Mountain terminal of the Schaufeljoch cable car - Gaisskarferner ("Ferner" = glacier) - lower terminal of the Gaisskarferner T-bar lift - lower end of Pfaffenferner - Gamsplatzl - Triebenkarlasferner - Hohes Eis - summit of Sonklarspitze
Route DescriptionThe mountain terminal of the Schaufeljoch cable car (3,158 m) is the starting point for the ski tours to Sonklarspitze, Zuckerhuetl, and Wilder Paff. First you ski down the well-groomed piste on Gaisskarferner to the lower terminal of the Gaisskarferner T-bar lift. Then you go down the valley on your right to the lower end of Pfaffenferner, where you get ready for the ascent. Then you go up the lower part of Pfaffenferner (there is usually a track) until you get to a flat area. Here the track bifurcates. You take the right branch (the left leads to Zuckerhuetl and Wilder Pfaff), and head south, first going down a little and then up the steep slope to Gamsplatzl (3,019 m). From Gamsplatzl, you ski down to the lower end of Triebenkarlasferner, keeping to the left (south-east). Then you go up and across the lower part of Triebenkarlasferner, heading east towards the impressive mass of ice hanging down over the rocks below Sonklarspitze. This section of the route is rather flat. Still heading towards that mass of ice, you go up the steep southern part of Triebenkarlasferner on its left hand side. Just before you get to the "hanging glacier", you turn to the right (south), and, carefully crossing the slope, you go up to Hohes Eis (3,388 m), a spot on the ridge where you can pass through to the other side. Turn to the left (north-east) and pass below the south-eastern side of the rocky ridge heading straight for the summit of Sonklarspitze.
The ascent takes 4 hours. The steepest section of the route is the one on the southern part of Triebenkarlasferner leading up to Hohes Eis (the maximum is 38°, according to the Austrian Alpine Club).
GearDepending on conditions, ski crampons ("harscheisen") may come in handy on the slope leading up to Gamsplatzl, and on the steep southern part of Triebenkarlasferner leading up to Hohes Eis.
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 Sonklarspitze (or to Zuckerhuetl and Wilder Pfaff). 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