OverviewThe Preintaler Steig is a nice scrambling route on the eastern walls of Grosses Höllental. It is much less crowded than the secured vie ferrate of the region. The most difficult part of the route is officially UIAA I, but I would rather rate it to I+ or II-.
By car: Take the road no. 27 to Weichtalhaus or to the eastern gate of the nearby avalanche-tunnel
By public transport: there is a regular bus service in the Höllental. The nearest bus stop is at Weichtalhaus. The actual timetable can be found here
From the eastern gate of the avalanche-tunnel follow the yellow signs to Höllental. The path leads at the foot of the rocks for about a hundred meters. Soon it turns left, and after climbing up a long stairway, it enters to Grosses Höllental. Follow the path for another couple of minutes when an easily recognisable path branches to the left. This is the head of Preintalersteig. Unfortunately there are no signs indicating the direction (maybe to prevent unskilled hikers entering this route).
The path leads you directly to the foot of Loswand through a steep slope. From this point it more or less follows the foot of the wall and also the signs appear (red marks, sometimes with „Preintaler” script). At the highest point of a scree field the path turns left, and after a few meters of easy scramble enters a short chimney which is the key point of the route (I would say UIAA II-, but not exposed).
After the chimney the terrain becomes easier. Simple walk mixed with easy scrambling on the grassy rocks. Later the path turns right, and leads horizontally for a while. The „steigbuch” can be found here in a box. Another few minutes and a small saddle comes with the last metres of scrambling. Finally the path enters a dense forest and after a quarter of an hour it reaches an other trail which is coming up through Teufelsbadstube (the bathroom of the devil).
There are two descending routes:
The easier is to turn left and a few minutes later again left (follow the „Wachthüttlkamm” signs). This track takes you back to the avalanche-tunnel over the beforested ridge of Wachthüttlkamm. The lower part of the trail includes a few ladders, but it is not difficult nor exposed.
A little bit longer and more difficult to turn right and descend by the Teufelsbadstubensteig. It is a via ferrata with a difficulty of „B”. The path ends in the upper part of the Grosses Höllental from where one can reach the starting point by taking the trail with yellow marks (northwards).
The route can also be completed from the opposite direction but it is slightly more difficult downhill.
The time needed for a round-trip is about 4-5 hours.
Essential GearGood shoes, helmet. If the descending route is the Teufelsbadtube, it is advisable to have a full via ferrata set.
External Linkshttp://bergkraxler.heim.at/tour19.html a short description in German with a few photos.
http://gallery.gehberger.at/main.php?g2_itemId=6547 photos of the route. Also in German.