The Gschloss Valley

  • West above upper Gscloss valley, Grossvenegider behind, from Hohenweg on northern flanks - © William Mackesy
  • Upper Gschloss hamlet looking downstream (east) - © William Mackesy
  • West above upper Gscloss valley, Grossvenegider behind - © William Mackesy
  • West above upper Gscloss valley, Grossvenegider behind - © William Mackesy
  • West above upper Gscloss valley, Grossvenegider behind - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • West above upper Gscloss valley, Grossvenegider behind, from lunch spot on northern flanks - © William Mackesy
  • Upper Gscloss valley with Grossvenegider behind - © William Mackesy
  • Walking downstream between the hamlets - © William Mackesy
  • Walking downstream between the hamlets - © William Mackesy
  • West above upper Gscloss valley, Grossvene - © Geordie Mackesy

Key information: The Gschloss Valley

  • This ravishing high valley runs westward into the heart of the Venediger massif.  
  • Easy to demanding walks, all united in their beauty.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating90.5
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest15.5
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating90.5

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,782m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Upper Gscloss valley with Grossvenegider behind - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

This ravishing high valley runs westward from the top of the major, central Tauerntal valley, straight into the heart of the Venediger massif. The lower and upper valleys, which are separated by a short but energetic gorge, are both absurdly pretty, with wide, flat, grassy bottoms and steep glacier-scraped sides with soaring broken ridges behind, and the huge white glacial mass of the Gross Venediger group at the upper valley’s head – the upper valley is claimed to be the most beautiful in the eastern Alps.

The upper Innergschlöss hamlet is famously interesting, a line of old farming buildings on each side of the river which have been restored but not (yet) wrecked.

Wildflowers are glorious here well into high summer. And expect great wildlife sightings: raptors, marmots (of course), frogs at the least.

You have to leave your car at the lower of the two hamlets. You can walk the 4km or so between the lower and upper hamlets, a delightful potter through lovely meadows and woods, or take a tractor bus (not cheap).

The great walks really start at Innergschlöss, and there are several marvellous day walks to be done.

There are two circuits which climb onto the northern flanks of the valley:

The lower (route 935) climbs to lovely grassy hillsides with stunning views into the Venediger massif, returning by the valley floor track in 2.5 hrs or so.

The upper (916A), which Walkopedia took, is a much more serious affair, climbing some 800 beautiful but steep metres, to join both the Venediger Höhenweg and the Osttirol Skyline Trail, which traverse the valley’s upper northern flanks. Turn west for a glorious couple of hours’ relatively easy walking before you drop to the wild high Gschlöss not that far below the glacier at its head, where you turn downstream to hike back to the hamlet – 7 hrs or so. (Or, as Walko fantasised, head back up the southern side of the valley along the Venediger Höhenweg to climb the lower sides of the jagged Kessel Kogel ridge, to swing round to the Alte Prager Hut below Venediger’s huge main eastern Schlaten Kees glacier - but it was way off realistic.)

West and south-west:

You can tackle the endless switchbacks (on trail O2B) up to the ruins of the Alte Prager Hut and then on up to the Neue Prager Hut (2782m) in 4 hrs or so;  then traverse to connect (on 921A) to drop steeply (on 921) near the amazing wild cascade of the main torrent which emerges from the Schlaten Kees glacier back to the valley floor in we guess 7+hrs. (Doable in reverse)

Or you could climb 921 to cross the high southern ridge, west of the Knorrkogel peaks, then dropping to turn east on 932 to traverse the high southern sides of that ridge to drop back to the lower hamlet in a long day.

Walko really covets both these walks.

The Hohe Tauern are well loved, and well walked, so this won’t feel like a wilderness on the valley bottom, although can get away and we were completely alone on the northern flanks.

This can be tough walking in high and remote mountains with uncertain weather. Come fully prepared.

Walking in Austria  – Kev Reynolds for Cicerone: more than 100 walks in the Austrian Alps, including 18 in this area, including 2 here. As usual, an inspiring book (indeed, Walkopedia was alerted to some of these routes by it), packed with valuable information, including good detail on the routes. As Austrian maps are good, it has less on each walk that some other Cicerones, but that is fine. Recommended. Find relevant books on Amazon.

We would like to grow this page further. Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

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

 More a few notes than an account:

We made the long, long ascent the on the northern valley flanks on route 916A to join the Venediger Höhenweg on the high traverse described above. Our younger was very slow, and turned back; our older and I got to the hign junction, but time was running on and we might not have finished the circuit before dark (and long after we agreed to meet our slower half), so we had to reluctantly turn back.

What we did was, though, itself a superb walk in beautiful slopes of grass and low shrubs. The effort-to-reward ratio wasn’t as.....

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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.

West above upper Gscloss valley, Grossvene - © Geordie 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.

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

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Walking downstream between the hamlets - © William Mackesy...
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