Key information: Kaprun Valley
- The Kaprun delves deep into the northern approaches to the Grossglockner massif, with a magnificent bowl at its top end.
- A superb selection of walks, especially around the high valley end.
- Walkopedia rating88
- Natural interest16
- Human interest6
- Negative points0
- Total rating88
- Length: Your choice
- Maximum Altitude: 3,292m
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
The Kaprun delves deep into the northern approaches to the Grossglockner massif, with a magnificent bowl at its top end. It is very steep-sided, so hard work to get high except by cable-car, although the head of the valley is all high, all gorgeous.
It has to be said, the mid-western flanks of the valley are in the process (as at 2018) of being further ski-scarred, which is tragic. The Kitzsteinhorn bowl is being enlarged, as is Maiskogel at the northern beginning of the lovely Alexander-Einzinger-Weg, with a link being put in between them.
As result, we can't recommend you to spend the €lots to take the return cable car to the bowl of the Kitzsteinhorn highlands, although:
We made one lovely shortish traverse north-west up to the low Lakarscharte col for a picnic with superb views west over the empty Mühlbachtal valley.
One walk we would really like to make is heading south-east (on route 726, also called Hohkammerweg, part of the long-distance Arnoweg) to cross the 2,689m Hohe Kammerscharte pass in the high and jagged ridge to the east of the Kitzsteinhorn bowl, thence descending the upper Kaprun valley flanks, with gorgeous views up to the highest valley-head peaks, to a junction above the lower Wasserfallboden reservoir, where you can turn back down the valley, or carry on up to the upper Mooserboden.
What's more, the well-known Alexander-Enzinger-Weg (AEW) will be more ski-blighted at both beginning and end. That said, it is such an inherently gorgeous walk that it is still worthwhile, albeit with a tad less magic, climbing southward steadily up the western ridgetop, with fine views up the Kaprun valley towards the high Grossglockner massif, then, as the ridge gets higher and craggy, skirting the mid-western flanks to reach the ski hell around the Krefelder Hut at 2,293m. 10km, 4 hours.
From either AEW ending, or in its own right after coming up by cable car, you can make the beautiful but very long and sometimes steep descent on route 711 to the valley bottom via the Salzburger Hut. Between the Krefelder and Salzburger huts the trail heads down the flank of the remarkable Geissstein, a long green slope to the west which has been violently hacked off by ancient glaciers into dramatic cliffs high above the Kaprun valley.
Eastern ridge (Spitzbrett)
This outstanding but long and demanding 2 day trail links the Mooserboden lake at the head of the Kaprun valley and the Gleiwitzer Hut on the upper western flanks of the next-east Fuscher valley. A walkers’ delight, with amazing views; but a lot of severe exposure, although always cable etc assisted. From the Mooserboden lake), you wind along high hillsides east of the Kaprun valley to join the high eastern ridge-top for a dramatic north-east climb to the high Kempsengkopf pass.Then a downward and very exposed scramble – but with cables and rails all the way – along the Spitzbrett ridge to the Untere Jager Scharte at 2,470m.. You then have to descend a hairy set of metal staples and pegs to get off the pass. Thereafter, drop onto the upper flanks of the next-east Fuscher valley to the Gleiwitzer Hut. This is about 7km and likely to take 8 hrs+. See more
On day 2, you can either heard west to near the Kaprun cablecar, or you can drop east to Fusch, both very long descents. Walkable in reverse.
High valley end: amazing selection
At the head of the Kaprun valley are two reservoirs, with the higher, the Mooserboden, in a gorgeous position. From the road head here, you can make several walks of varying difficulty, from lakeside wanders to climbs to huts and viewpoints, with close-up views of the high range and its glaciers.
The Austriaweg is a path which skirts the lake’s south-eastern shore. A straightforward walk with good views. 5km/1.5hrs one way. The route then continues to climb to the 2,639m Kapruner Törl pass amid high ice and rocks to the next-west, empty and beautiful, high valley system. This crossing is often used as part of more extensive high routes and tours of the Glockner massif.
The 2,425m Scharfen Grat viewpoint is west of the lake, so you get a bit more distance from the high peaks. About an hour from the road one way.
A tougher walk from the road (2,036m to 2,802m) takes you steeply to the Heinrich-Schwaiger-Haus to the east, with marvellous views up to the Grosses Wisbachhor. 2.5hrs there, shorter return.
The top end of the valley above the Kesselfall Alpenhaus is only accessible by bus, a blessing for the atmosphere of this amazing place.
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, including5 in this area. 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. And Trekking in Austria’s HoheTauern – Allan Hartley for Cicerone describes the Spitzbrett walk as part of a Glockner Group circuit. 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 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.
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