Journey through the Alps


Heiligenblut (1291m) to Zittelhaus ÖAV (3105m)


15 March 2017

Stage A19

Map: Austria ÖAV 1:25,000 – 42 Sonnblick

Time: 7.25hrs (dept 08.15, arrive 15.40)

Distance: 14.9km (ascent 1930m, descent 34m)

Weather: Windy all day. Clear in the morning, overcast in the afternoon.

Notes: This is a long climb and could take a long time in fresh snow. It seems that the access road to the hydro dam is cleared frequently and this can make the climb as far as approx 2200m easier. The route is well marked from the end of the road to the start of the glacier. The final approach to the hut is from the S/SE.

Accommodation: Zittelhaus is joined to a large meteorological station. The winter room is in a separate building. It is small and comfortable with electric lights but no heating or cooking facilities. The key is available from the weather station.

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Zittelhaus ÖAV (3105m) to Bockstein (1131m)A08

16 March 2017

Stage A20

Map: Austria ÖAV 1:25,000 – 42 Sonnblick

Time: 8.10hrs (dept 07.50, arrive 16.00)

Distance: 25.9km (ascent 891m, descent 2897m)

Weather: Slightly windy all day, otherwise clear and sunny. Warm out of the wind.

Notes: The first part of this section is straightforward and enjoyable. The descent of the Goldbergkees glacier and climb to the Niedere Scharte pass (2695m) and entry into the Molltaler ski area are not difficult. However the descent from Baumbachspitze (3105m) to Sportgastein (1575m) is complex and difficult. Without detailed local knowledge this descent could be very hazardous. A more predicable and safer alternative exists further north via Naturfreundehaus Kolm-Saigurn and Pochhartscharte to Sportgastein. The 6km from Sportgastein to Bockstein is along a road with several tunnels.

Accommodation: several hotels in Bockstein. We used Hotel Rader which was very comfortable with helpful staff.

Resupply options: there is a small supermarket 1km outside Bockstein on the road to Badgastein, and a larger SPAR in Badgastein 2km further on.

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Rest day in Bockstein 

(poor weather forecast for coming days)

17 March 2017

Weather: Warm and sunny


Bad Weather day in Bockstein

18 March 2017

Weather: Light rain


Bad Weather day in Bockstein

19 March 2017

Weather: Light rain


Bockstein (1131m) to Hannoverhaus DAV (2565m)A08

20 March 2017

Stage A21

Maps: Austria ÖAV 1:25,000 – 42 Sonnblick & 44 Hochalmspitze-Ankogel

Time: 9.00hrs (dept 08.00, arrive 17.00)

Distance: 17.5km (ascent 1898m, descent 388m)

Weather: Clear and sunny. Air and snow temperatures very warm.

Notes: A straightforward trip up the Anlaufental valley followed by an ascent of a 30degrees slope to the Radegg-scharte 2874m. 8 hours for the climb, followed by a 1 hr descent and traverse to the Hannoverhaus.

Accommodation: The Hannoverhaus is a very comfortable new hut located at the top of Mallnitz ski lift system. It is staffed during the ski season offering full services. We were the only overnight guests during our visit.

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Hannoverhaus DAV (2565m) to Osnabrucker Hütte DAV (2022m)A08

21 March 2017

Stage A22

Maps: Austria ÖAV 1:25,000 – 44 Hochalmspitze-Ankogel

Time: 4.55hrs (dept 07.15, arrive 12.10)

Distance: 10.3km (ascent 341m, descent 872m)

Weather: Slightly overcast. Temperatures very warm. Wet snow slides everywhere.

Notes: The route follows the line of the summer footpath no. 502. This is not without difficult as some steep slopes are traversed. The east side of Kleinhap (2528m) is steep and has fixed steel cables (possibly buried under snow). Grosselendscharte (2675m) is simple in ascent and descent. There is a steep section by the Fallbach River between 2300m and 2200m.

Accommodation: The winter room is part of the main hut. It is small and reasonably comfortable with basic facilities and a wood stove, but no lighting.

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Osnabrucker Hütte DAV (2022m) to Albert Bivouac Hut ÖAV (2428m)A08

22 March 2017

Stage A23

Maps: Austria ÖAV 1:25,000 – 44 Hochalmspitze-Ankogel, Austria ÖAV 1:50,000 45/1 Niedere Tauren 1

Time: 12.20hrs (dept 05.40, arrive 18.00)

Distance: 22.4km (ascent 1199m, descent 829m)

Weather: Heavily overcast with intermittent mist and poor visibility. Air temperatures still warm causing a very wet snowpack.

Notes: Follow summer route 502. This is not without considerable difficulties in winter. The track along the side of the lake (Speicher Kolnbrein) is swept by avalanches from the steep hillsides above. Expect the water level in the lake to be 100-150m lower than shown on the map. The trail climbs to the Marchkarscharte (2384m), crosses the summit of the Weinschnabel (2753m), and descends to the Muritznscharte (2386m). The summer track traverses through a band of cliffs (some steel cables) above the Unterer Schmarzsee before climbing to the Schmalzscharte (2444m). This is difficult to follow in winter. It may be better to descend steeply to the lake and climb back up to the Schmalzscharte.

Accommodation: The Albertbiwak is a small, comfortable and well-maintained hut. There is solar lighting but no stove or heating.

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Albert Bivouac Hut ÖAV (2428m) to Wald (1340m) / Zederhaus (1205m)A08

23 March 2017

Stage A24

Map: Austria ÖAV 1:50,000 45/1 Niedere Tauren 1 & 45/2 Niedere Tauren 2

Time: 7.45hrs (dept 06.15, arrive 14.00)

Distance: 28.3km (ascent 645m, descent 1821m) (3.5km less if stopping at Wald)

Weather: Slightly overcast

Notes: A straightforward descent to Stickleralm (1752m) on very firm early morning snow, followed by a straightforward ascent to Reidinscharte (2274m). Descend keeping close to the summer footpath to Zanneralm (1700m). Follow the summer road to Wald. (It may be possible to descend more directly NNE from Reidinscharte to Riedingtal via Stieralm (1805m) but I have no detailed information).

Accommodation: There is no accommodation open in Wald in winter. The only option is to go down the valley to Zederhaus, and return to Wald the following morning. Adeo Hotel is a good option.

Resupply options: There is a mini market on the main street in Zederhaus.

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David Hamilton
High Adventure
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CV10 0SG


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