The Venediger Hohenweg
Key information: The Venediger Hohenweg
- This is the most famous long walk in the Hohe Tauern, and one of the great walks of Austria, circling round the southern flanks of the great group.
- It commands outstanding views into the icy heart of the group, as well as huge views across the nearby mountains and valleys, and gets close to the base of some of its glaciers.
- Walkopedia rating91.5
- Natural interest16.5
- Human interest6
- Negative points0
- Total rating91.5
- Length: 48km
- 6/7 days
- Maximum Altitude: 2,955m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
Austria’s largest National Park is arguably the single finest walking area in Austria – although many would argue for some of its competitors! It lies a bit north of the Italian border and south-ish of Salzburg and consists of a number of sub-groups, the second-highest and most glaciated being the huge white mass of the Venediger.
This is the most famous long walk in the Hohe Tauern, and one of the great walks of Austria. It is a demanding trek, circling round the southern flanks of the great group, crossing several high passes. It begins with a climb up the Maurer valley and ends in the Gschlösstal.
It commands outstanding views into the icy heart of the group, as well as huge views across the nearby mountains and valleys, and gets close to the base of some of its glaciers.
The Höhenweg is divided into 6 stages, mostly good day's walking, although the very fit may be able to combine some of them. Add a day if you want to climb Grossvenediger itself.
Day 1 – up the Maurer Tal to the Essener Rostocker Hut at 2,208m. A lovely climb up this classic valley. Climb 800m in 4 hrs or so from the hamlet of Stroden, or take a mountain taxi up to the roadhead to shorten the climb to 650m in 2 hrs or so.
Day 2 – turn east to cross the 2,772m Turmljoch pass, then descend steadily to the Johannis Hut at 2,116m. 4km in 4hrs or so, so a shortish day but one rich in glories.
Day 3 – a fine climb to the 2,955m Zopat Scharte, then drop to the beautifully site Eissee hut. Then a glorious wind around the high slopes above the Virgental to the Bonn Matreier Hut at 2,750m. 8km in 7hrs or so.
Day 4 – cross the tough and vertiginous Galten Scharte, the most difficult section of the Hohenweg, then turn north to head across delightful high land to crest another col; then a steep climb to the ridge holding the Badener Hut. 7km, around 6hrs.
Day 5 – carry on north below Grossvenediger and its great glaciers, indeed crossing the foot of one. The best views of the whole route, with mountain marvels galore. End up at the brilliantly sited Neue Prager Hut. 7km, 5-6hrs
Day 6 – to the Sankt Poltener Hut: another absolute beauty as you descend to the Neue Prager Hut, then round (with some fixed wire sections) the front of the Kesselkopf ridge and drop steeply into the rocky wilds of the upper Gschloss valley. You then climb rough ground to traverse the upper slopes of the northern Gschloss valley, a remarkable walk with stunning views back onto Grossvenediger. The latter end is rougher and has some fixed ropes. At over 14km and taking 8hrs, it is the longest day on the Höhenweg – consider dropping into the Gschloss valley instead in poor weather.
Day 7 – drop to the road in the deep Tauerntal. 6km/3hrs.
This is a tough walk in high, remote mountains with unpredictable weather, on which you will have to be self-sufficient. Come prepared.
Trekking in Austria’s Hohe Tauern – Allen Hartley for Cicerone. As usual an inspiring book and packed with valuable information. Recommended. Find relevant books on Amazon.
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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.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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