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Ski Touring recommended route


Ski Touring · Gurgl
Logo Ötztal
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Ötztal Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Man hat hier am Fuße des Nordgrates des Schalfkogels, wo der Diemferner von der Venterseite heraufzieht, die Möglichkeit einer direkteren Einfahrtsmöglichkeit auf den Schalfferner. Allerdings beträgt hier die Steilheit im Bereich des Grates mehr als 40°.
    Man hat hier am Fuße des Nordgrates des Schalfkogels, wo der Diemferner von der Venterseite heraufzieht, die Möglichkeit einer direkteren Einfahrtsmöglichkeit auf den Schalfferner. Allerdings beträgt hier die Steilheit im Bereich des Grates mehr als 40°.
    Photo: Ötztal
Great descent across the river.
Distance 9.9 km
3:30 h
1,090 m
1,090 m
3,537 m
2,221 m
The ski tour to the Schalfkogel 3537m from the Langtalereckhütte 2430m is a serious alpine uphill ride. The highlight of the tour is the 900-meter-high descent across the river Schaffffern. However, full concentration is required from the beginning to the end. In any case, the best snow and avalanche conditions, as well as, of course, the best weather conditions must prevail.
Profile picture of Roland Grüner
Roland Grüner 
Update: February 03, 2024
Highest point
3,537 m
Lowest point
2,221 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Langtalereck Hut

Safety information

Avalanche Hazard Scale

1 (LOW)

Triggering is generally possible but only from high additional load in isolated areas of extremely steep terrain. Only small-sized sluffs and natural avalanches are expected. Snow layers are generally stable.


Avalanches may be triggered in case of truly heavy loads, especially on a few explicitly indicated, steep slopes. Large spontaneous avalanches are not expected. In general, the snowpack is well bonded except on some very steep slopes. Choose your route carefully, avoid the indicated slopes and exposed sections.


Triggering is very probable even from low additional loads, particularly on the indicated steep slopes. On some steeper slopes, medium or even fairly large spontaneous avalanches may occur. On most steepslopes the snow layer is only moderately or weakly stable. Expertavalanche knowledge is required. You must avoid the indicated steepslopes and highly exposed sections.

4 (HIGH)

Avalanches are likely to be triggered on many of the indicated steepslopes even if only light loads are applied. In some places, numerous medium-sized and also large-sized natural avalanches are expected.The snowpack is poorly bonded on most steep slopes. Choose your route according to these criteria, select only moderately steep terrain by avoiding the avalanche runout zones. Very expert avalanche knowledge is required.


Numerous huge or very large-sized natural avalanches are expected also in moderately steep terrain. Safe skiing is not possible anymore, not even in the marked ski area. The snowpack is poorly bonded and largely unstable. Don‘t go ski mountaineering at all!


Also visit lawine.tirol.gv.at

Tips and suggestions

Ski Mountaineering Rules
  • If you enjoy activities amid nature always respect the local guidelines when you set out on a ski tour (for example: wildlife preserves, hunting enclosures, reforestation areas, information boards, etc.).
  • Don‘t enter protected wildlife zones or feeding areas amid naturelandscapes, and avoid noise.
  • Cross forest areas in winter only on sign posted trails or marked routes as wild animals can panic if they hear loud voices or noise.
  • Learn more about the habitat of wild animals in the mountains, avoid getting too close to them. Watch them only from a safe distance. Please put your dog on a lead, it is absolutely irresponsible to take dogs into the forest without leashing them because wild animals suffer from food deficiency and weakness in winter.
  • Excellent planning and time management: start your tour early enough and return before darkness. In spring you should be back on the hut or in the valley at 12 noon (avalanche hazard!) at the latest.
  • Never cross forestation zones and areas with young plants and trees.


Ötztal Tourismus doesn‘t take any responsibility for the suggested tours. It is strongly recommended to enlist a certified local mountainguide. Glacier crossings are allowed only in a group by using a rope.

Before you set out on a tour you should inform someone down in the valley about the tour‘s destination and when you plan to be back. Anavalanche transceiver is an absolute must for Alpine ski mountaineering tours.


More details about ski mountaineering tours in Ötztal: https://www.oetztal.com/skitouren



46.828580, 10.992000
46°49'42.9"N 10°59'31.2"E
32T 651924 5188041



Turn-by-turn directions

The tour begins with a 200-meter downhill descent to Gurgler Ache. At last, the last fatigue is driven out of the bone. The first highlight is the crossing of the impressive gorge, which leads us directly to the glacier tongue of the Gurgler River. One should however not be too carefree on the way, since from the surrounding steep sides a larger avalanche and Steinschlagrisiko exists. This circumstance must then be taken into account, in particular during the course of the descent, when the day's warming is noticeable at an advanced time of the day. The transfer to the Gurglerferner is subject to changes from year to year. The framework conditions can change at any time. Currently, however, the ascent to the glacier is easy and takes place in the orographic right part of the glacier. In the foreseeable future, however, the ice will probably retreat behind a rocky island. This is not affected by the approach to the foot of the east flank of the Schalfkogel 3537m. Although the ice cover sinks here too, the transition to the east flank looks unproblematic for the foreseeable future. In any case, the fact remains that we are now moving in the most extreme avalanche terrain. At the latest, you have to be sure that the avalanche conditions are absolutely safe. For some time you are now going uphill to the small downhill slope in the precipitous, steep, 30 ° to 40 ° steep terrain. At the Kleinleitenferner itself, the glacier from Pt.3100 will drop significantly so that the further ascent up to the Schalfjoch 3375m poses no problems. From the Schalfjoch 3375m you can climb up to Pt.3500m with skied skis in favorable snow and avalanche conditions. Otherwise, you have to keep to the south ridge (summer trail) from the Schalfjoch 3375m, the skis for a few meters shoulder and move in the rock. This is not to be missed on the last few meters to the summit. Again, the difficulties to be expected depend very much on the snow conditions. In the best case you can easily reach the summit in the Stapf. Under unfavorable conditions crampons and / or an ice ax can perform well. In addition, there is a certain degree of dizziness and steadiness, as easy block climbing can also be added. An exceedance of the summit is not absolutely necessary in order to be able to enter the Schalffner. However, from the outset, a direct departure line is obtained from the beginning of the Nordgrat. For this reason, the entrance to the north ridge is more than 40 ° incline and is accordingly avalanche-threatened. A little more favorable are the basic conditions in the skidpot at the south ridge. The descent across the cleft-rich Schalfferner is then seen from the skies to the most spectacular as the tour area around Obergurgl has to offer. The extensive and well to be surveyed upper part of the descent goes however in the lower area, however, into a very steep, rocky, avalanche and also crash-prone section. Especially if older tracks are missing, the orientation can be difficult. Not only for this reason, but above all in this section, this descent should only be undertaken with the best possible conditions by experienced ski climbers. From the Gurglerfer back through the narrow ravine of the Gurgler Ache one should not plan a longer stays, since the danger of rockfall and avalanche is now to be underestimated with a higher standing sun. From the Gurgler Ache up to the Langtalereckhütte 2430m, all difficulties were left behind. Now you only have to activate the ascent needles one last time and master the 200 altitude difference ascend.

Public transport

Enjoy a both comfortable and relaxing train ride to the train station in Ötztal Bahnhof. You get off the train in ÖTZTAL Bahnhof where you change to a public bus or local taxi. The current bus schedule can be found at: http://fahrplan.vvt.at



Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is located in the western part of Austria in the state TYROL, in a southern side valley of the Inn valley - the ÖTZTAL. For your arrival by car, you can plan the best route from your home town with the route planner online at https://www.google.at/maps



In Obergurgl-Hochgurgl the following parking facilities are available:
  • Car park Village center Obergurgl (in front of the church on the right, behind the multi-purpose building where the information office is located)
  • Parking lot with coin entrance Parking Place entrance - valley station Festkoglbahn, free of charge
  • Parking Hochgurglbahn valley station, free of charge - no parking at night
  • Parking Top Mountain Crosspoint, free of charge
  • Parking Hochgurgl, free of charge (very small parking)


46.828580, 10.992000
46°49'42.9"N 10°59'31.2"E
32T 651924 5188041
Get there by train, car, bike, or on foot!


Recommended Ski Mountaineering Equipment

The „standard ski mountaineering equipment“ is: touring skis with touring bindings, telescopic poles, climbing skins, ski crampons, digital avalanche transceiver, avalanche shovel, avalanche probe, firstaid kit and mobile phone. A „complete glacier equipment set“ contains: sit harness, two prusik loops of different lengths and ascenders, two HMS biners, icepick, climbing irons and rope. Pack your rucksack carefully and don‘t forget extra clothes for the descent, sun protection/cream, cold protection, enough food and drink. If you stay overnight at a mountain hut take toiletry articles and a hut sleeping bag with you!



  • Easy: Short or moderately long tours, always easy, with ascents not steeper than 25° or slightly steeper only on short sections.
  • Intermediate: Moderately long or long tours of intermediate difficulty with ascents up to 35° or slightly steeper only on short sections.
  • Difficult: Very challenging and long or very long tours with ascents that can exceed 40°, comprising also climbing sections up to difficulty grade II (UIAA).

Similar routes nearby

  • Hinterer Seelenkogel
  • Hochwilde
  • Start of Vent Loop Trail or Ötztal Loop Tour via Schalfkogl
  • Liebenerspitze West Summit
  • Hochfirst
 These suggestions were generated by our system
9.9 km
3:30 h
1,090 m
1,090 m
Highest point
3,537 m
Lowest point
2,221 m


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