”Roßkuppe” (2152m), (say: Rosskuppe) though only a minor peak in the Gesäuse main crest, is a very well known mountain in Styria because of it's famous bigwall climbs (up to 2000 feet high limestone climbs). It's a summit for climbers only, because the easiest route has already UIAA difficulty II (it's the Dachlgrat). If people use the Dachlgrat to climb the Hochtor (2369m), then Roßkuppe is only traversed. The main reason to climb Roßkuppe itself is when climbers take one of the bigwall routes through the northwest- and northfaces.
Climbing OverviewThe most conspicuous object is the northwest buttress, which ends at the southwest shoulder (2126m). The left side of the buttress is the northface, which begins in the innermost part of the Peternpfad-gorge. Directly down from the summit to the gorge is the northwestface, creating the big northern dihedral with the northface. The right side of the buttress leads to the Dachl northface, creating the "west dihedral", which is also known under the name "death dihedral", though as far as I know never a deadly climbing accident happened there. But it was for more than 30 years the most difficult climb in the Gesäuse group.
|Route Overview for Roßkuppe (my subjective and of course incomplete selection)|
|Route Name (Character)||First Climbers||First Climbing Date||UIAA Difficulty||Height||Remarks|
|Rosskuppe Northwest Buttress||Sixt & Hinterberger||Aug.17th,1925||UIAA V/A0||600m||Most famous route, sometimes crowded on weekends|
|Northwest Dihedral||Poppinger, Eitzenberger||1933||UIAA V+/A0||500m||Cracks and chimneys in the dihedral corner|
|Direct Northwestface||Forstenlechner,Ambichl||1950||UIAA VI-/A1||450m||mainly dihedral and crack climb|
|West Dihedral (Death dihedral)||Schinko, Sikorovsky||13-16 june 1936||UIAA V+/A2 (VII+)||530m||dihedrals and cracks, big overhangs|
|Schiefe Parallele||Enserer, Schierhuber||1983||UIAA VI+||400m||dihedrals and cracks|
Towns And VillagesGstatterboden (altitude 577m):
The small village between the towns Admont and Hieflau can be reached with the railway from Vienna, Graz or Salzburg. If you come with the car from Vienna, the best way is via Suedautobahn and the Semmering to Leoben, and then via Erzberg to Hieflau and Gstatterboden.
HutsHaindlkar hut (1121m):
"The basecamp" for all climbs in the Haindlkar, also for the Roßkuppe.
To reach it, follow the street from Gstatterboden approximately 2 kilometers to the west (towards Admont), where you will find a conspicuous parking lot on the left side of the street, with a sign "Haindlkarhütte". From here follow the trail to the hut, and you'll be there after approximately one hour.
Hess hut (1699m):
Not so important for Roßkuppe, because it is on the eastside of the mountain. The summit is reachable from here via Peternscharte and Dachlgrat, but it is usually only traversed, because nearly all people go via Dachlgrat to Hochtor, the main summit of the group. However, the hut could be important for a descent after a climb through the northwestface, if bad weather comes up and a descent via Peternpfad is for some reason not possible.
The hut can be reached from a bridge across the river Enns (Kummerbrücke), approximately 2 kilometers east of Gstatterboden. From there leads a fantastic cableroute ("Wasserfallweg", translated: "waterfalltrail") to the Hess hut (approx. 3 hours).
Red TapeThe peak is part of the Nationalpark Gesäuse. You should not leave anything except your footsteps there.
When To ClimbThe best time is between mid of may and mid of october. Of course most routes already have their winter ascents. Take into consideration, that you may need to ascend via a long, steep snowfield often until end of june, before you reach the entry of the Peternpfad.
CampingI would not recommend to camp in the Nationalpark. Stay either in Gstatterboden or better in one of the huts.
Mountain ConditionsA good site for weather conditions for Gesäuse is http://www.bergsteigen.at/meteo/wetter.epl?region=06
Because the detailed address above may change over time, you may surf to http://www.bergsteigen.at/ , then click on "Bergwetter", and there under "BERGREGION" select "Ennstaler Alpen". Though the site is German, you can easily interpret the sun/cloud paintings near the words "heute" (means today), "morgen" (tomorrow) and "übermorgen" (in two days).
Maps And Guidebooks1) Austrian Map,
You can either buy there a 1:50000 digital Austrian map CD, or you can view the map online using a small Java application.
2) AV-guide Gesäuseberge, from Willi End.
Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, Munich.
3) Kletterführer Gesäuse, from Schall/Wagner/Wolf.
Describes selected routes (German) from this area.