Schönfeldspitze is shurely the most impressive, beautiful and „good looking“ peak of Steinernes Meer / Berchtesgaden Alps. It is a bold, spire-like summit from the north, west and east. Schönfeldspitze, seen from the north or northwest, e.g. from Watzmann, resembles Matterhorn. Consequently it is called sometimes the “Matterhorn of Steinernes Meer”.
So you will not be astonished that Schönfeldspitze is a very popular summit. It looks difficult to climb - all the aretes and ridges look steep and exposed - but the main routes, in some parts secured with some iron devices, are easy options for the experienced hiker or mountaineer who knows how to move in UIAA grade I - rock.
Schönfeldspitze offers three normal routes, an interesting traverse and marvellous 360 degree views from the summit.
The summit ! It is - in my opinion - more than overdone. Be prepared: there is no summit cross, as usual; there is a statue instead ! A giant wooden statue: the holy virgin (about 3 meters high) holding horizontally in front of her the dead body of Jesus Christ, thus forming a sort of cross. It is a famous, well known “landmark” in Steinernes Meer.
For those of the SP community who are always puzzled about the amount of summit crosses in the Alps this statue might cause a sort of shock !
Personally I found it threatening. But you can turn your back on it and savour the gigantic views offered by this beautiful summit.
The main valley trailhead for Schönfeldspitze is Maria Alm on the south side of Steinernes Meer.
You reach Maria Alm from
You reach Saalfelden near Maria Alm by train, too, from Kufstein - Wörgl - Kitzbühel or from Salzburg - Bischofshofen.
For the schedules please refer to the ÖBB homepage.
For the Maria Alm trailheads follow alternatively
Schönfeldspitze can be reached, too, from the following adjacent mountain huts:
Schönfeldspitze is not part of the Nationalpark Berchtesgaden.
There are no special restrictions as far as I know.
Main Routes Overview
Two normal routes start at the Ramseider Scharte (west of the summit) / Riemannhaus one at the Buchauer Scharte (east of the summit). All routes unite below the summit. Thus you can plan a nice traverse of the summit, too.
You reach Ramseider Scharte
From the col and Riemannhaus follow the marked trail to the east, crossing some interesting karst features. The trail starts to ascent to the west arete of Schönfeldspitze, overcoming some rockwalls (UIAA grade I), traverses the upper steep south slopes (some rock scramble) and meets at the east ridge the trail from Buchauer Scharte. The last 100 meters the now united trail zizags steeply up the quite exposed east slope (again some rock scamble).
Alternatively follow the trail from Riemannhaus to Sommerstein. Midway a trail to Schöneck branches off. Follow this trail up to the ridge connecting Sommerstein, Schöneck, Wurmkopf with Schönfeldspitze. The trail follows then this ridge crest, traverses the south slopes below Wurmkopf and reaches the trail junction with the above mentioned trail below the west arete of Schönfeldspitze. Sommerstein, Schöneck and / or Wurmkopf can be easily climbed along this trail.
From the col the trail traverses the north slopes under the lower east ridge of Schönfeldspitze and gains the ridge crest after a while (Schönecknieder). It steeply zigzags up to the trail junction with the Ramseider Scharten trail and reaches the summit.
| || |
Accomodations of all kind - hotels, bed & breakfast, campgrounds - can be found in all major villages around Steinernes Meer:
The following adjacent mountain huts offer overnight stays:
Gear & Mountain Conditions
Schönfeldspitze is mainly a summer and autumn summit.
In combination with a ski hike to the adjacent cols or to the ridgecrests, Schönfeldspitze may be climbed in spring, too. This should be a lot more difficult than in summer / autumn.
You need normal hiking gear with good boots. You need skills to master UIAA grade I in normally good rock.
Helmet is recommended for the summit routes on crowded days. Harness or Via Ferrata kit is not necessary - there simply are not enough fixed ropes ....
Bring enough to drink. As a karst plateau, Steinernes Meer nearly has no water for resupply.
The following topo maps are recommended:
Alpenvereinskarte scale 1 : 25.000
Blatt 10/1, Steinernes Meer, 2006
Topografische Karte von Österreich, scale 1 : 50.000