What a strange name: Bettlerkarspitze - the beggar cirque peak.
Standing between Falzthurntal in the east and Eng valley in the west, Bettlerkarspitze is one of the main summits of Sonnjoch ridge within Karwendel .
Starting at Westliches Lamsenjoch in the south, Sonnjoch subridge runs in south - north direction and ends at Plumsjoch, north of Bettlerkarspitze.
Our summit has three main ridges:
All three ridges require climbing up to UIAA grade III. This is why Bettlerkarspitze is not visited very often. More correctly I should say that Bettlerkarspitze main summit is rarely climbed. Take for example the north ridge normal route: 30 meters below the summit there is a mean little overhang (3 meters high) at the very narrow ridge. This part of the route cannot be bypassed. The east side of the ridge is a perpendicular rockface down to Plumskar, the west side of the ridge is even more difficult to climb.
When I tried first to summit Bettlerkarspitze I had several “Go´s” until I managed to overcome that crux. Next time I brought a rope which came in handy for the descent. Nowadays there is a fixed rope with thick fat knots so it is more a matter of arm strength to overcome this grade III - crux.
Nevertheless there is a Bettlerkarspitze hiking summit, too. About 150 meters lower, with a summit cross and red-white-red markings. The trail from there up to the main summit is marked with washed out red dots and some cairns.
I like sitting on top of Bettlerkarspitze on a summer afternoon after a traverse, e.g. coming from Schaufelspitze or from Montscheinspitze or from Kompar summit, watching a little thunderstorm passing by in the west, the warm sun on the face, looking down to deep blue Achensee and fancying a cool Weißbier on the terrace of nice Plumsjochhütte which will definitely become true one hour later.
Main northern trailhead is Hagelhütten near the end of Eng valley.
You reach Eng valley by car
You can reach Eng valley from Munich by rail and bus, too. Check this possibility here.
Main southern trailhead is Pletzachalm or Gernalm near Pertisau / Achensee.
Route OverviewThere are several routes to Bettlerkarspitze, some of them require at least mastering UIAA grade III.
Main mountaineer routes are:
- North ridge route: Normal route from Plumsjoch to the hiking summit, some rock scramble and the crux (UIAA grade III, now with rope) to the main summit
- Northeast route: Plumsjoch, Plumskar and the connecting ridge Falzthurnjoch to Bettlerkarspitze; easy, mostly off-trail but one part UIAA grade III at the ridge
- Traverse Schaufelspitze - Bettlerkarspitze: grade II, long, you have to climb Schaufelspitze first
- Traverse Falzthurnjoch - Bettlerkarspitze; grade III (one part), interesting off-trail epic, you have to struggle up off-trail to Falzthurnjoch first
Red Tape & Accommodation
Bettlerkarspitze is part of the “Alpenpark Karwendel”, an important and strictly protected national park.
There is no entrance fee for the park but many regulations to follow.
There is a National Park Information Center at Hinterriß. Information panels, starting at the parking area of Engalmen, show some interesting features of the Alpenpark Karwendel.
Camping is not allowed within Alpenpark Karwendel.
Motorhomes and caravans are tolerated at the parking area of Engalmen.
Food and lodging can be fount at
Maurach and Pertisau offer campgrounds, too.
Gear & Mountain Conditions
Bettlerkarspitze is a summer and autumn hike.
The normal route from Plumsjoch can easily be combined with a mountainbike tour to Plumsjoch, starting at Hagelhüttn or at Pletzachalm / Gernalm / Pertisau.
For the hiking summit you need normal hiking gear.
The main summit requires scramble capacity up to UIAA grade II (traverse Falzthurnjoch - Bettlerkarspitze; traverse Schaufelspitze - Bettlerkarspitze) and nerves / arm strength for the ex crux, now secured with a thick rope.
Maps & Guide Books
Heinrich Klier, Fritz März, und Walter Klier
Karwendelgebirge. Alpenvereinsführer alpin: Ein Führer für Täler, Hütten und Berge.
Bernd Eberle, Peter Mair, Mike Rutter, und Ralf Sussmann
Kletterführer Karwendel: Alpine Ziele & Klettergärten incl. Martinswand
1. june 2004
Scale 1 : 25.000
Scale 1 : 25.000