The Große and the Kleine Stempeljochspitze are part of the Karwendel. They belong to the east - west running Gleiersch-Halltal Chain. This chain has a north - south heading subridge between Hintere Bachofenspitze and Stempeljoch with the summits of Roßkopf and Stempeljochspitzen. At Stempeljoch the subridge is connected to the Inntal Chain, the southernmost range of the Karwendel.
The Roßkopf - Stempeljoch subridge divides Halltal in the east from Sämertal in the west. The summits are located about 8 km northnortheast of the town of Innsbruck.
Stempeljochspitzen are showing steep rockfaces to the east and west; the south face of the mountain is easily accessible. The meadow south slope leads up to the south ridge which starts with some rocks and scree. North of Stempeljochspitzen when traversing in the direction of Roßkopf the ridge becomes more difficult with UIAA grade II climbing in parts of it
Stempeljochspitzen are very often summited because of the easy access from Stempeljoch. But normally they are not a classic day hike aim. They easily fit in a day (or a weekend) with more peaks and summits in the surrounding area.
Most hikers on the hut to hut trails in Karwendel will summit Stempeljochspitzen when passing through Stempeljoch.
Some hikers do the traverse from Stempeljoch to Hintere Bachofenspitze (or vice versa); they have to traverse both Stempeljochspitzen.
Finally hikers doing the Wildangerspitze - Lattenspitze - Pfeiserspitzen traverse and end up at Stempeljoch might consider another two easy accessible peaks worth while to summit.
There are several trailheads for choice.
From most trailheads you have to reach Pfeishütte, southwest of Hintere Bachofenspitze.
Pfeishütte is a very nice and recommendable mountain hut, erected at the very upper end of Sämertal on a meadow, called “In der Pfeis”. You normally will stay one night in Pfeishütte because of the long and / or exhausting trails leading to this remote mountain hut.
Pfeishütte can also be used as a “base camp” for some peak bagging: Praxmarerkarspitze, Kaskarspitze, Sonntagkarspitze, Hintere Bachofenspitze, Roßkopf, Stempeljochspitze, Pfeiser - / Latten - / Wildangerspitze, Rumerspitze with Goetheweg, Gleierschtaler Brandjoch, all those peaks and summits are more or less easily accessible from Pfeishütte or can be linked together to an interesting traverse over the connecting ridges.
Thaur or Rum near Innsbruck
Use the A 12, Inntal valley highway from Salzburg / Munich / Rosenheim / Kufstein or from Bregenz / Arlberg until exit Hall / Tirol. Follow road number 171 until Thaur or Rum is signposted. Look for parking possibilities in the upper parts of the villages near the beginning of the woods on the south slope of Karwendel.
A beautiful and impressing valley !
Exit the Inntal valley highway likewise at Hall / Tirol. At Hall, follow Salzbergstraße to Absams and go on to Halltal. Halltal road is a toll road, pay your fee at an automat at the beginning of the road. Follow the road up into the steep Halltal until you reach the very last parking possibility.
Actually (2012) the Halltal toll road from Absam into Halltal valley is completely closed for public traffic due to some severe rockslides in the last years.
At the beginning of the valley there is a new parking area for hikers. All Halltal ascents start at this parking area. Add 1 to 1,5 hours to your ascents from the former Halltal parking lots.
There is a cab shuttle service available which costs between 25,-- and 30,-- €, one way!. See www.absam.at for this service.
The village of Absam intends to find a solution to reopen the road. Actual plans are too expensive. Hopefully there will be a solution in the near future.
Innsbruck / Hafelekar cableway
Exit the Inntal valley highway likewise at Hall / Tirol to avoid the traffic in Innsbruck center. At Hall, follow road number 171 in the direction of Innsbruck. At Innsbruck don´t cross the river Inn, keep going on the north side of the river (Hallstraße) until “Hungerburg” is signposted. Hungerburg is the valley station of the Hafelekar cableway.
Use the highway A 95 from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Proceed on B 2 to Mittenwald and pass the frontier Germany / Austria at Scharnitz. At Scharnitz church use the road to the beginning of the “Karwendeltäler” (signposted). There are parking areas with fees. Use, if possible, the last one.
Scharnitz and Innsbruck can be reached by railroad, too. From Innsbruck there are bus connections to Rum, Thaur and Absams. As far as I know there are no busses going into Halltal.
Summit Routes Overview
Stempeljochspitzen are summited from Stempeljoch. You can reach Stempeljoch from Halltal - this is the easy alternative - or via Pfeishütte - this is the more strenuous alternative because of the long trails to Pfeishütte.
Pfeishütte is a very nice and recommendable mountain hut, erected at the very upper end of Sämertal on a meadow, called “In der Pfeis”. You normally will stay one night in Pfeishütte because of the long and / or exhausting trails leading to this remote mountain hut. Pfeishütte can also be used as a “base camp” for some peak bagging: Praxmarerkarspitze, Kaskarspitze, Sonntagkarspitze, Hintere Bachofenspitze, Roßkopf, Pfeiser - / Latten - / Wildangerspitze, Rumerspitze with Goetheweg, Gleierschtaler Brandjoch, all those peaks and summits are more or less easily accessible from Pfeishütte or can be linked together to an interesting traverse over the connecting ridges.
Halltal is the nearest trailhead to Stempeljoch.
From the last parking area follow Halltal up to Herrenhäuser, the old saltmine. Continue on trail number 221 up to Issjöchl and the north slopes of Lattenspitze / Wildangerspitze. The trail crosses the large scree fields of the upper Halltal and zigzags steeply up to Stempeljoch.
Alternatively you can follow the trail in the direction of Lafatscher Joch, beginning at the last Halltal parking area (signposts). You enter the beautiful meadows of Issanger and proceed trail number 223 up to a trail junction with trail number 222. Follow this one to the west, it is a panoramic trail called “Wilde Bande Steig” which traverses the south slopes of Lafatscher and Bachofenspitze and ends at Stempeljoch.
Trailheads for Pfeishütte
Thaur or Rum
This is a strenuous hike because you use the south slopes of Karwendel and you have to overcome about 1500 meters of altitude difference to reach Pfeishütte.
From both villages follow the signposted and marked trails up to Thaurer Alm, a private mountain hut with overnight service. At Thaurer Alm follow trail number 218 to the west; after some 15 minutes there is a trail junction. Leave number 218 and follow the steep trail moving up the south slopes. It climbes up the south slopes of Pfeiser Spitze and reaches Thaurer Joch (2099 m). From Thaurer Joch descend to Pfeishütte.
If you stay at Pfeishütte for the night you might summit Rumerspitze or Pfeiser Spitze from Thaurer Joch.
From Innsbruck use the cableway up to Hafelekarspitze. Take the trail number 219 to the east. It is called “Goetheweg” and it is a beautiful panoramic trail mostly at the ridge crest between Hafelekarspitze and Gleierschtaler Brandjoch. You can summit Hafelekarspitze, Gleierschspitze, Gleierschtaler Bandjoch and, from Arzeler Scharte instead of following the direct descent number 217 to Pfeishütte, traverse Rumerspitze and go down to Pfeishütte via Thaurer Joch. A great thing to do !
If you don´t want to use the cableway, take the trail number 218 from Hungerburg parking area until you reach the trail junction with trail number 217. Follow number 217 by doing neverending zigzags until you reach Arzeler Scharte and the “Goetheweg, ”. This is about 1300 m of altitude difference. Continue with your descend to the nearby hut or climb Rumerspitze.
At Scharnitz starts the neverending Hinterautal and Sämertal. Follow the forest road from Scharnitz into Hinterautal until the intersection with the Sämertal road. Use the Sämertal road, it passes Möslalm, which provides food, beverages and overnight services and continue on the road until you reach Pfeishütte. This is a 15 km distance. As the forest roads are in good shape (with the exception of the last ascent to Pfeishütte) this route is recommended for mountain bikers. You can leave your bike at the hut and continue hiking.
The summit can be done as a strenuous day bike and hike combination, too.
From Pfeishütte follow the marked trail number 221 in about ¾ hours up to Stempeljoch.
To the summits
From Stempeljoch follow the marked trail on the north side of the col leading up the south slopes of Stempeljochspitzen. You pass a scree field, meadows with some rocks until you reach the south ridge of Stempeljochspitzen. Follow the ridge on the trail on its west side over some easy rocks and through scree and talus up to the summit cross of Kleine Stempeljochspitze.
If you want to visit Große Stempeljochspitze continue the ridge down to a col and up again to the second summit. This is an off-trail scramble which involves some easy rock climbing; the route should be marked with some cairns.
Red TapeStempeljochspitzen are part of a national park, the “Alpenpark Karwendel”.
There is no entrance fee for the park or any permit required. Nevertheless there are some reglementations.
Fires, Camping, noise and litter are prohibited within the park boundaries.
Do not pick up plants or parts of them.
Do not remove or disturb animals. Dogs must be leashed within the park.
Mountain biking is only possible on signposted routes.
Marked trails should not be left (though some interesting routes are off trail - routes; I never had difficulties with authorities within the national park but you should stick at least to the routes described in the Karwendel mountain guides).
AccomodationsIn the surrounding valleys there are many accomodations, hotels, bed & breakfasts, camping. The following are only suggestions.
Villages and Towns
Maps and Guides
Alpenvereinskarte, 1 : 25.000
- Nr. 5/1, Westliches Blatt
- Nr. 5/2, Mittleres Blatt
- Nr. 5/3, Östliches Blatt
Alpenvereinsführer, Karwendel Alpin
Bergverlag Rudolf Rother
Webcam Hafelekar cableway
Webcam to the south slopes of Karwendel