austrian normal route

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 46.91090°N / 12.14130°E
Route Type: classic mountaineering
Time Required: One to two days
Difficulty: 42° ice, UIAA III- rock

getting there

Trailhead is the parking at Patscher Alm pasture (1667 m) on the pay road from Erlsbach to Oberghaus Alm in the upper Defereggen valley. (see main page or Rieserferner group page)

Approach to Barmer hut

Follow the marked route along a little macadam road (closed for traffic) into the beautiful Patscher valley until the station of the cablecar for supplying Barmer hut (ca. 1950 m). From there it is a marked trail with moderate steepness to Barmer Hut (2610 m);
3 h from the parking

Route Description (1)

From Barmer hut follow a marked trail to direction Riepenscharte pass.


Before reaching this pass turn right to Patscher Kees glacier and climb it on the right side to the beginning of the big couloir. Cross the Bergschrund (sometimes difficult) and climb this steep but normally broad couloir directly. There is sometimes a risk of avalanches and stonefall. The couloir ends just a little left of the minor summit P. 3354 m that is not touched.


Enjoy this beautiful little austrian copy of the swiss Biancograt to the fore summit of Hochgall, but stay away from the corniches to the right!


Now you have to descend 20 m to cross a deep cutted narrow pass, what is the crux of the route, very exposed (one part UIAA III-). On the other side of the pass climb via some nice rocks (UIAA II) to the height of the final ridge that leads to the summit cross.
4 h from Barmer hut.


descent on the same route or traverse to Hochgall hut (that I don’t describe because I don’t know it).

Essential Gear

Crampons, ice axe, rope and harness, helmet, some ice screews for the couloir and some slings for the rocks.

Best time / conditions

As described on the main page: conditions at this route are only acceptable if there is enough snow in the big couloir. To check this a phone call to Barmer hut in advance may be a good idea. In normal years July should be okay. Try to start early and be quick because there is a reasonable risk of avalanches of wet snow during descent through the couloir. Descent should be done before noon!

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.