is the highest and most prominent peak in the Aurach valley and for sure one of the most visited summits of the range. Easily accessible from Aurach valley on marked trails, Bischof offers good looks into Kitzbüheler Alpen
and the adjacent glacier mountains.
Its name derives from the shape of the mountain when viewed from the ascent starting at Aurach – Wildpark. The mountain looks like a huge bishops hat.
Bischof as seen from Hochwildalm Bischof summit and ridge to Sonnspitze
Located between Groß Gebra
to the northwest and Mesnerhöhe
to the south Bischof sits on the ridge separating Aurach valley to the west from Schwarzache valley to the east.
Bischof is one of the many easy hiking summits when climbed on the normal route or the highest peak of a traverse which can be extended from Groß Gebra to Saalkogel, in many parts off-trail and epic.
A shorter version which is my favourite of the area is the traverse from Sonnspitze to Bischof, a nice and lonely ridge traverse with some rock scramble up to UIAA grade I.
Bischof as seen from near Hochwildalm with some parts of the highmoor areas and blossoming Eriophorum
The best trailhead
for Bischof is the hikers parking area
at the switchback of the road from Oberaurach to Aurach Wildpark. It´s easy enough to find as it is the only switchback of this road.
You reach the trailhead from Kitzbühel on the road number 161
to Pass Thurn. At Aurach turn on Auracher Straße
at the signpost “Wildpark Aurach” and follow this road to Oberaurach and the trailhead.
Kitzbühel can be reached by car
The nearest railway station
to the trailhead Aurach is Kitzbühel
Busses number 4010
go to Aurach. However there is no bus service to Wildpark Aurach and the trailhead.
Routes Overview Bischof, Mesnerhöhe and Sonnspitze
South main route:
For the south route start at the parking area near the Wildpark Aurach.
Follow the forest road into Aurach valley. This forest road makes 4 switchbacks, you can cut them on the old foot trail, regaining the road further up. After a water power station turn left onto a road branching off the valley road. Immediately after that turn left again onto the old foot trail leading you up to Wildalm Niederleger
, where you can buy mountain cheese throughout the summer. You reach this Alm on the forest road, too (mtb route).
Bischof as seen from Bischofjoch, south route Summit view from Bischof to Gebra
Above the Alm the old foot trail branches off the road to the right, ascend on that trail to Hochwildalm
>Hochwildalm mountain hut. Again you can use the forest road, too.
At Hochwildalm (very nice place for a break) follow the signposts to Bischof straight up the meadows on a trail until you reach a trail junction at about 1700 m. Go straight on and follow the increasingly steep trail up to Bischofjoch
between Bischof and Weißkopfkogel. Turn right and follow the trail first on the ridge and later on on the western and southern slopes of Bischof until you reach the summit cross.
Ridge crest traverse to Sonnspitze
Go first east below the summit ridge of Bischof an use the steep south ridge down to a notch
between Bischof and the rock spire of Pfaffel
Look out there for a narrow trail zigzagging down southwest until you can traverse below the Pfaffel rocks to the east and regain the main ridge between Bischof and Sonnspitze.
Bischof summit crest and Pfaffel in the background Bischof as seen from Sonnspitze; Pfaffel and Mesnerhöhe to the right
Just follow that ridge, there are foot tracks and some rock scrambling, stepping over Mesnerhöhe
and ascend steeply over some easy rocks to Sonnspitze
Bischof and occupants of Bischofjoch Summit view to Sonnspitze and Staffkogel Bischof and Mesnerhöhe as seen from below Hochwildalm
Epic traverse from Groß Gebra
. Trailhead is Aurach Wildpark. Very long day.
Bischof can easily be summited on a traverse
or Bochumer Hütte
, using the uppermost south route up and down to Bischofjoch.
Bischof is not a very frequented ski mountain. Main ski summits of the area are Groß Gebra, Weißkopfkogel and Sonnspitze.
Those summits can be reached easily from Aurach trailhead and Hochwildalm on ski. With good snow condition Bischof can be reached with ski from Weißkopfkogel via Bischofjoch. The direct ascent to Bischofjoch with ski from Hochwildalm normally is not possible.
A long ski ascent to Bischofjoch from the north is the route starting at alpine inn Pletzer, about 4 km south of the village of Fieberbrunn.
Red Tape & AccommodationNo red tape
as far as I know.
Up to now (2017) no parking fees at the trailhead.
All kinds of accommodation
can be found at
Saalbach / Hinterglemm
Bochumer Hütte / Kelchalm
Gear & Mountain Condition
Sempervivum alpinum can be seen frequently in the Bischof area
Bischof is an all - season mountain.
In the hiking season you need full hiking gear and good shoes. The summit routes are easy hikes on mostly marked mountain trails and - near the valleys - forest roads.
The ridge crest traverse do need some rock scramble and a secure step on steep gras slopes.
The ski routes are easy routes for beginners. Full ski and avalanche gear is required.
Check the Tirol avalanche bulletin
Maps & Guide Books
Bischof (left), Mesnerhöhe, Sonnspitze and Staffkogel as seen from the Gebra ascent
Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 50.000; Kitzbüheler Alpen Ost, map number 34/2
, Deutscher Alpenverein, 2010; - topo map with trails; the same with ski routes.
Österreichische Karte 1 : 50.000 - UTM (ÖK50), map number 3214
Available only antiquarian but an indispensable mountain guide book:
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
R. Weiss: Skitouren Kitzbüheler Alpen mit angrenzendem Salzburger Anteil am Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, Gebietsführer, Steiger Verlag Innsbruck, 2000 (there is an antiquarian edition from 1985 with main focus on Kitzbüheler Alpen, too)