Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.37653°N / 11.55899°E
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8573 ft / 2613 m
Sign the Climber's Log


EiskarlspitzeEiskarlspitze (right) as seen from Eng valley

The - in my opinion - most impressive valley of Karwendel range is the Eng valley. Most Karwendels main valleys are west - east orientated. Eng valley has a more north - south orientation and ends after about 25 km, enclosed by impressive rockfaces and high peaks. The world gets narrow - eng in German - and that is why this valley got that name.

Eng valley belongs to Austria / Tirol but is a dead-end valley accessible by car or bus only from Germany. The connection to Achensee region or to Inntal valley can be made only via high and alpine notches or via cols with forest roads, closed to public traffic.

On the down side: there is a toll road going to the very end of that valley which means: many, many people in summer and early autumn. The toll road is closed in late autumn, winter and spring. Especially in autumn and spring, when the snow is gone, you will find many mountain bikers heading to the valleys end.

On the up side: There are many hikes to mountain huts, summits, many bike routes and many climbing routes starting from Eng valley. You can stay two weeks without being able to finish with all the possibilities this valley provides for you. And the best is: most hikes and peaks are not very crowded as most people stay in the valley or just hike from mountain hut to mountain hut, bypassing all those beautiful and sometimes challenging Karwendel summits.

One of those summits blocking Eng valley to the south and showing impressive rockfaces is Eiskarlspitze, the “peak of the ice cirques”. There are in fact two high cirques with normally everlasting snow fields, fed by snowdrift and avalanches in winter and spring. A name that fits.

Eiskarlspitze is in the eastern part of the nearly 15 km long main Karwendel ridge, running from Pleisenspitze near Scharnitz to Birkarspitze - highest peak of Karwendel - to Lamsenspitze and Hochnisslspitze in the east. Located between Spritzkarspitze (west) and Hochglück (east), Eiskarlspitze shows a steep and impressive rockface down to Eng valley and an endless rock slope to the south (Vomper Loch).

East of the peak there is a huge cirque with many karst features, called Hochglückkar, which is located some 400 m above Eng valley. West of Hochglückkar are located the Eiskarln, the cirques with the snow- and icefields which gave the name for Eiskarlspitze.

Eiskarlspitze was first summited by Hermann von Barth, July, 16th, 1870.

Eiskarlspitze is my favorite mountain in Eng valley. It is among the highest peaks of the region, provides a very interesting normal route, is not very well known and an impressive viewpoint. Besides my companions I never met more than one other party during my ascents, most times we were simply alone.

EiskarlspitzeEiskarlspitze and Eiskarl waterfall
EiskarlspitzeHochglückkar with Hochglück notches

Getting There

EiskarlspitzeAt Hochglückscharte during Eiskarlspitze ascent

Main trailhead is Engalmen at the end of Eng valley.

You reach Eng valley by car

  • from Munich via Bad Tölz, Lenggries, Fall, Vorderriß, Hinterriß and the toll road to Engalmen

  • from Innsbruck via Seefeld, Mittenwald, Wallgau, toll road to Vorderriß, Hinterriß and the toll road to Engalmen

  • from Garmisch-Partenkirchen via Klais, Wallgau, toll road to Vorderriß, Hinterriß and the toll road to Engalmen

  • You can reach Eng valley from Munich by rail and bus, too. Check this possibility here.

    The southern ascent via Vomper Loch to Eiskarlspitze is not done very often. You reach Vomp

  • by car on highway A 12, Innsbruck - Rosenheim via exit Vomp

  • by train, descending at Schwaz railway station; check the ÖBB schedule here

  • Route Overview

    EiskarlspitzeEiskarlspitze summit ridge

    There are several routes to Eiskarlspitze, all of them require at least mastering UIAA grade II and more.

    Main mountaineer routes are:

    1. East ridge route: Eng or Lamsenjochhütte - Hochglückkar - Westliche Hochglückscharte - east ridge; grade II scramble - normal route

    2. Eiskarln route: Eng - lower Hochglückkar - traverse to Eiskarln - northwest ridge; grade III climb, bad rock, difficult route finding

    3. Ödkarl route: grade III- epic, south ascent, difficult to find

    4. traverse to Spritzkarspitze; grade III climb, can be combined to a loop with Hochglückkar route and Eiskarl route

    Eiskarlspitze hosts some interesting climbing routes, too.

    1. North arete: UIAA grade IV

    2. Northern rockface from eastern Eiskarl: grade IV

    3. Northern rockface: Hand Georg Brendel Gedenkweg: grade VIII-

    For more detailed information please refer to:
    Bernd Eberle, Peter Mair, Mike Rutter, und Ralf Sussmann
    Kletterführer Karwendel: Alpine Ziele & Klettergärten incl. Martinswand
    Panico Alpinverlag
    1. june 2004

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    EiskarlspitzeEng Almen, main trailhead

    Red Tape

    Eng valley and Eiskarlspitze are part of the “Alpenpark Karwendel”, an important and strictly protected national park.

    There is no entrance fee for the park but many regulations to follow.

    There is a National Park Information Center at Hinterriß. Information panels, starting at the parking area of Engalmen, show some interesting features of the Alpenpark Karwendel.


    Camping is not allowed within Alpenpark Karwendel.

    Motorhomes and caravans are tolerated at the parking area of Engalmen.

    Food and lodging can be fount at

  • Alpengasthof Eng

  • Engalmen

  • Hinterriß

  • Schwaz / Vomp

  • Mountain hut

  • Lamsenjochhütte

  • Gear & Mountain Condition

    EiskarlspitzeEiskarlspitze as seen from Hochglück

    Eiskarlspitze is mainly a summer and autumn summit. Normally the routes are open by end of june. Huge corniches can block the north side traverses on the east ridge.

    However a spring ascent can be possible in combination with a ski tour to Hochglückscharte. The summit register shows east ridge ascents in april and may as well. It depends on the snow situation and the skills of the mountaineer if that can be done successfully.

    The east ridge requires UIAA grade II scramble in parts; belaying is difficult (many slabs, no fixed bolts) but in parts possible. A spring ascent should be more difficult.

    The Eiskarln route is a UIAA grade III climb (in parts) in mostly bad and loose rock.

    Both routes may need crampons and ice axe because of steep and hard to icy snow fields.

    Current Weather:

    Maps & Guide Books

    EiskarlspitzeEvening at Hochglückkar

    Guide Books

    Heinrich Klier, Fritz März, und Walter Klier
    Karwendelgebirge. Alpenvereinsführer alpin: Ein Führer für Täler, Hütten und Berge. Verfaßt nach den Richtlinien der UIAA
    Bergverlag Rother

    Bernd Eberle, Peter Mair, Mike Rutter, und Ralf Sussmann
    Kletterführer Karwendel: Alpine Ziele & Klettergärten incl. Martinswand
    Panico Alpinverlag
    1. june 2004


    Karwendelgebirge, Mitte
    Scale 1 : 25.000
    Deutscher Alpenverein
    February 2008

    Karwendelgebirge, Ost
    Scale 1 : 25.000
    Deutscher Alpenverein
    December 2005



    Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.