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Long Distance Hiking recommended route

Ötztal Trek Route 5

Long Distance Hiking · Ötztal
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  • Braunschweiger Hütte
    Braunschweiger Hütte
    Photo: Roland Grüner, Ötztal
ETAPPE 18 – 20

Braunschweiger Hütte (2.758 m) – Mainzer Höhenweg – Rüsselsheimer Hütte (2.328 m) – Luibisscharte (2.914 m) – Hauerseehütte (2.383 m) – Felderjöchl (2.797 m) – Frischmannhütte (2.192 m)

Distance 29.1 km
13:00 h
2,637 m
3,205 m
2,912 m
1,603 m


STAGE 18 – 20

Braunschweiger Hütte (2758 m) – Mainzer Höhenweg – Rüsselsheimer Hütte (2328 m) – Luibisscharte (2914 m) – Hauerseehütte (2383 m) - Felderjöchl (2797 m) – Frischmannhütte (2192 m)

Changes in elevation: ascent 2600 meters / descent 3200 meters

Distance in kilometers: 27 km

Mainzer Höhenweg high-altitude trail ranks among the undisputed attractions when it comes to Alpine hiking. Geigenkamm Ridge promises quiet and authentic mountaineering. This route is quite demanding but offers very beautiful stages.




Route: steep path, footpath

Requirements: surefootedness, good head for heights, good physical condition, stamina, high Alpine experience; black mountain trail, partly high Alpine route

Difficulties: extremely long tour, several glacier crossings (crevasses!), some sections are equipped with fixed ropes; stable weather conditions essential; guide recommended

Equipment: standard hiking equipment; rope, crampons and icepick depending on snow conditions

Walking time: approx. 10 hrs

Changes in elevation: ascent approx. 800 meters / descent 1200 meters

Highest point: 3252 m

Distance in kilometers: approx. 9 km

Lodging, refreshment stops: Braunschweiger Hütte, Rüsselsheimer Hütte

Access/exit points: from Rettenbach Glacier base terminal via Rettenbachjoch to Braunschweiger Hütte (ascent approx. 1.75 hrs / descent 1.5 hrs); from Plangeross (St. Leonhard im Pitztal) to Rüsselsheimer Hütte (ascent approx. 2 hrs / descent 1.5 hrs)

Ibex Goulash after a Strenuous Alpine Hike

The hike along Geigenkamm takes you across 3 three-thousand meter high peaks, all of which command magnificent views of the Alpine scenery. The hike starts with a short uphill section from Braunschweiger Hütte towards Pitztaler Jöchl. Follow the trail to your left down to Silbergrube. Now you climb up to a wide ridge along which the route travels for a while, climbing and descending frequently. The first splendid peaks along the way are Wurmsitzkogel (3079 m), Gschrappkogel (3197 m) and scenic Wassertalkogel (3252 m). On top of Wassertalkogel mountaineers find an orange bivouac which accommodates up to 12 people (accessible without key). From Wassertalkogel the trail descends through a glacier field. Soon after the first glacier field the trail crosses another one and a third one. After some easy scrambling the path continues to Weißmaurachjoch Ridge – once there you have mastered all the difficult parts of this tour. From here it’s an easy walk down to Rüsselsheimer Hütte after ten incredible hours.




Route: steep path, footpath

Requirements: surefootedness, good head for heights, good physical condition and stamina; black mountain trail, partly high Alpine route

Difficulties: strenuous ascent to Luibisscharte, Hauerferner glacier crossing (no crevasses); stable weather conditions essential

Equipment: standard hiking equipment, icepick and crampons depending on snow conditions

Walking time: approx. 7 hrs

Changes in elevation: ascent approx. 1200 meters / descent 1200 meters

Highest point: 2914 m

Distance in kilometers: approx. 10.5 km

Lodging, refreshment stops: Rüsselsheimer Hütte, Hauerseehütte

Access/exit points: from Plangeross (St. Leonhard im Pitztal) to Rüsselsheimer Hütte (ascent approx. 2 hrs / descent 1.5 hrs); from Unterried or Oberried (Längenfeld) to Hauerseehütte (ascent approx. 3.5 hrs / descent 2.5 hrs)

Saddles and Small Glaciers

Behind the refuge walk down in an eastern direction, make a left turn towards Gahwinden vista point. From Gahwinden the trail descends through scree fields to Rötkarle and then ascends to Kapuzinerjöchl. Beyond Kapuzinerjöchl the trail drops down through steep and rocky terrain - there are fixed cables to hold on to for safety - before leveling out and climbing leisurely towards Breitlehnjöchl. Then the trail first climbs, then descends, then climbs again towards Sandjöchl Col. The path falls steeply and flattens out a bit before climbing through a very steep scree and boulder field to Luibisscharte. Here the path descends to crevasse-free Hauerferner Glacier and crosses it in an eastern direction. The trail between the glacier and Hauerseehütte has been closed off due to a rockslide – a bypass trail follows the glacier in a north-eastern direction and descends to the right of a rocky knoll to Hauerseehütte. Please note: Hauerseehütte is a self-catering hut nestling in the north eastern foothill of Luibiskogel; during peak season a temporary hut tenant takes care of the refuge.




Route: steep path

Requirements: surefootedness, good head for heights; black mountain trail

Difficulties: none

Equipment: standard hiking equipment; enough food and drink (Hauerseehütte is not serviced)

Walking time: approx. 4 hrs

Changes in elevation: ascent approx. 600 meters / descent 800 meters

Highest point: 2797 m

Distance in kilometers: approx. 7.5 km

Lodging, refreshment stops: Hauerseehütte, Frischmannhütte

Access/exit points: from Unterried or Oberried (Längenfeld) to Hauerseehütte (ascent approx. 3.5 hrs / descent 2.5 hrs); from Umhausen to Frischmannhütte (ascent approx. 3.5 hrs / descent 2.5 hrs; alternatively by taxi from Umhausen to Hintere Fundusalm from where it’s a 30-minutes hike to Frischmannhütte); from Köfels (Umhausen) to Frischmannhütte (ascent approx. 2.5 hrs / descent 2 hrs)

Lake Hike on Mittlerer Geigenkamm

The first awe-inspiring mountain lake can be found right next to Hauerseehütte and also gave its name to the hut. Here the trail descends moderately past Lake Unterer Spitzigsee, then climbs gently in a north-western direction through picture-book Innerbergtal Valley and crosses the slopes above Felderkar. Then follows a more strenuous section: the trail switchbacks steeply up to Lake Weißer See below Felderjöchl (2800 m), the saddle you have to cross to get to Frischmannhütte. The footpath travels to the right of the lake and climbs in switchbacks through very steep and rocky terrain to Felderjöchl (fixed cables). From the saddle the trail drops steeply at the beginning and then levels out and continues through Fernerkar below Ploderferner Glacier. Later on the route descends quickly east of Griesköpfe Peaks and through high Alpine meadows and pasturelands in full bloom to Frischmannhütte.

Profile picture of Roland Grüner
Roland Grüner 
Update: May 02, 2024
Highest point
2,912 m
Lowest point
1,603 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 11.57%Dirt road 6.17%Path 19.91%Road 2.10%Unknown 60.23%
3.4 km
Dirt road
1.8 km
5.8 km
0.6 km
17.5 km
Show elevation profile

Safety information

For experienced mountaineers that are free from vertigo & surefooted, Very good physical condition, mountain experience & mountain equipment (see notice equipment) necessary, such as alpine security material, good weather conditions recommended. Please pay attention to the current weather report

Tips and suggestions

More details about hiking In Ötztal: www.oetztal.com/hiking 


Braunschweiger Hut
46.935153, 10.909561
46°56'06.6"N 10°54'34.4"E
32T 645349 5199727


Frischmann Hut

Turn-by-turn directions

Stage 18:

Three three-thousanders are crossed here on the Geigenkamm, ensuring panoramic views in all directions. We hike briefly upwards from the Braunschweiger Hütte and follow the route below the Pitztaler Jöchl, following the left direction into the Silbergrube descent. The route ascends to the ridge and runs ascending or descending on or beside the broad ridge. The Wurmsitzkogel (3,079 m) and the Gschrappkogel (3,197 m) are the first three-thousanders to be climbed during the tour, followed by the Wassertalkogel (3,252 m). There stands the orange-colored Rheinland-Pfalz-Biwak, accommodating 12 people (accessible without a key). From the Wassertalkogel, we descend over a glacier field, then traverse another glacier field, and after one last glacier field crossing, a scrambling section awaits. The path leads to the Weißmaurachjoch, and after descending the Weißmaurachkar, we reach the Rüsselsheimer Hütte after around 10 hours.


Stage 19:


We initially follow the path behind the hut to the east for a while, then turn left towards the viewpoint Gahwinden. From Gahwinden, we hike down through scree into the Rötkarle, where the trail then ascends - continuing towards the Kapuzinerjöchl. There, we descend in steep terrain with the aid of ropes. We hike up to the Breitlehnjöchl. From there, the trail leads slightly upward - then downward. Eventually, the route leads up to the Sandjöchl. At a fork in the path, a very challenging section begins - it ascends steeply to the Luibisscharte. Soon, we enter the crevasse-free Hauerferner. There is also a footbridge on the right-hand side leading down from the glacier field! It crosses the flat upper part of the glacier towards the east. Due to rockfall, the further path between the glacier and the Hauerseehütte is officially closed, an alternative route leads northeast along the glacier and after the glacier passage, descends to the right of a rock head towards the Hauerseehütte.


Stage 20:


The first mountain lake is already located right at the starting point and has given its name to the small Hauerseehütte. We first descend slightly and pass by the Lower Spitzigsee. Then, we descend through the rear Innerberg valley in a northwestern direction. The trail runs on the slopes above the Felderkar. Then we need to exert ourselves a bit: the route ascends in switchbacks to the White Lake below the nearly 2,800 m high Felderjöchl, which represents the barrier over to the Frischmannhütte. We pass to the right of the lake, then the secured trail winds soon in rocky, very steep terrain and again in switchbacks up to the Felderjöchl. Beyond, we first descend quite steeply, then comfortably hike through the Fernerkar below the Ploderferner. Later, the route leads mostly briskly downhill eastward under the Griesköpfe. The last meters finally lead over alpine meadows to the Frischmannhütte.


Public transport

Travel safe and comfortable with the train to the Ötztal Bahnhof train station. Last stop and exit point is the train station Ötztal Bahnhof. Afterwards you can travel smoothly and quick with the public transport or our local taxi companies through the valley to your desired destination. Please find the current bus timetable here: http://fahrplan.vvt.at


The car drive to the Ötztal valley. Situated in Tirol, the Ötztal valley set off in southerly direction and is the longest side valley in the Eastern Alps. The journey with the car leads you through the Inntal valley to the entrance of the valley and further on through the valley. Among the toll motorways you can also use the country roads. A route planner will show you the easiest and most convenient way: https://www.google.at/maps


The following parking facilities are available in Sölden:


- Parking lot

- parking lot Stiegele

- stair parking

- Giggijochbahn + underground garage

- Gaislachkoglbahn + underground garage

- Parking Hochsölden

- parking garage Hochsölden 1. parking lot

- parking Zwieselstein

- parking Zwieselstein / sports ground

 All parking is chargeable


Parking for several days (eg hike tour):

- car par Gaislachkoglbahn | Parkticket either online or directly at the cash desk of the Gaislachkoglbahn


46.935153, 10.909561
46°56'06.6"N 10°54'34.4"E
32T 645349 5199727
Get there by train, car, bike, or on foot!

Author’s map recommendations

Kompass Hiking Map (available at the Ötztal Tourism information offices)


Appropriate equipment such as breathable suitable outdoor clothes for the weather, is for all hikes and tours necessary. Please bring a first-aid box, a mobile phone, a walking map and if there is no hut on the way a snack and enough to drink.

Similar routes nearby

  • Ötztal Trek Stage 18
  • European E5 long-distance hiking trail – King’s Segment – Braunschweiger Hut to Zwieselstein (original route)
  • European E5 long-distance hiking trail – King's Segment – Braunschweiger Hut to Vent (alternative route)
  • Europäischer Fernwanderweg E5 - Variante - von der Braunschweiger Hütte nach Vernagt am See im Schnalstal
  • Ötztal Trek Stage 19
 These suggestions were generated by our system
29.1 km
13:00 h
2,637 m
3,205 m
Highest point
2,912 m
Lowest point
1,603 m


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