Polished rocks tell the story... this is one of the classics of the Lienzer Dolomites. Still, a good route - provided you can avoid traffic jams in the first pitches. There´s beautiful scenery all around and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. A good day of climbing in a wonderful setting... highly recommended!
Getting ThereGetting to the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte:
from Lienz, follow the road to Tristach, then the Tristacher See and then the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte. This road soon becomes a toll road. There is free parking near the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte.
Alternatively, there is a bus service from Lienz to the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte. More information can be obtained at the tourist office in Lienz.
From the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte:
follow the "Rüdl Eller weg" ("alpenvereinsführer"/alpine guidebook: R95) until you reach the deep gully that runs underneath the impressive Gross Laserzwand südwand. The route starts at the right of the path just after the gully floor and is marked.
From the Karlsbader Hütte:
descend the metalled road towards the valley. At a signpost labelled "Rüdl Eller weg" ("alpenvereinsführer"/alpine guidebook: R95), leave the road. Follow this path, containing sections of scrambling, until you get to the deep gully that runs underneath the impressive Gross Laserzwand südwand. The route starts at the right of the path just before the gully floor and is marked.
Orientation in the route is sometimes helped by "Thenius haken" (Thenius bolts), big red bolts that are made to be used without quickdraws. This route used to be equipped solely with these bolts, but as the years go by more and more are replaced with modern, "normal" bolts.
Be advised though. In this route, nowadays, many Thenius bolts have been replaced with modern bolts for which you need quickdraws. Furthermore, using the Thenius bolts in the way they are intended will result in horrible rope drag. Therefore take some quickdraws and/or some slings with carabiners (those can be slung around the base of these Thenius bolts).
All belays are bolted and there are bolts in between the belays too; plenty in the lower part and a little less in upper part. This is logical as the route gets easier when you get higher. This is especially true for the part above the "frühstück platz". Many people stop belaying there and climb the last pitches without a rope. Some even stop earlier then that, ultimately, it´s for you to decide when it´s safe enough. The first pitch, from the path to the first double bolt belay, is an easy scramble and usually also done without belaying.
First pitch (II):
easy scrambling up from the path, in de the direction of a double bolt belay on a small platform.
Second pitch (III+/IV-):
climb a groove followed by a polished slab (crux). After the slab, head up a ramp to the left of the vertical section of rock. Take a right turn onto another ramp that leads a few meters up and outward to a bolted belay on a platform.
Third pitch (III+):
climb a ramp, keeping left of the vertical section of rock. Then traverse left some meters into a crack. Cimb the crack for a few meters to gain the next belay.
Fourth pitch (III):
climb up, onto the ridge and belay there.
Fifth to thirteenth pitch (III/II):
follow the ridge until you reach a marking. In 2011, there also was a very visible Thenius bolt on this place. Traverse to the left and into the rockface. Don´t follow the ridge, otherwise you´ll have to downclimb quite a bit into a gap in the ridge that´s coming up. At the end of the traverse, cross the gap in the ridge on a low point. On the other side, climb up on the left side of a vertical section of rock; after that, follow the ridge again.
You now reach a flat area, a "frühstück platz" (a place for breakfast). It´s a convenient place for a rest. After this, follow the ridge, going down at first and then up until the bolts (not always very visible) disappear, some three pitches from the "frühstück platz".
After this, the terrain flattens and it´s an easy scramble to the top of the ridge. At a certain point before the top of the ridge, a track starts zigzagging up through the scree on your right. Follow this track or the ridge until you reach the flat area which is the Laserzwandsattel.
Lienzer Dolomitenhütte - beginning of route: 1h30m. Karlsbader Hütte - beginning of route: 45m. Bügeleisenkante: 2h.
Getting Down or Going On
From the Laserzwandsattel, there are several options.
Up to the Roter Turm:
this is the big outcrop of rock located to your east. Several interesting routes to the summit, from the west the famous Schmittkamin (III-), Silverpfeil (III+) and Nordwestrampe (III+) and from the south the Südrampe (V-). Usual route of descent is to downclimb the Schmittkamin and abseil the last bit.
To get there, follow the well-defined path that you meet on the Laserzwandsattel up until it forks. For the Südrampe, head right, keeping the same altitude. For the other routes, take the steep track that zigzags up to the Schmittsattel.
Up to the Grosse Laserzwand:
the mountain to your left. You can walk / scramble to its summit beautiful views - especially north, to the Hohe Tauern, with mountains like Austria´s highest point the Gross Glockner (3798m) and the Grossvenediger (3674m).
Up to the Kleine Laserzwand:
the mountain to your left. You can walk / scramble to its summit.
Down to the Karlsbader Hütte:
follow the well-defined path that you meet on the Laserzwandsattel down. At a fork, you can go left (down) or right (down steeply). Both paths join together lower on the mountain. The right option is the steepest and (therefore) the fastest. Follow the path until it descends onto a metalled road. Follow the road, going up, for a short bit, to reach the hut.
Down to the Lienzer Dolomitenhütte:
descend to the Karlsbader Hütte as described above. From here, follow the metalled road and path leading down (signposted).
Single rope, 50 meters.
Some slings and carabiners.
Helmet. Especially on busy days.
Mountain boots. Perhaps rock boots for the crux.
External Links and LiteratureGerman description of the route on bergsteigen.at
Klettern in den Lienzer Dolomiten
Book Grafik Zloebl Buchdesign und Verlag
Alpenvereinsführer Lienzer Dolomiten
Hubert Peterka, Willi End
Bergverlag Rudolf Rother - München
ISBN: 3 7633 1243 9
Österreichische Karte - Lienz (179 - BMN 3712) 1:25000