Key information: Silvretta Alps
- These beautiful, glacier-rich mountains on the Swiss boarder boast some stunning walking.
- Walkopedia rating88
- Natural interest16
- Human interest5
- Negative points0
- Total rating88
- Length: Your choice
- Maximum Altitude: Around 3,000m
- 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.
This beautiful group of mountains forms the Swiss border in the far west of Austria, with fine peaks, several over 3,000m, set in glaciers and ice. The valleys leading up to them, which are delightfully verdant in their lower reaches, provide superb access to the high range and its array of gorgeously sited huts.
You can create a selection of multi-day walks by linking the huts, but the well-known one is the 5 day tour starting at Gargellen in the west and traversing the northern flanks and their multitude of ridges (crossing into Switzerland for a day), stopping at the Tübinger, Wiesbadener, Jamtal and Heidelberger huts (although other options are available) before descending to Ischgel. A superb and consistently gorgeous trail; quite tough in places.
Day/link-up walks abound. Here are just a few:
The high head of the Jamtal valley is a vast double bowl surrounded by spectacular peaks of around 3,000m, with glaciers hanging off many of them. The easy 20km walk up to the Jamtal Hut and back takes 5.5-6hrs and is a visual treat the whole way. From the Jamtal hut you can head west over the Getscherscharte pass to the Wiesbadener Hut (or drop to Bielerhöhe), or over the high, trickier Oshsenscharte to the Wiesbadener Hut; or you can cross the high ridge southward into Switzerland, or head east over the Zahnjoch or even higher (2,974m) Kronenjoch to the Heidelberger hut, which is also in Switzerland although with good access back to Austria. I.e. the Jamtal hut is a brilliant base for several days of walking. Marvellous.
The steady walk from Gaschurn up the Garneratal valley to the magnificently-sited Tübinger Hut could be a 18km day return walk, but heading on over the dramatic Hochmaderer Joch (2,505m) to Bielerhöhe makes for an exceptional 2-dayer.
Likewise, you can make day-walks from Bielerhöhe to the Saarbrucker and Wiesbadener huts and join the two in a marvellous (at times exposed) 5hr day walk. You can cross the Radsattel pass above the Wiesbadener hut in a long day circuit from Bielerhöhe, or add it on to the walk just mentioned for a 2-day treat.
Its mountain huts are one of Austria’s glories, and there are plenty of them here, usually in superb or at the least very pretty and charming locations. You can devise your own multi-day walks to suit your tastes and capacities. You just need to look at maps and guidebooks and salivate. Note, though, that you do need to book ahead. The contact details of huts in a number of the best areas are in the Cicerone books or can be found locally.
This can be demanding walking in remote mountains with uncertain weather. Come fully prepared.
Trekking in the Silvretta and Rätikon Alps – Kev Reynolds for Cicerone: more than 100 walks in the Austrian Alps, including several in this area. As usual, packed with valuable information, including good detail on the routes. Recommended.
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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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