Mottakopf is probably the easternmost summit of the Schesaplana-Group of the Rätikon Range. It stands at the end of a short ridge, which originates in Wildberg, then runs eastwards to Mottakopf, only to drop steeply to Mittelberg a hill like summit above Brand, the tourist center in the east of Rätikon. The ridge, while short, is very impressive dropping for about 1500m before it reaches the valley floor. The south side is dominated by steep alpine meadows which reach up to the summit while to the north the ridge drops off in vertical or overhanging faces.
Mottakopf is a typical summit for the northern limestone Alps. Most of it is covered in Greenery while only the very summit block appears to be more solid. In this case the summit block is made up from about 40m of solid dolomite with a weakness of 50m width in which the meadows reach almost up to the top. The whole area is used for sheep and cattle grazing so that more often than not you will find the summit occupied by a flock of these animals.
During the ascent of Mottakopf you can admire one of the Alps most impressive cirques, a slightly smaller version of Cirque de Garvanie in the Pyrenees. It is located between Seekopf, Schesaplana and Wildberg and drops from 2900m down to about 1400m. The Garvanie impression is made complete by a big waterfall, which however, doesn't reach the height of its famous counterpart.
Thanks to the location on the end of its ridge Mottakopf is a perfect lookout peak. It looks out across Brandnertal Valley and offers wonderful close-up and deep views into the Rätikon Range. For any further views you obviously need clear weather, which we didn't have during our ascent.
The whole Sonnenlagant area beneath the Wildberg Ridge is an Eldorado for marmots. We had the luck of observing a whole family with the young couriously observing us while the parents coolly looked on. I never had the opportunity to observe young marmots up close. They appear to be more intelligent than they probably are ;-)
360° Summit Panorama
Trailhead for Mottakopf is the end of Brandnertal. If you take the road to the Lünersee Cable-Car you'll reach a bend in the road, where it takes you across the Gletscherbach Creek. A few metres behind the curve there is a small parking space (4 cars). The trailhead starts back at the bend in the road (signs).
Brandnertal itself has its own exit on motorway A14 and is located directly opposite of the regional capital Bludenz. The motorway connects Bregenz on Lake Constance (and thus the border region between Switzerland, Austria and Germany) with Innsbruck across Arlberg Pass or Tunnel. Thus the area can be very easily reached.
Red TapeThere's no Red Tape here. Obviously, as the region is used for cattle grazing any fences or gates need to be closed after you hike through them.
Since Brandnertal is a well known ski area there is plenty of accommodation nearby. You can use the following link:
Also, in Bürserberg, near the mouth of the valley, there is a campground if you are inclined this way.
Maps & Books
- Brandnertal / Nenzinger Himmel / Rätikon
1 : 35.000
Verlag Freytag & Berndt