OverviewThe Taschach north face is the longest ice route in Austria's Ötztal Alps. Although difficulties depend on the quantity and quality of ice and snow in the route, at 600 meters in length and 55 degrees angle it is generally not a very difficult route. However take note that the approach to the route is subject to avalanche danger, especially in winter.
While this route is attached to the Taschach Wand page, it doesn't actually lead to the highest point of the Wand but to the Taschach Hoch Joch, a small col at 3355m.
Getting ThereFrom the Taschach Haus - hut take the footpath that leads in a south-easternly direction. There are several sections of very exposed scrambling which can be tricky in the dark. After a while the path peters out onto the Taschach Ferner glacier. Still keeping a south-easternly direction make your way to the start of the route. It is located to the south-west of the Gamsköpfle (see your map).
Route DescriptionMake your way upwards at a steadily increasing angle. As noted before, difficulties are subject to conditions but be prepared to climb ice up to 55 degrees steepness. The route leads to the Taschach Hoch Joch at 3355 meters. As with many north faces in the Eastern Alps the route is very straightforward; you basically go straight up. There is a possibility of climbing some I-st degree rock higher in the route but it looked very loose and I don't think you would want to try this unless there was a good reason to leave the snow/ice.
From the Taschach Hoch Joch you have the choice of either returning to the Taschach Haus by walking westwards across the glacier to the Urkundsattel (3060m) or continuing east towards the Petersenspitze (3484m). This is the route taken by those attempting the Pitztaler Eisexpress or those who want to return to the hut via the Taschachferner - glacier. Beware that this route is longer and that there are a lot of crevasses to be crossed.
Essential Gear2 Ice axes.
6 - 10 screws depending on conditions and experience.
Ski's (not essential but make getting about easier).
Snowshoes (if lots of snow and you cannot ski)
Guidebooks and mapsMap: Austrian Alpenvereinskarte 1:25000 30/6 Ötztaler Alpen / Wildspitze
Guidebook: Andreas Jentzsch and Axel Jentzsch-Rabl, Firn - und Eisklettern in den Ostalpen (Alpinverlag 2004)
External LinksAvalanche information for Tirol.
Weather forecast Pitztal
Useful website with up-to-date tour information.