In Slovenian language košuta means a hind and on the northern side of the range there is also a farm with this name. The word turn means tower. By the whole range today the border between Austria and Slovenia runs, but for mountaineering visits it is a non issue.
All mountains in Košuta range are beautiful creatures with a very different northern and southern side. While the southern (Slovenian) side is grassy, the slopes are only on a few places intermitted with rocks, the northern (Austrian) side is a true long rock wall, over which easier passages are posible only on a few places. Košutnikov Turn is a rocky tower in this wall. In its solid northern face there are many nice and also quite hard climbing routes. Actually in the vicinity of Košutnikov Turn also the nature of the southern side changes considerably. Also there you will find steep rocky sections, falling down in the valley of Dolga Njiva.
Košutnikov Turn is a goal of hikers and climbers in summer. In winter it is not so frequently ascended, but with the right equipment it offers nice winter tours and in very good conditions allows also skiing down from its very top. That is however already an alpinistic ski tour.
As from the whole Košuta range, the view from Košutnikov Turn is very broad. On the SE Kamnik and Savinja Alps are rising high, on the NE the massif of Obir attracts views, along the range of Karavanke/Karawanken you can see a lot of summits of an equal height rising and in the distance there are Julian Alps. On the southern side the hilly Slovenia can be well seen and on the northern side in the distance many groups of Eastern Alps.
The northern approach goes from Koschutahaus, 1280 m, which can be in summer reached by a good road (private, toll!) from Sele-Fara / Zell-Pfarre. In winter this road might get cleaned only in May when the hut opens. Otherwise see the main page how to reach Sele/Zell.
Hikes and Ferratas
1. South ascent - western variant. From Dolga njiva private hut you go a few minutes towards the W, following the marked path which connects alpine meadows below Košuta. In a forrest there's a well marked crossroads where you deter uphills (in the N direction). The path is steep, but well beaten and marked. It winds up in several turns, choosing best passages in the terrain. After good 1 hour some more care is needed, especially in summer when grass is higher. Don't follow a hunters path which goes left across the slopes and also not the other path, going right. Just proceed up, at the end a bit towards the right until you reach the notch on the main ridge. There turn right and follow the main ridge to the top. 2 h 15 min from Dolga Njiva, 2 h 30 min from the parking place on the road. Difficulty grading by the SAC & DAV scale would be T2.
2. South ascent - eastern variant. From Dolga njiva private hut you continue by alpine meadows towards the east. When reaching the upper meadows of Dolga Njiva, south of Tolsta Košuta, you turn by the marked path sharp left and start ascending over the slopes of Košutnikov Turn. Through dwarf pines you reach a steeper section, there the path starts winding up through passages among steep rocks. The path gets steep and on several places also exposed. It keeps going in the western direction, passing above distinct red rocks and below the summit joining the variant 1. Overall, the path is well marked, but goes over an exposed terrain. From Dolga Njiva 2 h 45 min. Difficulty grading by the SAC & DAV scale would be T3.
3. North ascent - western variant. From Koschutahaus we follow the inscription towards the left. A good marked path (No. 601) goes eastwards, first on Grosova planina / Grosalm, then on an overgrown Mejnik saddle (1500 m, 30 min till here). There is a crossroads, we follow now the path No. 642, going slightly up towards the walls of Košutnikov Turn. On the scree slope the path branches again. While the left branch (see below variant 4) goes around the mountan, we deter right up towards the west ravine of Košutnikov Turn. By the ravine we climb steeply, the path is well protected by iron pegs and in a pleasant climb we reach the notch on the main ridge. From there it's only some 15 more minutes to the highest point. 2 h 45 min from Koschutahaus. Difficulty grading by the SAC & DAV scale would be T4 (or, an easy ferrata, Austrian grade B). Actually, just below the exit the ferrata branches into the B/C variant (over an attractive bridge) and the usual B continuation.
SAC & DAV scale would be T4 (or easier, depending on conditions).
5. By the west ridge. From alpine meadows on the west and by the whole ridge of Košuta a quite demanding marked path goes. Crossing the whole range of Košuta is one of the most beautiful tours in Karavanke. Of course you can come up on Košutnikov Turn by that way from the west, but it is also possible to do a steep ascent from Dolga njiva and then continue by the main ridge towards the west. Difficulty grading of the ridge path would be by the SAC & DAV scale T3.
6. By the east ridge. From the summit of Tolsta Košuta a sharp ridge goes towards Košutnikov Turn. The summit of Tolsta Košuta, 2057 m, can be easilly reached by a path from Dolga Njiva (it goes by the SE ridge, not marked). From there on you mostly follow the main ridge towards the west. The first bumps are easy, although the ridge requires come care. Then the rocky barrier on the ridge comes. You climb towards the right, after some 15 meters you find yourself on the sharp main ridge again and you follow it further on. Mostly there is a steep, very demanding hike, occasionally there are climbing sections of UIAA I degree or a little harder. When coming closer to Košutnikov Turn, you find yourself on one of the last ridge bumps. To descend it, you need to overcome the hardest section. The rock is only a few meters high, on top of it there's a peg for belaying. If you climb down there free, the difficulty is some UIAA II+. After that you soon reach the exit of the NE ravine and as described before the highest point of Košutnikov Turn. From Dolga Njiva private hut you have some 2 h on the summit of Tolsta Košuta and 1 h 30 min to the summit of Košutnikov Turn. Difficulty grading by the SAC & DAV scale would be T6 (climbing sections of UIAA II, exposed).
Besides the approach from Koschutahaus, from the north also several other (longer) approaches are possible, but they all join on the saddle NW od Košutnikov Turn / Koschutnikturm. See the on-line map to get hiking ideas!
When I mentioned skiing from Košutnikov Turn, the obviously only reasonable variant is by the North-east ravine. The summit slopes are very steep and require perfect skills of skiing. Also the upper part of the ravine can be dangerous. It is very steep and rocks around can be in bad conditions unstable. The whole skiing is being considered already as an alpinistic skiing, not and ordinary ski tour.
Harder ClimbsSolid rock and nice up to 400 meters high walls make Košutnikov Turn very popular with climbers. Here is the list of classical routes:
1. East Chimneys (Ostkamine). A. Ferc, E. Orel and R. Szalay, 1924. IV, 300 m.
2. North face Chimneys (Nordwandkamine). II-III, 350 m.
3. Pucher-Heider Chimneys. III, 350 m.
4. North Pillar (Nordwand, Mittelpfeiler). W. Neisser, Korner & R. Ludwig, 1931. V, 350 m.
5. North Edge (Nordkante). F. Knaffl and R. Weitzenboeck, 1907. IV, 350 m. Popular route.
6. Lower Crossing in the W Face (Westwand, Unterer Quergang). W. Neisser, Korner & R. Ludwig, 1931. IV.
7. Upper Crossing on the W Edge (Westkante, Oberer Quergang). A. Ferch and E. Orel, 1925. III-IV.
8. West Wall Direct (Unmittelbare Westwand). W. Wruhs and V. Pretterebner, 1935. VI, 250 m.
MapsYou can see a detailed map on: http://www.austrianmap.at/.
Kompass WK 65: Klopeiner See-Karawanken. 1:50000.
Planinska zveza Slovenije: Karavanke. 1:50000.
Red TapeThere are no restrictions on the mountain.
The road to Koschutahaus must be paid (4 EUR).
Mountain Hutswww.naturfreunde.at. Contact: Christian Dovjak, telephone: ++43 (0) 4227 7110 (Hut), Fax: 7227, mobile: ++43 (0) 664 3468978.
2. On the southern side, on Dolga Njiva, there is a private hut, where in summer you can get food and drink.
When To Climb?
Your Help NeededPlease add, if you have information:
> About the climbing routes in the north walls.
> Winter ascent experiences or even skiing.