Hexenkopf literally means Witch’s head. That is quite an unusual name for a mountain, but when you look up to the mountain from a distance, with a little imagination, one can recognize the silhouette of the head of a witch. In this part of the Alps many mountains are referred to as ‘Kopf’ like for example Burkelkopf, Planskopf and Palinkopf. Still, Hexenkopf is the one with the most striking name of them all.
Hexenkopf is the highest mountain in the Northern part of the Samnaun Group mountains and together with Furgler (3007m) they are the only 2 peaks reaching above 3000 meters. Whether you look at Hexenkopf from the Paznaun (West) or Inntal side (East), it appears (and is) clearly higher than all surrounding mountains. Although prominent, Hexenkopf is not a mountain for those without patience, because even with the ski facilities of Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in the vicinity, all access routes to Hexenkopf are quite long.
The base for climbing Hexenkopf is the Hexenseehütte, a mountain Hut from the Rheinland-Koeln DAV section, situated directly south-east of the mountain at an altitude of 2558 meters opposite to the Hexensee, a small lake carrying the same name. Climbing Hexenkopf can be done in a single day using the lift facilities of Serfaus (Lazidbahn), but requires a long day of hiking. Most people spend the night in the Hexensee Hut and make the climb of Hexenkopf a 2 day outing. Apart from Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis there is also the possibility to climb the mountain from See in the Paznauntal.
The normal route starts at the Hexenseehütte and leads over the Hexensattel (2715m) and along the South ridge to the summit. A nice variant is the route from the Arrezjoch (2587m) along the east ridge to the summit of Hexenkopf. This second route is more difficult and requires some climbing in the first grade (UIAA I). A nice option for climbing Hexenkopf is a traverse using both routes.
Hexenkopf is a very nice mountain to climb in the Samnaun Group. It is much less frequently climbed as its neighbor Furgler, where crowds are no exception in the summer months due to the vicinity of the Lazid and Komperdell lifts. Also Hexenkopf is the highest mountain in this part of the Samnaun Group and therefore offering great views in all directions. All prominent peaks of the Verwall (Hoher Riffler), Samnaun Group (Muttler, Vesulspitze), Otztal Alps (Wildpsitze, Weisskugel, Watze) and Nordliche Kalkalpen (Parseierspitze) can be seen from the summit.
Hexenkopf is situated along the weitwanderweg 712 (‘’ long-distance-trail’’) which connects the Koelner Haus & Hexenseehütte with the Heidelberger Hut. A partof this route is the famous Smugglers Tour, a trail between Samnaun in Switzerland and Serfaus in Austria formerly used by smugglers between the two countries. Hexenkopf is occasionally climbed as a part of this route.
A final remark: This page is about the Hexenkopf in the Samnaun Goup. In the Venediger Group there are two mountains carrying the same name: The Kleiner- (3194m) and Grosser Hexenkopf (3314m). They don’t have a page on SP yet.
Approach From Serfaus
Take the cableway system from Serfaus up to the Komperdell and continue all the way up to Lazid (2346m). Follow the broad ‘’Kamm’’ in the direction of the Scheid saddlepoint (2429m). At the Scheid there are 2 trails/paths, both of them leading towards the Arrezjoch (2587m). Follow the hiking trail or the broad path to the Arrezjoch. The hiking trail is more scenic though. The Arrezjoch offers the first views of Hexenkopf and at this point you can try to imagine the shape of a witch’s head in the summit pyramid. Also you can spot the Hexenseehütte in front. Follow the trail to the Hexenseehütte (Yellow signpost at the Arrezjoch; trail 26A).
Approach From See
Alternatively, coming from See in Paznauntal, take trail 713 up all the way to the Masnerjoch at 2685 meters. From the saddle, follow route 713 and eventually route 26 to the Hexenseehütte.
To the Summit
From the Hexenseehütte head towards the west along trail 713. This trail goes over easy terrain to the Hexensattel (2715m). At the Hexensattel the real climb begins. Follow the yellow signpost which says ‘’Hexenkopf’’ towards the north, you are now on the south ridge of the mountain. Keep following the marked trail along the south ridge to the summit of Hexenkopf. The final 100 meters involve some light scrambling (UIAA I), but overall the route is not difficult (T4- at max, mostly T3 ).
An alternative route starts from the Arrezjoch. Follow the trail along the east ridge of Hexenkopf towards the Masnerjoch (Trail 26). The route from See joins at this point. From the Masnerjoch keep following the trail along the east ridge to the summit of Hexenkopf. This route involves climbing in the first grade (UIAA I) and is a bit exposed. It is possible to combine both routes to make a traverse of the mountain.
How to get There
The official website of Serfaus-Fiss and Ladis includes a route-planner. Fill in your home address for your route information. The route planner can be found here. This link also provides information about Train & Bus schedules as well as Taxi services.
For information about getting to See im Paznauntal see the official Website. This site provides a description of all access routes by car as well as timetables for buses and train.
When to climb
Hexenkopf can be climbed best during the summer months (june / September) when there is no snow present on the mountain.
Internet Page: Here
Maps & Books
Leichte 3000er – Dieter Seibert - Bruckmann Verlag - ISBN 9783765436772
Kummerleyand Frey – Ischgl & Serfaus - 1:35.000 - ISBN 9783259007136
Kompass 42- Landeck Nauders Samnaun Group – 1:50.000 - ISBN 9783850265423
Bergfex Weather Serfaus
Accomodation in Serfaus
Interactive Map with the route to Hexenkopf