ApproachSee the main page for the Getting There information. This Route starts at Untere Valentin Alm.
- Start altitude: 1205m
- Summit altitude: 2460m
- Prevailing exposition: E, later N
- Type: 1h 30 min over forest roads. 2h 30min over paths
- Protection: marked
The eastern route to Rauchkofel starts at Untere Valentin Alm near Plöckenpass. It follows the eastern part of the "Karnischer Höhenweg" trekking trail along the Valentinbach Valley. Since the creek cut in deeply between Kellerwand to the south and Mooskofel to the north the whole trail barely sees any sun, especially in its upper part, above 1600m.
At first it runs along a forest road which can be cut short using a path to the left (north of the winding road. Both road and path lead to Obere (Upper) Valentin Alm from where you head on in the shadow of Kellerwand. The trail is moderately steep and you'll reach the Valentin Törl Pass after some 2h 30min. Here a gorgeous view towards Wolayer See and Wolayer Seekopf opens with the remainder of Biegengebirge right behind. The ascent to Rauchkofel now follows a short path to the north which ends in the only climbing part (UIAA I) of the whole ascent. The part is protected by some fixed ropes (I would say loose fixed ropes if you know what I mean) and ends on a small kind of plain below the two Rauchkofel summits. It heads north-west and reaches a shoulder, where it meets the Wolayer See ascent route.
From the shoulder the trail traverses the southern Rauchkofel slopes to finally end at the saddle between the two Rauchkofel summits. The western summit can be reached quickly from the saddle, while for the higher eastern summit you need to cross and climb the summit ridge. This latter part is moderately exposed, especially just below the summit block. You won't find much space on Rauchkofel so take your turn and "rotate" with the other climbers.