhill runs in the winter.

    After a short time you reach the Taschach valley (1796 m) with its beautiful flower meadows. Here is a little lodge, the Taschach Alm. From there, go left down to the stream (the path on the right leads to the Riffelsee). After crossing the Taschach creek, follow the flat way until you reach the valley station of the material cable car (2042 m).

    Valley station of the material cable car
    © www.outdooractive.com

    From there, the hiking trail goes straight on, do not cross the creek – the old way to the west side of the valley is blocked because of a slope slip, as of July 2012.

    Take the road to the left
    © www.outdooractive.com

    After a while, you cross a new sturdy wooden bridge over the Taschach creek, follow the path along the glacial moraine begins to rise steeply.

    Crossing the new bridge
    © www.outdooractive.com

    Then it takes a few steps down before the last short climb begins to the hut.

    Final destination in sight
    © www.outdooractive.com

    Caution: The Taschach valley is also a large pasture area with free-ranging cows, so take care with dogs and small children.

    2.4 Duration

    For people used to heights it takes 2.5 hours to reach the Taschachhaus. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photo’s etc. it wil take around 3 hours.

    4. Photo’s

     

    Interior of the Taschachhaus
    © Taschachhaus

     

    Mascot
    © Taschachhaus

    Terrace at the back of the Taschachhaus
    © Wikipedia

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    1. The Ludwigsburger Hütte

    The Ludwigsburger hütte (formerly named Lehnerjoch hütte) is located at 1935 meters above sea level on the western slope of the northern ‘Geigenkammes’ in the Pitztal valley, just below the treeline on an idyllic meadow. It is surrounded by the romantic landscape of the Oetztal Alps (‘Ötztaler Alpen’).

    The Ludwigsburger hütte is family friendly due to its location and its amenities. It is recommended by the alpine club ‘Alpenverein ‘ in the brochure “Mit Kindern auf der Hütte” (With children at the hut). A large playground for small children is located in the front of the hut and an eight-meter-high climbing rock is situated above the hut for elder children.

    The view across to the mountains of the Kaunergrat is one of the nicest views in the Eastern Alps (‘Ostalpen’). Several hiking trails lead to surrounding peaks and neighboring huts. One of them is the ‘St. Leonharder Höhenweg’, which leads through lonely mountain landscapes with magnificent views. Some of the peaks are reachable via easy climbing routes (up to difficulty level III).

    In the surrounding environment you will find alpine flora and animals such as for example ibex, chamois, deer, marmots, grouse and mountain salamanders.

    2. The trail

    The hiking trail of 3.6 km to the Ludwigsburger hütte starts just above the small village Zaunhof and crosses several times the forest road before it reaches the hut. During the hike you can see the northern Kaunergrat at the other site of the Pitztal valley, including a view on the 3353 m high Rofelewand with even in summer time ice on the northern face.

    It takes about 2.5 hours for people used to heights to reach the Ludwigsburger hütte. We did it in 4.5 hours while enjoying the views during longer breaks and taking pictures. Walking back to Zaunhof took us 1.5 hours (including total of 15 minutes of small breaks).

    The village Zaunhof

    The village Zaunhof, starting point of the hike to the Ludwigsburger hütte

    2.1 Map

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    2.2 Starting point

    The hiking trail starts in Pitztal at the small village Zaunhof-Grüble (St. Leonard) near the materials lift of the Ludwigsburger hütte, where also a small parking lot is situated.

    To get there by car drive from the beginning of the Pitztal valley via Arzl, Wenns, Schön, Wiesle and Ritzenried towards the village Wiese. Roughly a kilometer after Wiese a  sign indicates the road to Zaunhof at the left side of the road. Carefully cross the road and follow the signs to Zaunhof/Zaunhof-Grüble till the parking lot of the materials lift. The building of the materials lift can be recognized by the wall painting of the Ludwigsburger hütte.

    Wall painting at the materials lift of the Ludwigsburger Hütte

    Wall painting at the materials lift of the Ludwigsburger Hütte

    Using public transport is also possible. The Pitztaler bus stops at Zaunhof-Moosbrücke from where the materials lift can be reached by a 15 minutes walk.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    Walk along the materials lift building (at left side) and take the first street at the left (towards Außerlehn-Oberlehn). Continue on this road till the little Chapel at the right as shown in the photos below.

    Just above the chapel the hiking trail towards the Ludwigsburger hütte starts. When the forest road is encountered it can be decided to follow this road, which is easier to follow then the hiking trail described in this article. The hiking trail follows largely the historical road “Historischen Almenweg”, which was specially made to built the Ludwigsburger hütte in 1930.