Rising close to the highest part of Niedere Tauern, Preber's trails by its altitude Hochgolling, the highest suimmit, for only 123 m. But Preber's nature is much different. It has steep, rocky slopes towards the north and north-east, but its most distinct feature is the long south-east ridge, from which gentle slopes are falling towards the south and south-west. From the fore-summit another gentle shoulder is descending towards the south, offering ideal ski slopes. That's where you can choose slopes, oriented more towards the SE, S or SW. The western slopes of Preber are again more steep and partially also rocky.
As other mountains in this area, also Preber is delimited from the neighbouring mountains by long, flat valleys, reaching from the main valley of river Mur deep into the main massif.
To the north-west of Preber the neighbouring summit of Roteck stands. It is even 2 meters higher than Preber, but, at least in winter and spring, far less frequented. Over it Preber attaches to the main spine of Niedere Tauern mountains.
You best reach the valley of Mur by the Villach - Salzburg highway, exit St. Michael. From there drive towards the east along Mur till Tamsweg. The other approach direction is from the east, if you come, for example by Pyhrn highway and drive up the river Mur valley towards the west till Tamsweg. Tamsweg has also a railway connection.
In Tamsweg you take the road towards the NE, which brings you to Prebersee (Preber Lake), 1514 m. There is the trailhead of the shortest and most obvious approach route. The trailheads in/above Oberdorf (in Lessachtal) and in the valley of Feister Bach are a bit more remote. You can reach Preber See also by a bus, which drives there from Tamsweg.
1. South slopes.From Prebersee, 1514 m, take the marked path towards the N to Preberhalterhuette, 1862 m, and further towards the N directly on top of the fore-summit and further on the main summit. 3 h 30 min, easy hike-up. Also the most popular ski tour.
2. South-east ridge.From the saddle east of Preber See ascend towards the NE Grazer Huette, 1896 m, then follow the main ridge towards the NW all the way to the top. 3 h 30 min, easy hike-up.
3. From Lessachtal.From Unterdorf or Oberdorf, 1198 m, a mountain road brings you towards the NE on Wagenberg, 1402 m. From there follow the marked path towards the N, and over the slopes of Golzalm towards the E into Preberkessel. By the valley you can reach towards the N the saddle, named Muehlbachtoerl, and from it both highest summits: Roteck and Preber. From the lower part of Preberkessel you can also cross further towards the East and reach Preber's south slopes. There go on top as described in #1.
You can see a detailed map (1:50000) on-line on: http://www.austrianmap.at/.
Red TapeFor the summit ascent there are no limitations. Otherwise the area is protected as the Niedere Tauern National Parc.
When To Climb?
As only the highest part of the ascent is a bit steeper, Preber can be virtually ascended in any season, appropriate equipment provided, of course.
Mountain Huts And Camping
On the SE ridge there stands the official mountain hut, called Grazer Huette, 1896 m. It can be rached from the road east of Preber See by a marked path (or a mountain road - using a bike) in 1 hour. The hut has 25 beds and is opened from begin of June till end of September. Telephones - Hut: +43/650/7845693, in the valley: +43/6476/512, Mobile: +43/650/7845693. Web address: www.grazer-huette.at.
Mountain ConditionsFor weather conditions for Austria see here (then choose regions: Salzburg, Steiermark and Kaernten).
Here is the avalanche info page for Steiermark.