Since ages I´m a member of the German Alp Association (DAV). Getting special discounts when sleeping and eating in alpine huts was the only reason for me to join. In the beginning I never met any other member of my section. This I wanted to change by frequently checking if potential trips do match my schedule. Finally this happened just a couple of weeks ago. A trip to the Austrian Pitztal has been announced by the Baar section.
The tour announced almost matched my preferred hiking level and my company was closed for summer vacation. Due to another Alp trip I missed the preliminary as well as to get to known to them. But since I´m very open minded and love meeting people there wasn´t any doubt that I will find some nice guys in this group.
Once we finally met last Sunday everything went fine. As a result a group of 8 people between 32 and 72 traveled down to Austria having a good time.
In Mittelberg (1740m), below the Pitztal Glacier Cable car station the trip begun. Passing Taschachtal we slowly hiked towards the Taschachhaus, our first destination of the Trip. First half of the path is almost like walking on the highway. Not very steep and well manageable for almost everybody. This does change when reaching the supply lift base station. From there a new created path does bring you up to the hut within one hour. The previous way got damaged by a rockslide recently. This new way is well created. It is a little bit steep and exposed which makes hiking more fun.
The Taschachhaus does belong to the section Munich. Beside accommodation it also is used as a mountain training center. The fittings are outstanding. Sometimes you feel more like being in a hotel than in a hut. For the group we had booked a 10 persons room including breakfast and dinner. Our served meal has been wonderful and more tasty than some food I had in international hotels.
Since we arrived quite early there also was time for a short hike towards the glacier. It takes another 45 minutes to get there. Especially in summer seeing a glacier is overwhelming. Underneath some dirt you can see 20m deep crevasses. From inside they are shining deep blue. Please note that you need to be absolutely gutsy and sure-footed when going there as well as well equipped if you also want to walk on the glacier.
On the second day our plan was to walk on the Fuldaer Höhenweg (Fulda trail) toward the Riffelseehütte. From there our final destination was the Kaunergrathütte. From Taschachhaus you need to climb up another 200m to reach the Fulda trail. From there it takes you along the Taschach valley giving you a beautiful view on glaciers and summits around. Due to the rockslide here also some areas have been rebuild. Secured by chains you can easily walk this areas.
From the Riffelseehütte our path went up another 300m. Now the real adventure started. This trail is called the Cottbuser trail. And whatever exposed path you have seen so far in this trip now becomes ridiculous. The first 5km are very exposed including a well secured climbing section (Video). For everybody not being 100% gutsy minimal climbing equipment is recommended. Once you have managed this the trail keeps challenging but also gives you a phenomenal panoramic view.
On the final 350m it gets a little boring. After all this ups and downs all you see is a steep way up. Since there is no adrenaline involved for this section you need to have a good fitness. Once you reached 2817m every effort is gone. Looking at the glacier and the panorama makes you feel happy.
Kaunergrathütte is the highest alpine hut at Pitztal. Supplied only by a helicopter you can imagine that everything is build for a low resource consumption. Some of the equipment seems to be almost 100 years old. Nevertheless it is very comfortable and the food is good.
On the final day we went up another 200m to pass the Steinbockjoch. From there we had a beautiful view and a good position to say good bye to this area. The trail than takes you down to Plangroß. 1600m above sea level this is the final destination.
Have fun when doing this three days hike.