Sitting on the north ridge of Gamsbeil, Westerachkopf can hardly be named “summit”.
With a prominence of 20 to 30 m Westerachkopf is, strictly spoken, only a bump within the ridge between Gamsbeil to the south and Schwarzkarkogel / Großer Tanzkogel to the north. Nevertheless this “bump” has a huge summit cross and is a ski summit on its own in winter and spring.
For that, I think, Westerachkogel is worth to be mentioned even in SummitPost.
This summit is located within the western part of Kitzbühler Alpen, also called “Kelchsauer Alpen” in the Windau – Sperten range. For the neighbouring summits see above.
The summit stands between Miesenbach valley, a tributary valley to the valley of Windau, to the west and Spertental / Unterer Grund to the east. It is one of the many “soft” summits of Kitzbühler Alpen with meadows and the bushes of alpine roses. Many wildflowers adorn these meadows in june and july, one of my favorite seasons in Kitzbüheler Alpen.
Recently Westerachkogel got a marked traverse route which comes down Gamsbeil north ridge and goes on to Großer Tanzkogel. In former times this was only a narrow foot track without any markings. Even the hiking map of Alpenverein does not mention the now marked trail.
Westerachkopf is an all years outing. In late spring, summer and autumn Westerachkogel is summited often in combination with a traverse from Gamsbeil to Schwarzkarkogel and Großer and Kleiner Tanzkogel.
In winter there is a great traverse option, including Westerachkopf:
Starting at Labalm / Unterer Grund / Sperten valley ascend Kleiner and Großer Tanzkogel, ski down to Miesenbach Alm, ascend again to Westerachkopf (with an option for Gamsbeil too; this must be done without skies!) and ski down to Unterer Grund again. The whole thing can be done vice versa, too.
This one with powder snow conditions is just A DREAM!
Getting ThereThe main trailheads for Westerachkogel are:
I want to avois dull copy & paste work, so:
Please check the Gamsbeil page for more information.
Main Routes OverviewMiesenbach route
Trailhead: Gamskogelhütte / Windau valley
Route: Gamskogelhütte – Tagweidalm – Miesenbach valley – Miesenbachalm – off trail via west slopes to the summit; or
Miesenbachalm – Neualm – Geigenscharte – Gamsbeil summit – north ridge to Westerachkogel
Both routes can be combined to a nice round trip.
Altitude difference: about 1000 m
Time: 3 to 3,5 hours or 3,5 to 4 hours
Unterer Grund route
Trailhead: Karalm / Unterer Grund
This is best done via Gamsbeil:
Route: Karalm – Kar Hochalm – Westerach Alm – Geige - Geigenscharte – Gamsbeil summit – north ridge to Westerachkopf
Altitude difference: about 850 m
Time: 3,5 hours
The ridge from Gamskogel to Steinkogel – Speikkogel – Geige – Gamsbeil and from Gamsbeil to Westerachkopf – Schwarzkarkogel – Tanzkogel is a nice and easy outing, partly on marked trails, partly off-trail.
Miesenbach valley is the best ascent – descent route for this traverse. You can bail out nearly everywhere on this ridge, if this need arises, and descend the grassy slopes to Miesenbach trails and forest roads.
Gamskogelhütte – Tagweidalm – Miesenbachalm – west slopes to Westerachkopf.
Karalm / Unterer Grund – Kar Hochalm – broad eastern ridge of Westerachkopf to summit.
Traverse route: Labalm / Unterer Grund – Angerer Alm – Großer Tanzkogel – Schwarzkarkogel – Miesenbachalm – west slopes to Westerachkogel – Kar Hochalm - Labalm
Red Tape & AccommodationRed Tape
No restrictions as far as I know.
The roads to Windau and Unterer Grund are toll roads.
Food and lodging can be found at
Mountain huts (food & lodging)
Gear & Mounatin Condition
Westerachkopf is a year round mountain.
Hiking is possible from may / june to November, depending on the weather and snow conditions.
It is an easy hiking tour on narrow hiking trails, partly forest roads, partly without trail. In some parts the route markings are not easy to find!
Good shoes and the usual hiking gear is sufficient. Clean drinking water is abundant in Kitzbüheler Alpen.
In winter Westerachkopf is an interesting ski tour, especially when combined with Tanzkogel or Gamsbeil.
Westerachkopf is a beginners ski tour, especially the Untere Grund route. The round trip with Tanzkogel is a longer and more demanding ski tour.
You need full ski tour gear and avalanche gear.
Check the Tirol avalanche bulletin here.
Maps & Guide Books
Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 50.000; Kitzbüheler Alpen West, Nr. 34/1, Deutscher Alpenverein, 2010; - topo map with trails
Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 50.000; Kitzbüheler Alpen West, Nr. 34/1 S, Deutscher Alpenverein, 2010; - topo map with ski routes
Austrian Topo Maps:
Österreichische Karte 1 : 50.000 - UTM (ÖK50): number 3219, Neukirchen am Großvenediger
Available only antiquarian but indispensable guide books:
Georg Bleier / Kurt Kettner: Alpenvereinsführer Kitzbüheler Alpen, Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, München, 1984
Horst Höfler, Kurt Kettner: Kitzbüheler Alpen. Mit Skirouten. Führer für Täler, Hütten und Berge, Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, München, 1976