Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg

  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : High Durrenfeld ridge, morning light - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Torlhaus with service in progress - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Sudetendeutscher HW below Blauspitz from Kalser Hohe - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Path faintly visible - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Matrei and Virgental - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Winding below Kendl Sp group - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Rain over Matrei - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Change of world - turning into Durrenfled corrie - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Durrenfeld corrie, parth approaching high col in distance - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Field of quartz pebbles - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Back down Durrenfeld corrie - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Approaching Durrenfeld pass - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : The hut from high pass - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : From high pass - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Klettersteig decent - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Youth on Klettersteig - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : From the hut - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Grossvenediger above the hut - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Cliff Path - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : High Durrenfeld ridge from upper Klettersteig - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : South along hohenweg, down lower Granatspitz ridge - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : South along hohenweg, down lower Granatspitz ridge - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : South along hohenweg, down lower Granatspitz ridge - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : South along hohenweg, down lower Granatspitz ridge - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : What is this - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : South from Hohes Tot - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Gorssglockner ALMOST out of cloud, from Kals flank alternative - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Kals side alternative route - © William Mackesy
  • Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Kals side alternative route - © William Mackesy

Key information: Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg

  • This delightful 2-day walk takes you along the high ridge of the Granatspitz, with outstanding views into the Grossglockner group.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest7
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points2
  • Total rating89

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 2 days
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : South along hohenweg, down lower Granatspitz ridge - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

Austria’s largest National Park is arguably the single finest walking area in Austria – although many would argue for some of its competitors!

This delightful 2-day walk takes you along the high ridge of the Granatspitz group, with outstanding views in all directions.

The first stage is the somewhat ski-spoilt Europa Panonramaweg round the hillsides from the cable-car station to the Kals-Matreier Torlhaus in a cleft in the high ridge between the deep Tauerntal and Virgental, the great dividers of the southern ranges, and the Dorfer Tal to the east.

Beyond, you turn north up the ridgetop, now on the Sudetendeutscher Höhenweg, climbing fairly steeply at first, then gently, up to Kalser Höhe at 2,434m and on to the junction beyond. This is fantabulous walking, with amazing views all about, including both Grossglockner and the Venediger massif, Austria’s two highest mountains.

Shortly above the Kalser Höhe junction, the Höhenweg turns left onto the steep grassy western flanks below the craggy ridge top, which fall in a beautiful sweep to the forests far below, to the lovely Hohes Tot pass. It then traverses more steep green hillsides, until it turns north into a new world, the grey broken rock of the Dürrenfeld cirque and up the head slopes to the highest point of the route, the 2,823m Dürrenfeld Scharfe pass, a notch in the extraordinary narrow, jagged ridge above.  You meet a huge view across the vast bowl beyond, in which the Sudetendeutcher Hut sits insignificantly just beyond where the recent moraine gives way to older scraped  rock and grass. Around the bowl is a ring of sharp peaks, several of them over 3,000m, and what is left of the Gradötz glacier.

20 minutes of klettersteig cable-assisted descent of a looseish cliff gets you to the floor. 45 minutes across the rock and broken stone of the basin floor, glacier-scraped and relatively tedious at this late stage get you to the hut. Zehr gemütlich. 

4hrs + without stops

Day 2

You could descend to the Matrei valley, to make a varied walk, but it is some 1,700 meters downhill. Instead, you can return the way you came, with variants: at Hohes Tor, you can turn east, off the Höhenweg, to circuit in a superb winding path behind the Blauspitze mass, gazing across the Kals valley to the drama of the Schober group one way, and Grossglockner the other. You then drop to meet the link path to join the gentle Europa Panoramaweg to meander around the hillside back to the Torhaus, and on along the track to the cable car.

This is a tough walk in high, remote mountains with unpredictable weather, on which you will have to be self-sufficient. Come prepared.

See video clips here.

Walking in Austria  – Kev Reynolds for Cicerone: more than 100 walks in the Austrian Alps, including 18 in this area. As usual, an inspiring book (indeed, Walkopedia was alerted to this route by it), packed with valuable information, including good detail on the routes. As Austrian maps are good, it has less on each walk than some other Cicerones, but that is fine. Recommended.

Find relevant books on Amazon.

For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Höhe Tauern walk page.

WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk

A reasonably efficient departure, and we are at the top of the Goldried cable car at 10.30ish on a cloudy day. 

Our first stage is the Europa Panoramaweg round the hillsides to the Kals-Matreier Torlhaus in a cleft in the high ridge between the deep Tauerntal and Virgental, the great dividers of the southern ranges, and the Dorfer Tal to the east. The Panoramaweg is an easy walk and very popular, so we are far from alone. The first big bowl is ski-scarred, so not thrilling despite the huge westward views. After that, we wind pleasantly around the steep slopes. 

.....

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Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Grossvenediger above the hut - © William Mackesy

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Klettersteig decent - © William Mackesy

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Sudetendeutscher Hohenweg : Back down Durrenfeld corrie - © William Mackesy...
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