Wildspitze is the second highest mountain in Austria (after Grossglockner) and is the second highest mountain in the Provence of Tirol. It is the highest mountain in North Tirol. Wildspitze is one of the major peaks in the Alps when it comes to prominence. It ranks 4th in the Alps after Mont Blanc, Finsteraarhorn and Grossglockner with a prominence of 2261 meters. Wildspitze is also referred to as Oetztaler Wildspitze, because there is a second Wildspitze nearby: The Stubaier Wildspitze. Still, when the name Wildspitze is used, most people are talking about the Oetztaler Wildspitze. The nearest higher mountain of Wildspitze is Ortler (3905m), 48 kilometres to the South in Italy.
Wildspitze has two distinct summits, the north and south summit. The south summit is a 3768 meters high, rocky summit that contains the summit cross. The North summit consists of a big snowcap that is melting due to global warming. The North summit used to be the highest point of Wildspitze, but due to global warming the northern summit has been losing height dramatically ("Bergsteiger" edition 1/02, page15). Most guides and maps used to give 3772 meters as the altitude of Wildspitze, but the latest data give 3765 meters for the Northern summit and 3768m for the southern summit. Due to global warming the southern summit is now Wildpsitze’s highpoint with a altitude of 3768 meters (other sources say 3770m though). Because the south summit consists of rocks, the altitude is not likely to change anytime soon again.
Wildspitze lies about 12 km north-east of the Main Ridge of the Alps. It is situated in the Weisskamm ridge (WhiteCrest) ,part of the Oetztal Alps , that reaches to the northeast towards Sölden. Wildspitze’s south and east Face rise above the Venter valley a side valley of the Ötztal valley. Its western and northern faces form the ending ofthe Pitztal valley. Wildspitze is heavily glaciated. To the north the Taschachferner glacier flows into the Pitztal, to the southwest flows the Mitterkar glacier and to the east flows the Rofenkarferner into the Venter valley.
For climbing Wildspitze, experience with climbing glaciated mountains is obligated. Ice axe, crampons, harness and rope are essential. The help of a guide is essential for non-experienced climbers. The normal route on Wildspitze is graded PD- and therefore not too difficult, but when the snow is icy, the difficulties might increase substantially. Wildspitze is normally climbed from the mountain huts surrounding the mountain, like the Breslauer Hut, the Braunschweiger Hut and the Vernagthutte. Climbing Wildspitze requires two days in this case. There is a shorter alternative due to the presence of the Pitzaler Glacier cableway system. A cableway gets you up to an elevation above 3000 meters. As a result Wildspitze can be climbed in a single day using these facilities.
Besides the normal routes on Wildspitze, there are more possibilities. The North Face for example, is a true classic. This 250 meters long, 55 degrees steep route is climbed often (when in condition). Other ,more difficult routes compared to the Normal route areThe Southeast Ridge (including Otztaler Urkund), the Northeast ridge (Jubilaeumsgrat) and the Northwest Face.
In 1933, Wildspitze received a summit cross . It was broken down into individual parts, transported to the mountain and assembled on top of Wildspitze . After 77 years it was replaced by mountain guides from Vent . In 2010, the assembly of the new Cross took place with the help of a helicopter . After cleaning and renovating, the old summit cross was placed at the Rofenache between the villages of Vent and Rofenhöfe. It is the only place in this valley from which you can see the Wildspitze.
Standing on top of Wildspitze is a fantastic feeling.Because it is one of the most prominent mountains in the entire Alps you could say the view is only limited by the curvature of the earth. On clear days you can see as far as Grossglockner in the east and Finsteraarhorn in the west. To the SW Weisskugel, the 3rd highest mountain in Austria, dominates the view. To the south you can see the Otztal Alps with Similaun , Hintere Schwarze and many other summits.
Wildspitze was first attempted to climb in 1847 by Hermann and Adolf Schlagintweit, who reached ‘’point 3552m’’ on the north east ridge of the mountain. The first successful ascent was made in 1848 by Leander Klotz and an unnamed local farmer.
I Normal Route
II North Wall
III from Pitztaler Glacier cableway
IV Rofenkarferner Route
Main reason for this is the difficulty of the climb. The route offers a fairly easy ascent to the summit of Wildspitze. The route is graded PD- being mostly a walk over glaciated terrain. Under the north summit the slope is steepest with an angle of about 30/35 degrees.
Apart from the fact more and more people head up the Rofenkarferner Route from the Breslauer Hut, it is also great to use the route for a round trip. Go up the normal route from Breslauer Hut over the Mitterkarferner to the summit. Traverse the ridge from the real summit to the north summit. (From the north summit go further down along the Rofenkarferner Route until you get back at the Breslauer Hut again. This route makes for a great day trip.
V Other Routes
-Starting from the Braunschweiger Huette via the Mitterkarjoch: 5 h (PD-).
-Starting from the Taschachhaus via the Mitterkarjoch: 3 1/2 h (PD-).
-Starting from the Vernagthaus via Bochkogeljoch and Mitterkarjoch (PD-)
-Northeast ridge (Jubilaeumsgrat, partly very steep; AD- (UIAA II))
-Southeast ridge (via the Oetztaler Urkund, AD, UIAA III)
-Northwest ridge ( 4:30h, 40 degrees, PD)
-Northwest face (45 - 50 degrees, 250 m)
A traverse from the southern to the northern summit is possible within 10 - 60 min (depending on conditions)
I Oetztal - Vent
From Vorarlberg towards Tirol over the Arlbergpass or through the Arlbergtunnel (S 16) - Landeck - Autobahn A 12 Innsbruck - Exit Ötztal after Roppener Tunnel - B 186 - Continue to Vent (53 km)
From the North:
- Bad Tölz - Achenpaß - B 181 - Jenbach - A 12 Innsbruck to Bregenz - Exit Ötztal - B 186 - Continue to Vent (53 km)
- Pfronten - Reutte - Fernpass - Imst - A 12 Richtung Innsbruck - Exit Ötztal after Roppener Tunnel - B 186 - Continue to Vent (53 km)
- Garmisch Partenkirchen - Ehrwald - Lermoss - Fernpass- Imst - A 12 towards Innsbruck - Exit Ötztal after Roppener Tunnel - B 186 - Continue to Vent (53 km)
- Garmisch Partenkirchen - Mittenwald - Scharnitz - Seefeld in Tirol - Telfs - A 12 towards Bregenz - Exit Ötztal - B186 - Continue to Vent (53 km)
From the East:
From München or Salzburg on the A 93 until after Kufstein, then on the A 12 towards Bregenz, over Innsbruck until Exit Ötztal - B 186 - Continue to Vent (53 km)
From the South:
From Bozen towards Brenner (Toll) - Brenner Autobahn über towards Innsbruck - from Innsbruck on the A 12 towards Bregenz until Exit Ötztal - B 186 - Continue to Vent (53 km)
II Pitztal - Mittelberg
Garmisch - Fernpass - Imst - Pitztal
or: Salzburg - Lofer - Wörgl - Imst - Pitztal
Kempten - Memmingen - Füssen - Reutte - Imst - Pitztal
|Hut||Elevation ||Telephone||SP Link||Photo|
|Breslauer Hutte||2844m||+4352548156 ||Here |
|Braunschweiger Hutte||2758m||+43 664 20 12 013||/|
When To Climb
The North face route has become (too) dangerous in this summertime due too melting ice and as a result increased danger of rockfall. The best time for this route is the spring, but also in winter the North Face is often in good condition.
Mountain ConditionsWeather - A detailed weather Report by the Alpenverein
Current avalanche conditions - Current avalanche conditions by the Lawinenwarndienst Tirol
|Type||Name||Scale||ISBN/ EAN||Additional Info.|
|Alpenvereinskarte||30/6 Wildspitze||1:25.000||9783928777452 ||Covers the entire Wildspitze area|
|Alpenvereinskarte||30/1 Gurgl||1:25.000||9783928777384||Covers the Southern part of wildspitze|
|Alpenvereinskarte||30/2 Weisskugel||1:25.000||9783928777391||Covers the Southern part of wildspitze|
|Kompass Map||43: Otztaler Alpen||1:50.000||9783854910497||Covers the entire Wildspitze area|
|Freytag & Berndt Map||WK 251: Otztal Pitztal..||1:50.000||9783850847544||Covers the entire Wildspitze area|
Guides and Books
|Publisher||Name||Author||ISBN / EAN|
|Rother Verlag||Hochtouren Ostalpen||Wolfgang Pusch||9783763330102|
|Bruckmann Verlag||Die Hohen 3000er der Alpen||Richard Goedeke||9783765461224|
|Bruckmann Verlag||3000er in den Nordalpen||Richard Goedeke||9783765455438|
|Bruckmann Verlag||Hohe 3000er in den Alpen||Richard Goedeke||9783765452369|
|Rother Verlag||Otztal Silvretta: 50 Skitouren||Rudolf Weiss||9783763359172|
First Ascent - Historical Facts
Wildspitze was first attempted to climb in 1847 by Hermann and Adolf Schlagintweit, who reached ‘’point 3552m’’ on the northeast ridge of the mountain. Wildspitze was first climbed in 1848 by Leander Klotz accompanied by a farmer from Vent. The first ascent took place from the Otztal/Venter side of the mountain and they reached the southern summit of wildspitze at 3768 meters. Back in those days, the Northern summit was the higher one with approximately 3774 meters. Leander Klotz was also the first one to reach the Northern summit of Wildspitze, 13 years later, in 1861. He climbed the southern summit as he already did in 1847, but went on to the Northern summit by crossing the ridge that seperates the two summits. The elevation of the Northern summit has shrunk from approximately 3774 meters to 3765 meters in present day, making the southern summit now the highest point of wildspitze with its 3768 meters (other sources say 3770m).
The first ascent from the other side of the mountain, the Pitztaler side, presumably should have taken place by unnamed residents of Mandarfen first. But the first certain ascent from the Pitztal side (nowadays from the Braunschweiger Hütte) was first made through the Mittelbergjoch by the Pitztal guides Abraham, Isaac and Franz Dobler and Dominic Schöpf somewhere before 1870. They were only equipped with mountain sticks and wooden axes.
The first tourist ascent of the Northern summit was done by Moritz von Statzer and Franz Senn with leaders Alois Ennemoser and Gabriel Spechtenhauser on September 24, 1870. The first first tourist ascent of the Southern summit was done by Joseph Anton Specht with leaders Nicodemus , Leander and Hans Klotz on August 26, 1857.
In ancient descriptions climbing the Wildspitze is portrayed as dangerous and very exhausting. In more recent times, the Wildspitze has become a very well-attended mountain; Already in the summer of 1905, it is reported that many groups were on their way to the summit from the Braunschweiger Hut. Of course, between 1905 and present day, Wildspitze has become more and more popular and is one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the Alps.
Pitztaler Glacier Cableway
Cableway Vent - Stablein
- From 08:00 to 12:00 and
- From 13:00 to 17:00
Hotels & Campsites
There are three campsites in the Oetztal and one in the Pitztal.
(17 km from Vent)