Key information: Granatspitze Ridge
- This high ridge separates the central Tauerntal from the Dorfer Tal.
- A walker's delight and not to be missed, with amazing views, several superbly sited huts and a selection of stunning high-level routes. You can bag some glorious summits, including some 3,000m-ers.
- Good access by cable car from both Kals and Matrei.
- Walkopedia rating92
- Natural interest16
- Human interest8
- Negative points0
- Total rating92
- Length: Your choice
- Maximum Altitude: 3,292m
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
This long, high ridge separates Matrei and the deep Tauerntal, the great divider of the range’s massifs, from the Dorfer Tal above Kals. It leads eventually, via several 3,000m+ peaks, to Granatspitze on the high ridge to the west of Gorssglockner.
It is a walkers’ delight and not to be missed, with amazing 360° views (said to include more than 60 3,000m+ summits), including views of both the Glockner and Venediger groups; several superbly sited huts; and a selection of stunning high-level routes. You can bag some glorious summits, including some 3,000m-ers: think about Rotenkogel at the southern end, Kalser Höhe and 3,063m Gradötz above the Sudetendeutscher Hut.
There is good access by cable car to the sourthen end of the ridge from both Kals and Matrei (check opening times on arrival: they stop for lunch and not all that late in the afternoon). Several trails from both Tauerntal and Dorfer Tal pant their way up to the heights, but these are for masochists and purists.
Famous high-level routes include the following, but there is a mass of possibilities, so study the map and get salivating.
The Europa Panoramaweg, which is a tad disappointing on its own but superb when combined with a climb of 2,434m Kalser Höhe on the high ridge for exceptional views.
The Sudetendeutscher Höhenweg , a Walkopedia favourite (see our account [link to account in SH page]), which heads north up the ridge to the Sudetendeutscher hut.
A tough but particularly appealing high route would be to walk to the Kalser Tauernhaus hut in the Dorfer Tal, then head south-westish to cross the high and broken Granatspitz ridge (on the Silesia Höhenweg, route 514) to drop beside the Gradötz glacier to the Sudetendeutscher Hut – a demanding route but a magnificent one. Thence you could head south along the Granatspitz ridge on the Sudetendeutcher Höhenweg, and drop on the cable car back to Kals for a stunning 2.5 day walk.
The Hohe Tauern are well loved, and well walked, so you won’t feel alone on the main routes, although can get away. 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.
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For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Höhe Tauern [link] walk page.
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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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