OverviewMountain terminal of the Schaufeljoch cable car - Gaisskarferner ("Ferner" = glacier) - lower terminal of the Gaisskarferner T-bar lift - Pfaffenferner - Pfaffenjoch - Sulzenauferner - summit of Zuckerhuetl
Route DescriptionThe mountain terminal of the Schaufeljoch cable car (3,158 m) is the starting point for the ski tours to Zuckerhuetl and to Wilder Paff. First you ski down the well-groomed piste on Gaisskarferner to the lower terminal of the Gaisskarferner T-bar lift. From this terminal there are 3 routes to Pfaffenferner: an upper route, a middle route, and a lower route. The upper route is a track which begins right at the terminal (see photo entitled "Ants' trail"). For the middle and the lower routes you have to go down the valley on your right a bit, and catch the respective tracks leading up to Pfaffenferner. Then you go up Pfaffenferner to Pfaffenjoch (3,212 m) and head across Sulzenauferner towards Zuckerhuetl. You will be on the track which also leads to Wilder Pfaff. Zuckerhuetl will appear on your right. Below Zuckerhuetl, the track to Wilder Pfaff branches off to the left. Keep to the right. When you arrive at the east ridge of Zuckerhuetl (still on Sulzenauferner, above Pfaffensattel) the track turns to the right and zigzags up the steep east ridge to the place where you will leave your skis. The track gets steeper and steeper. Leave your skis about 50 m below the summit, where the rocks begin, and walk up through the snow-covered channel between the rocks.
The route is not difficult, most of it being rather flat. The final ascent to the summit is steep, but not difficult or dangerous when there is enough soft snow in the passage and as long as you stay clear of the rocky east ridge on your left.
Also see the trip report plus photos by Sebastian Hamm.
GearDepending on conditions, crampons may be necessary for a safe final ascent to the summit (and a safe descent), but on a warm day in spring you normally don't need them.
Getting ThereInnsbruck - motorway direction Brenner/Brennero (A13) - exit Schoenberg/Stubaital (toll) - road into the Stubaital (183) to the very end - car park (free) at Mutterbergalm/Stubaier Gletscherbahn - Eisgrat station - Schaufeljoch cable car/mountain terminal
AccommodationYou can also use Hildesheimer Huette as a base. The hut has a "winter house". Contact the hut warden, Gustav Fiegl, Windau 608, A-6450 Soelden, Austria: +4352542090 (home phone) or +436645217906 (mobile phone). You go to the hut from Gaisskarferner, branching off to the right about half way between the mountain terminal of the Schaufeljoch cable car and the lower terminal of the Gaisskarferner T-bar lift. From the hut, you go back the same way, or take a short cut to a place further down (closer to Pfaffenferner), and you will be on the route to Zuckerhuetl and Wilder Pfaff (or to Sonklarspitze). You can also go up to the hut from Soelden via the Windachtal ("Tal" = valley) and Gaiskar.
Online MapsAustrian Map online
Online digital maps of Austria (OEK 50, OEK 200 and OEK 500) by the BEV (Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen) - in German
When To ClimbMarch - June
Current avalanche conditions
External LinksVom Eisjoch auf das Zuckerhuetl - description of the standard ski route in German
Comment: Nowadays the best approach is the one via Eisgrat station to the mountain terminal of the Schaufeljoch cable car. This terminal, the Jochdohle restaurant, and the Eisjoch terminal are very close to each other.
Stubaier Gletscherbahn (Stubai cable car)