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Marxenkarspitze
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Marxenkarspitze

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Marxenkarspitze

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Tirol, Austria, Europe

Lat/Lon: 47.40903°N / 11.40525°E

Object Title: Marxenkarspitze

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 8652 ft / 2637 m

 

Page By: selinunte01

Created/Edited: Aug 20, 2014 / Aug 20, 2014

Object ID: 909778

Hits: 455 

Page Score: 77.48%  - 8 Votes 

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Overview

 
Marxenkarspitze
Marxenkarspitze as seen from the north


Marxenkarspitze is a summit of the Karwendel main ridge, also called Hinterautal - Vomper ridge, located between Ödkarspitzen and Große Seekarspitze.

This main ridge is bordered by Karwendel valley to the north and Hinterau valley to the south.

The huge cirque Großes Ödkar confines our summit to the south which sends the steep Ödkar creek down to Hinterau valley. To the north the huge north ridge of Marxenkarspitze divides Marxenkar cirque into an eastern and western part. Both parts unite at about a hight of 2000 m and drop down steeply into Karwendel valley.

Being in a position “in between” Große Seekarspitze to the west and Ödkarspitzen to the east, Marxenkarspitze leads a rather lonely life. First of all, Marxenkarspitze is not a very spectacular summit. It is the culmination point of the connecting ridge between Ödkarspitzen and Seekarspitze, a heap of scree and talus, slabs and crumbly rocks. Furthermore Marxenkarspitze is a good deal lower than Ödkarspitzen or Große Seekarspitze. Having a prominence of about 100 m does not add to the attractiveness. So I don´t think that many people choose Marxenkarspitze as their only goal, if ever!

Moreover a very popular ski tour route, the so called “Karwendel Reib´n” (Reib´n = Bavarian / Tirolese for loop) circles round north of the summit; the route descends eastern Marxenkar cirque, coming from Ödkarspitzen traverse and ascends again western Marxenkar cirque to the summit of Große Seekarspitze. Not many ski tourists include the Marxenkarspitze summit into their route.

Poor lonely Marxenkarspitze!

Nevertheless I opt for summiting Marxenkarspitze. A good purpose to visit this summit is the beautiful traverse from Große Seekarspitze to Marxenkarspitze, Ödkarspitzen and Birkkarspitze; a rather easy stroll on high Karwendel mountains, scree trails, easy rock scramble up to UIAA grade I and II (only one part). You can do this traverse from and to Karwendelhaus or, the more spectacular but demanding and very long route, from Pleisenhütte using Toni Gaugg Höhenweg to Breitgrieskarspitze, Breitgrieskarscharte and continuing from there to Große Seekarspitze. Allow 8 to 10 hours for that traverse option.

I don´t know wether the attractive looking north ridge of Marxenkarspitze, a grade IV climb, is a common climbing route. If you trust Google – I don´t think so. Nevertheless this north ridge or north arête is an eye-catching rock feature and the only keen aspect of our lonely stone heap.

 
Marxenkarspitze
Marxenkarspitze as seen from Soiern subgroup


Marxenkarspitze was first summited and named by Hermann von Barth on July 6th, 1870. The following excerpt of his book “Aus den Nördlichen Kalkalpen” shows his traverse of Marxenkarspitze, coming from Birkar- and Ödkarspitzen and continuing to Große Seekarspitze.

„Kurz nach 2 Uhr hatte ich meine Arbeit auf dem Gipfel (the summit of Mittlere Ödkarspitze; selinunte01) beendet. Die zerstreut umherliegenden Ausrüstungsgegenstände wurden zusammengelesen und in den Bergsack verpackt, die Steigeisen wieder festgeschnallt, dem Ödkarspitz Lebewohl gesagt. In raschen Sätzen ging's den schütteren Westabhang des Gipfels hinunter, prasselnd zerstoben die mürben Felssplitter unter den wuchtig dareinstoßendcn Eisenzinken. Noch eine kleine Strecke stieg ich hinan: auch der westliche Eckpunkt, die dritte Wellenerhebung des gedehnten Rückens mußte besucht werden, wurde aber ohne jeglichen Aufenthalt sofort wieder verlassen - und wieder zertrat der bei jedem Schritte stark vorwärts gleitende Fuß das knirschende Gerölle, brach sich am quergehaltenen Bergstocke die Gewalt des Aufpralls und fand an ihm der zurückgebeugte, bei unvermutetem Rutschen und Abfahren des Fußes fast den Felsboden berührende Körper eine sichere Stütze und verlässige Erhaltung seines Gleichgewichts
In wenigen Minuten war der geradlinig flachgeneigte Westabfall der Gipfelmasse mir im Rücken, vor mir streckte sich der Felsgrat zur nächsten Kuppe hinüber, hinter welcher der Seekarspitz bereits wieder verschwunden war. Die Schneide war bequem zu begehen; ihren geringen, wellenförmigen Erhebungen wich ich auf den Schuttbändern der Nordseite aus und ließ mich an dieser - in der Nähe des Zwischengipfels angelangt - völlig ins Kar herab, welches eine Seitenbucht des Marxenkars darstellt und sich in größerer Tiefe mit demselben vereinigt.
Der nächst zu besteigende Gipfel, dessen Erhebung vom Hauptkamme weg mir zu schroff erschien, wurde an seinem gegen Norden vorgestreckten Seitenaste in Angriff genommen und von einem flachen Geröllsattel des letzteren aus ohne Schwierigkeit erstiegen; ich glaubte denselben am passendsten Marxenkarspitz benennen zu sollen.
Der Aufenthalt währte hier nur eine kleine Viertelstunde und wurde zur Bestimmung des Horizontalverlaufes der Kette nach dem Ödkarspitze einerseits, dem Seekarspitze andererseits, sowie der Streichrichtung des nördlichen Ausläufers verwendet; die Entfernung bis zum Seekarspitze erwies sich nun, da ich das ganze inzwischen liegende Kar überblicken konnte, als noch sehr bedeutend, und mahnte zu rascher Fortsetzung des Marsches, zudem die dichter sich ballenden Wolken ein Gewitter in ziemlich sichere Aussicht stellten.“
[Hermann von Barth: Aus den Nördlichen Kalkalpen“]

You see, even the first climber of Marxenkarspitze stayed only 1/4 hour on that summit.

As I said: Poor lonely Marxenkarspitze!


Getting There

 
Marxenkarspitze
Marxenkarspitze and Große Seekarspitze as seen from Pleisenspitze


The best trailhead for Marxenkarspitze is Scharnitz, from where you should go on to Karwendelhaus for an overnight stay.

You reach Scharnitz by car:

  • From Munich via highway A 95 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and road number B 2 to Mittenwald and to Scharnitz.

  • From Kufstein, Innsbruck or Arlberg region follow the highway A 12 (Inntal highway, fee required) to the exit Zirl. At Zirl proceed on road number 177 to Seefeld and Scharnitz.

  • Alternatively follow from Telfs in the Inntal valley the Buchener Straße and on road number L 36 up to Leutasch Gasse. Go on on road number L 75 and 177 to Scharnitz.


  • At the church near Isar bridge take Hinterautalstraße in southern direction. After the undergrade passing of the railways you reach a huge parking area to your left (fees!). 300 m further on there is another small parking area after the bridge across river Isar to your right.

    Scharnitz can be reached with railway, too. See the railway schedule here.

    The Karwendelhaus ascent from Scharnitz uses the long Karwendeltal road up to Hochalmsattel, the col between Birkkarspitze and Östliche Karwendelspitze where the huge mountain hut is located. MTB is nearly a must (otherwise 13 km walk!). Start at the small parking area, ascend the road to your left and turn immediately to the right. The road uses the lower slopes of Brunnsteinspitze to enter into Karwendel valley. Go on nearly level or with a very moderate grade to former Larchetalm (unfortunately demolished after a quarrel about how to run this former mountain hut within the National Park of Karwendel) and further on to Anger Alm. After passing Anger Alm meadows the road ascends with some switchbacks to Hochalmsattel. Take the right hand road at the Hochalmsattel road junction to reach Karwendelhaus.

    Karwendelhaus can be reached, too, from

  • Hinterriß via Johannistal and Kleiner Ahornboden (MTB possible)

  • Falkenhütte via Kleiner Ahornboden

  • Hallerangerhaus via Kastenalm, Birkkar, Schlauchkarsattel (long and demanding traverse)






  • Routes Overview



     
    Marxenkarspitze
    Karwendelhaus, an important Karwendel mountain hut and trailhead


    Marxenkar ascents

    from Karwendelhaus

    Take the trail to Birgkarspitze / Schlauchkar which starts at the winter hut. Ascend the first steep part of that trail (slippery slabs with some steel ropes for extra security) and enter the lower part of Schlauchkar.

    At the second trail junction take the right hand trail (signpost “Brendelsteig”, “Anton-Gaugg-Höhenweg”) and traverse the lower Schlauchkar and the base of Ödkarspitzen north face. Ascend the partly secured steep and narrow trail to the north ridge od Westliche Ödkarspitze.

    Arriving there take the trail which goes straight on (no signpost!); do not follow the trail which branches off to the right as this one descends the north ridge and leads into the eastern part of Marxenkar. Follow the trail on the north ridge (some rock scramble) until the ridge gets very steep. The trail / route traverses now the broad ridge in western direction (slabs, scree, crumbly rock, pay attention!) and reaches the scree fields of the west face of Westliche Ödkarspitze.
    Follow the trail in southern direction until its bends to the east to climb Westliche Ödkarspitze. Leave the trail at this point (or a bit further on) to gain the broad ridge between Ödkarspitzen and Marxenkarspitze.

    Follow the ridge on a cairned route, climbing over two unnamed minor summits (easy rock scramble, cairns, sometimes tracks to follow) until you reach the last saddle in front of Marxenkarspitze. Just follow the narrow foot track up to the summit. If there is a cornice below the summit best circle around it on its northern – right side to gain the summit.

     
    Marxenkarspitze
    Marxenkarspitze as seen from Ödkarspitzen

    from Karwendeltal

    This rather uncommon route can be done as a day hike if you use your MTB for the approach to Marxenkar.

    Start at Scharnitz parking areas and follow the forest road route to Karwendelhaus. Pass by former Larchetalm. Go on to Angeralm and the beautiful meadows.
    Near the eastern end of Angeralm meadows where the road starts to ascend to Karwendelhaus stay right and traverse the meadows on a narrow track to Karwendelbach creek. Traverse the creek and look out for a trail starting to ascend lower Marxenkar cirque. First the trail follows the creek coming down from Marxenkar.Then it navigates through the steep lower rock faces of Marxenkar and gains the dwarf pine zone and meadows of middle Marxenkar cirque on its western side.
    The hunterst trail now turns in eastern direction and ascends to Toni Gaugg Höhenweg near the lower end of Marxenkarspitze north arête. There is a huge stone with red inscriptions to Angeralm (the trail you just came) and Karwendelhaus.

    Turn left and follow Toni Gaugg Höhenweg in the direction to Karwendelhaus. After the traverse of the cirque the trail climbs steeply up the north ridge of Westliche Ödkarspitze (some rock scramble secured with steel ropes) where the trail joins Brendelsteig, one of the ascend routes to Ödkarspitzen.

    Turn right there and follow Brendelstein up the north ridge until the trail traverses the ridge to the west (some easy rock scramble) and gains the western scree slopes of Westliche Ödkarspitze. Follow the trail until its turns left / east to climb the west slopes of Westliche Ödkarspitze. leave the trail there and climb up the scree slopes to the ridge between Ödkarspitzen and Marxenkarspitze.
    Best follow the ridge crest, climbing over two unnamed minor summits (easy rock scramble, cairns, sometimes tracks to follow) until you reach the last saddle in front of Marxenkarspitze. Just follow the narrow foot track up to the summit. If there is a cornice below the summit best circle around it on its northern – right side to gain the summit.

     
    Marxenkarspitze
    Walking from Ödkarspitzen to Marxenkarspitze


    The ski route would be straightforward from the huge block up Marxenkar cirque. Depending on the snow cover and quality use the west (better) or east part (less god as you have to overcome then the two unnamed minor summits) of the cirque for the ascent / descent.


    Ödkar cirque route from Hinterautal

    I do not know this route personally. If someone has more acurate information please let me know!

    This long and partly off-trail route has no mountain hut for an overnight stay. Best use your bike, start from Scharnitz into Hinterautal valley until Ödkar cirque branches off to the left. Cross Ödkar creek on the forest road of Hinterautal. About 150 m after the crossing a trail branches off the road to your left. Leave the bike there and follow that trail which leads first north and then in zigzags northeast up the west slopes of Birgköpfe, the huge south ridge coming down from Mittlere Ödkarspitze and dividing Großes Ödkar and Birgkar.

    Do not follow the trail which stays at or near Ödkar creek.

    The trail ascends along the west slope of Birgköpfe and traverses several ravines before navigating through the dwarf pine zone. I do not think that this trail (more or less a hunters trail) is maintained regularily so the ravine traverses can be difficult if the trail has been swept away.

    At a height of about 1650 m the trail hits Ödkar creek again. From there on I have only internet based information about the conditions of the route. Due to that there is a dwarf pine overgrown rocky ridge at the bottom of a valley that leads up to the upper parts of Großes Ödkar. You have to ascend that ridge – there should still be a track zigzagging up to a grassy chute. Ascend that long and steep chute, it leads to the upper broad part of Großes Ödkar. From there gain the ridge between Ödkarspitzen and Marxenkarspitze and reach the summit via the east ridge.

     
    Marxenkarspitze
    Traverse Seekarspitze to Marxenkarspitze


    Traverse from Große Seekarspitze

    Descend the east ridge from Große Seekarspitze into the notch east of the summit (UIAA grade I / II climb, bad rock).

    Alternatively use the scree track starting on the ridge between Kleine and Große Seekarspitze and traversing the northeast slopes of the latter until you reach the east ridge.

    Stay more or less on the ridge crest. After some short ups and downs on the ridge ascend the crux (5 m UIAA grade II) and some more easier rocks up to a peak within the ridge. Follow the ridge on scree, slabs and easy rocks, partly on a foot track, until you reach Marxenkarspitze. Nice Karwendel walk!


    Traverse from Ödkarspitzen

    Descend Westliche Ödkarspitze on the Brendelsteig trail until the trail bends more north to enter upper Marxenkar. Leave the trail there and best stay on the Ödkarspitzen west ridge until you reach a col in front of the first of two minor bumps in the connecting ridge to Marxenkarspitze.

    Best follow the ridge crest, climbing over the two bumps (easy rock scramble, cairns, sometimes tracks to follow) until you reach the last saddle in front of Marxenkarspitze. Follow the narrow foot track up to the summit. If there is a cornice below the summit best circle around it on its northern – right side to gain the summit.

     
    Marxenkarspitze
    Marxenkarspitze with north arete and Marxenkar (ski route)


    North arête

    IV – 2 h

    The north arête divides upper Marxenkar in a western and eastern part. I have no information about that route.


    Ski detour from Karwendel Reibn

    Descend with skies from Westliche Karwendelspitze into Großes Ödkar until you reach a height of about 2300 m; ascend again with skies into the last saddle east of Marxenkarspitze. From there follow the east slope, turn right and gain the north ridge to navigate around the normally huge corniche east of the summit. Ascend the uppermost part of the north ridge to the summit.

    To continue Karwendel Reibn drive down on skies to the saddle east of the summit and traverse best to the northeast to gain the ski descend route from Westliche Ödkarspitze. With good snow conditions a direct ski descend from the saddle into Marxenkar should be possible, too.


    Red Tape & Accommodation

     
    Marxenkarspitze
    Marxenkarspitze


    Red Tape

    Marxenkarspitze 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. Please respect the following rules in the National Park:



    There is a National Park Information Center at Hinterriß.

    The parking areas at Scharnitz require a parking fee!


    Accommodation

    Food and lodging can be found at

  • Scharnitz

  • Mittenwald

  • Leutasch


  • Camping is not allowed within Alpenpark Karwendel.

    Mountain huts

  • Karwendelhaus




  • Gear & Mountain Condition

    Marxenkarspitze can be climbed nearly the whole year.

    In late spring, summer and autumn Marxenkarspitze is a lonely and typical Karwendel outing with scree, crumbly rocks, slabs and on all routes off-trail parts. All routes are rather long and demanding.

    The traverse from Große Seekarspitze requires a short climb with UIAA grade II in frail and crumbly rock.

    In winter and spring Marxenkarspitze is as ski tour and an “encore” to the Karwendel ski loop. You need full ski tour and avalanche gear.

    Check the Tirol avalanche bulletin here.

    Current Weather:



    Camping

     
    Marxenkarspitze
    Marxenkarspitze east ridge


    Maps

    Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 25.000
    Blatt Nr. 5/2, Mittleres Blatt
    Online Shop Deutscher Alpenverein

    For the Karwendelhaus ascents you need:

    Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 25.000
    Blatt Nr. 5/1, Westliches Blatt
    Online Shop Deutscher Alpenverein

    Bayerische Topographische Karte 1 : 50.000
    Karwendel, UK 50/51
    Landessamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation, München


    Guide Books

    Walter Klier
    Alpenvereinsführer Karwendel alpin
    Bergverlag Rother, München

    for rock climbing:

    Walter Klier
    Alpenvereinsführer extrem
    Bergverlag Rother, München
    (out of stock)

    Available only in German

    Images

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