Around the Sulzenau Hut

  • Wilder Freiger from Mairspitze - © William Mackesy
  • Glacier base above Sulzenau Hut - © William Mackesy
  • Group coming out of klettersteig ascent from Sulzenau - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Valley above Sulzenau Hut, where a glacier is on the map - © William Mackesy
  • Sky-reflecting tarn, above Sulzenau Hut - © William Mackesy
  • Path beside sky-reflecting tarn, above Sulzenau Hut - © William Mackesy
  • New lake above Sulzenau Hut, where a glacier is on the map - © William Mackesy
  • Waterfall and approach path below Sulzenau Hut - © William Mackesy
  • Valley above Sulzenau Hut - © William Mackesy
  • Sulzenau Hut - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Grunausee - © William Mackesy
  • Sulzenau Hut, bottom right; glacier and high border ridge behind - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • View from the Sulzenau hut. Tyrol, Austria - © flickr user- Volker Schlecht

Key information: Around the Sulzenau Hut

  • This beautifully sited hut right at the heart of the great Stubai bowl is host to some stunning walking. 

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest7
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating89

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,419m or more
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable

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.

Grunausee - © William Mackesy


The Sulzenau Hut (a Höhenwegovernight) is beautifully sited in the heart of the great bowl of mountains above the head of the central Unterbergtal, near the huge upper basin of the Sulzaubach river just above its crashing cascade down the steep lower slopes. It has exceptional views up to the waterfalls and dark craggy peaks and shimmering glaciers above (what’s left of them). It is newish (rebuilt following destruction by an avalanche), so comfortable; the food is good, too.

You can slog up the steep switchbacking trail (its name – Wilder Wasserweg – hints at its visual splendours) from the valley-bottom road to the hut (at 2,196m).

There are several top-notch walking options from the hut, so it is a great base to choose. 

The Stubaier Höhenweg comes through here, with alternative routes onward, to the Nürnberger Hut to the east, separating at the cloud-reflecting tarn above the blue mineral Grünansee lake.  

Due west up a sheer, cable-assisted cliff and over the steep Niederlpass and down to the Nürnberger Hut.

A northward ascent of the hillside then a stiff climb up some thrilling (chilling?) cable-assisted cliff ledges to the high ridge, then taking in the view-dazzling Mairspitze[link] (2,780m); truly magnificent panoramas of the high Stubai border ridge, with its dark rocky drama and still-gorgeous but tragically disappearing glaciers. Then descend a steep lateral ridge and rockfield to traverse round to the Nürnberger Hut.

You can of course retrace your steps from the high ridge, or these routes can be combined to make a thrilling circuit. A brilliant day’s walk, 4-6 hrs.

Heading westward on the Höhenweg, there are alternative ways of crossing the high ridge on the way to the Dresdner Hut. The lower/easier version crosses the Peiljoch (at 2,672m) for a 3hr walk or so. Or you can climb the 2,902m Grosser Trögler for huge and glorious views all around the great Stubai bowl. Some exposure and fxed cables. 2hrs or so up.

You can also walk on the Lübecker Weg up the valley above the hut, to the base of the great Fernerstube glacier, and (with the right kit) on across the ice to the Aperer Freigersummit at 3,261m. And, it you want, across the high ice and ridges to Wilder Freiger, a difficult and trackless route which would be for the expert or guided only.

One of the Stubai's easiest-climbed major peaks on the high border ridge with Italy is 3,419m Wilder Freiger, via the 2,805m Seescharte pass above the Grunausee. This is a serious undertaking, as it involves quite a bit of glacier and icefield walking, so needs experience and careful preparation – or a good guide. The views from the top are, needless to say, sublime. 10+hrs return – or you can continue on to the Nürnberger hut. 

You can climb to the Seescharte in 3hrs+, for superb closer-up views of the high peaks and glaciers. 1hr+ back.

The Stubai are well loved, and well walked, so you won’t feel alone on the main routes, although you 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 The Stubai. 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. 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!

See our Stubai Alps page for more information on the area and photos.

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.

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.

Path beside sky-reflecting tarn, above Sulzenau Hut - © William Mackesy

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

View from the Sulzenau hut. Tyrol, Austria - © flickr user- Volker Schlecht    ...

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