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Austria, Europe
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Created On: Aug 20, 2015
Last Edited On: Aug 20, 2015


On the summit of Geisstein
On the summit
I was two times in the area of Geisstein, but also the second time, when we managed to summit it, weather was quite poor. So, I'm ready to start the page of this mountain, but if someone wants to get rights over it, just please let me know.


Geisstein marked paths
Geisstein (in German written as Geißstein) is the highest summit of the eastern part of Kitzbueheler Alpen (a.k.a. Glemmtaler Alpen). It rises in the southwestern corner of the area and is very popular. Somewhere I found that they claim it the highest grassy summit of the Kitzbueheler Alps. Well, those other few in the western part, which are higher, but not 'grassy' on the top, are anyway not much exceeding Geisstein by altitude. But Geisstein is not most known by the mentioned feature. It's the huge panorama from its top which makes it well known around. Do find on the web a few exceptional pictures of it and enjoy. I'm embedding below only one such example - not mine, of course.

So, Geisstein is rising above the valley of Salzach, just north of Mittersill. The main ridge which approaches to it from the east, turns there northwards, ascends its top, where it branches, and a bit further to the north, branches again. South of the mountain is the valley of Mühltalbach, through which the majority of visitors come. From the other side, from the valley of Glemmtal (Saalbach-Hinterglemm is a well known tourist resort) the valley of Vogelalmgraben reaches just to below the east face of Geisstein. The mountain road deters left from the main valley in Lengau. And finally, northwest of Geisstein a short valley of Sintersbach is stretching. Through it, marked paths also ascend towards the top.

The big majority of visitors are hikers. As the 'grassy' mountain it's not interesting at all for climbers. Marked paths are coming on top by the south ridge and the soutwest slope. Even if the neghbouring summits on the north (Schusterkogel, 2207 m) are also being reached by marked paths, these don't continue southwards on the summit of Geisstein. Obviously the ridge south of the Schlaberstatt saddle, 2048 m, is not only grassy, but hard enough that the marked path avoids it by crossing the eastern side ridge.

In winter and spring Geisstein is suitable also for tour skiing. As most of the summits of Kitzbueheler Alps also this one and its neighbours offer very nice possibilities for skiing.

Summit Panorama

Despite otherwise a fantastic panorama, I'm leaving this chapter almost empty. When being on top we saw only a little of it. But do come there and hope for better, especially to see the great view on the glaciated Hohe Tauern on the south.

For teasing you, here I'm embedding one example from the web.

Click to run this one online

Getting There

From the southern side the approach starts at Buerglhuette, 1700 m. To this popular mountain hut a narrow mountain road reaches, opened for public traffic (no fee). The road starts in Stuhlfelden in the valley of Salzach. After ascending a bit on Duernberg, the road keeps right and by the valley of Muehltalbach reaches the hut.

As said, from the north you could reach by a mountain road into the valley of the Vogelalmgraben. But I guess the road is soon closed for public traffic.

The third approach direction is through the valley of Sintersbach. If you hike up there, you'd start the tour on the main road (from Pass Thurn to Kitzbuehel), a bit north of Astach.

Summit Ascent From the South

Abandoned shepherds hut
On the upper meadows
From the Buerglhuette, 1700 m, we start hiking towards the north. To the nearby pasture we can go either by the road, or across the meadows by a marked path. Marks are good and on key points there are also inscription plates. From the pasture the path goes further up across meadows, the direction is northwest. Above a bit steeper part we reach a picturesque shepherds hut which looks abandoned. From there grassy slopes are ascending gently further towards the north. But on the right they are accompanied by Geisstein's south ridge. That one is also grassy, but quite steep. The path approaches it and soon attacks the steep slopes. With consecutive turns we quickly gain altitude, a passage or two are more steep and then we reach the south ridge. There the views on the other side open, we turn left and follow the ridge. Soon afterwards from the right a more demanding path comes up from Vogelalmgraben. Then the final steep section comes and soon afterwards we are on top.

The route is overall easy. On the Swiss Hiking Scale it would be grated T2. But on some places the steep grassy slopes require some additional attention. From the hut it's a 2 hours walk up.

Mountain Huts

Bürglhütte, 1700 m, reachable by car.

When To Ascend?

We can go on Geisstein any time of a season. Of course it's comfortable coming when the hut is opened. In winter and spring all around are nice terrains for tour skiing. But then the roads are not cleaned. Perhaps even more beautiful terrains are on the northern side, above the Glemmtal. From the very summit of Geisstein a ski descent is however not done by the south ridge, but over the southwest slope.