Mittenwalder Alpine Climbing
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|Shared By:||Owen Darrow on Dec 16, 2010|
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DescriptionThe Mittenwalder Klettersteig (Via Ferratta Mittenwald) is a spectacular scramble following a knife sharp ridge high above the town of Mittenwald. It offers incredible views into the valley of the river Isar to the west and the legendary Karwendeltal (Karwendel Valley) to the east. The ridges elevation is in average about 1400 meters / 4600 feet above the riverbed. The ridge as well forms the borderline between Austria (Tyrol) and Germany (Bavaria) From the ridge the climber enjoys also spectacular views into the Karwendel Range and Wetterstein Range. On clear days the Ötztal and Stubai Alps are stretching along the horizon.
Getting ThereGetting to the trailhead by taking the cable car (Karwendelbahn) from the little town of Mittenwald to the 2244 m tall Karwendelspitze is the easiest approach. It is only a 5-minute walk from the station of the cable car to the crest of the Karwendelridge and the start of the Mittenwalder Klettersteig. (plenty of signs)
From here just follow the trail, which alters between either sides of the ridge and sometimes even runs exactly on the crest. Exposed sections are equipped with a steel cable. There you have an option to use a harness and a short rope, approximately 5 feet in length, and a carabiner to belay yourself. Vertical sections are equipped with iron ladders.
The first part of the route climbs over several little peaks of the Lunderspitzen. This part is a nice mix of very easy rock climbing/scrambling sections, a couple of short vertical ladders and some exposed traverses with a steel cable. The trail winds down on loose scree into a saddle. In the saddle, tucked under a rock overhang right next to the trail is an emergency shelter (little wooden shack).
From here the trail traverses the Sulzleklammspitze on the east side. About 10 hiking minutes past the shelter the trail enters into a chimney. Its a 3 feet wide passage through two vertical parallel rock slabs. After exiting the chimney the trail climbs through loose scree and zigzags over some high alpine meadows towards the peak of Kirchlspitz.
In order to reach the peak of Kirchlspitz the trail follows now the edge of the sharp ridge, formed by solid rock slabs. The most exposed sections have the steel cable to hold on to. This part offers the most spectacular vies over to the main crest of the Eastern Alps. The ridge slopes slightly down from here before it drops further into the valley of the river Inn (town of Innsbruck). The climbing/scrambling parts ends at the peak of Kirchlspitz and the southern slopes are gently sloped grassy meadows. The trail meanders down from here into the saddle below Rotwandlspitz.
Reaching the saddle turn right (west) and hike down very loose gravel (ankle deep) and watch out for the continuation of the trail to your right. This trail zigzags down hill for about 500 m elevation before it becomes flat and ends at the Brunnstein Hut. From the Brunstein Hut follow the signs back to Mittenwald.
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