Ötztal can look back on decades of climbing expertise that is hard to beat. The most important pioneer was Reinhard Schiestl († 1995) from Längenfeld, who began to develop Ötztal in terms of climbing technology in the early 1980s – he created a dense network that has grown to more than 750 routes until today. Schiestl also went down in Tirol’s climbing history by opening Ötztal’s first sports climbing route in the 9th degree of difficulty (according to the UIAA scale) at the beginning of the 1980s. The climbing mastermind has never been forgotten: the Reinhard Schiestl Via Ferrata on Burgsteinwand rock face near Längenfeld still reminds of his great achievements.
Climbing gardens in Ötztal
Straight into happiness
Hundreds of well-secured sport climbing routes of all difficulty levels are spread over 19 climbing gardens between the entrance to the valley near Haiming and its rear end in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl. Ötztal is a true Dorado for all climbing sports enthusiasts. In this region solid granite rock prevails, a fact appreciated by climbing aficionados in Tirol's longest side valley. For example, the Oberried Climbing Garden offers perfect conditions for beginners and families with children who try vertical sports for the first time, more ambitious climbers will find their luck - and their challenges - in the Niederthai and Nösslach climbing areas.
Decades of climbing expertise
Granite and limestone go hand in hand in Ötztal
Tirol boasts only a few granite climbing areas. Ötztal is an exception and offers solid granite rocks in several regions – for example in the climbing areas of Niederthai or Nösslach, to mention just two of the numerous granite climbing gardens. If you literally want to bite on granite, you'll find a welcome change in several limestone climbing areas near Haiming at the entrance to the valley.
Climbing gardens for families and beginners
In Ötztal there are several climbing areas which are especially worthwhile for beginners and families with children. What do all these climbing gardens have in common? Ample parking, short and easy access, a variety of easy and well-secured routes, picture-book picnic areas and a natural backdrop that captivates climbing fans of all ages. What’s best, the climbing garden in Oberried is also equipped with sanitary facilities.
Family-friendly climbing gardens in Ötztal:
- Winnebachseehütte (access route: 1.5 hrs!)
- Obergurgl Zirbenwald
Which quality criteria has a family-friendly climbing garden to fulfill? Read all details HERE
A helpful service checklist on "Climbing with Children", prepared in cooperation with the Austrian Alpine Club, the Austrian Mountain Rescue Service and the Austrian Alpine Safety Board, can be found HERE
Multi-pitch routes in Ötztal
One rope length is not enough for you? No problem at all! Ötztal has a wealth of breathtaking multi-pitch routes which are - similar to the climbing gardens – spread over the entire valley. In addition to the Geierwand rock wall located in Haiming, the Simmering and the Burgsteinwand near Längenfeld, multi-pitch fans will find both spectacular and well-secured routes especially in Nösslach and on Engelswand near Tumpen.
„Great Lines“ for true climbing aficionados
In 2018, a jury of experts chose Tirol’s five most outstanding sport climbing routes for advanced climbers, the so-called "Great Lines". The main selection criteria were the following: nature and landscape experience, course of the climbing route, type of rock as well as the climber’s physical and mental requirements. Two routes in Ötztal have made it to the illustrious circle of "Great Lines": the "Le Miracle" route (interne Verlinkung) in Niederthai and the multi-faceted "White Giant" (interne Verlinkung) climbing route in Nösslach’s climbing garden.