Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.50120°N / 10.61430°E
Additional Information Elevation: 7129 ft / 2173 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Gimpel is not the highest but the most well-known and boldest looking summit of Tannheimer Berge, this easternmost subrange of Allgäu Alps. Its south, west and north faces with many subridges and arêtes host many famous and well-known climbing routes, about 20 climbing routes on the south and west side (about 200 to 300 meters of altitude difference), 4 routes through the north face (600 meters of altitude difference); many of them are "historic" routes. Thus Gimpel is a real classic mountain.

Gimpel (right) with Köllenspitze (center) and Gehrenspitze
Gimpel as seen from Schartschrofen (September 2012)

To the north Gimpel has a near perpendicular huge rock face, dominating the end of Raintal valley. Gelbe Scharte separates Gimpel from Rote Flüh, the western neighbour summit. The west face is a steep rock face which gives Gimpel a spire-like appearance. When viewed from the south, a broad southern rock face rises 200 to 300 meters above the meadows and wood slopes of Tannheim valley.

As the snow does not linger long on the south side of Gimpel, the southern climbing routes are a good option for early or late in the year climbs. To the east there is a long arête connecting Gimpel with Zwerchwand and Köllenspitze (also called Kellespitze or, less attracive, Metzenarsch (the whore´s ass)), the highest peak of Tannheim mountains. Within this arête there is “Gimpelvorbau” another famous climbers aim.

User Lampi, the first author of this page, states, that Gimpel looks like an ant- stack on nice summer days??? I don´t know. The denomination Gimpel does not derive neither from an ant nor from the bullfinch. It is named after the hollow south of the summit which was named “Comba” in Celtic times. Local idiom changed Comba to Gimpel.

The normal route to Gimpel uses a system of easy chutes, rock, meadow and scree ledges which start on the south side of the mountain and goes diagonally up to the ridge between Gimpel and Gimpelvorbau. The crux of this normal route, which is marked with red dots and some yellow triangles, is a 5 to 10 meter traverse in steep rock with some UIAA grade II moves.

Gimpel as seen from Große Schlicke
Gimpel and Rote Flüh south and east face
Gimpel and Köllenspitze (left)

Gimpel summit offers great views and on nearly all routes much climbing pleasure. The southern routes are by far the favourite routes so expect traffic jams on days with good weather. For the experienced hikers and mountaineers: do the normal route early in the morning, its just great to sit alone on this bold mountain top.

Getting There

Gimpel and Rote Flüh (right) as seen from Schartschrofen (September 2012)

Trailheads for Gimpel:

Northern routes

  • Musau / railway station or Musau Bärenfalle Inn

  • Füssener Jöchl

  • Southern, western and eastern routes

  • Nesselwängle, Grän, Haldensee or Haller

  • You reach Musau on road number 179 coming from Füssen / Germany or Reutte / Innsbruck, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Lechtal / Arlberg region. Leave the road at exit “Reutte Nord” and turn on road L69 to Musau.
    At Bärenfalle Inn (signpost) there is a hiker parking area behind the parking area of the inn! Just follow the dirt road some 300 m into the woods to the road barrier.
    At Musau park your car near the railway station where it is possible.

  • You reach Nesselwängle from Reutte or Arlberg region on road number 198. Turn on road number 199 at Weißenbach and pass by Gaichtpass. Follow the bypass road around Nesselwängle until you reach the Gimpelhaus parking area northwest of Nesselwängle (day and multiple day fees). There are no public parking possibilities in the village of Nesselwängle!
    If you follow road 199 you reach Haller, Haldensee and, by taking road number L261 at Haldensee, Grän.

  • You reach Nesselwängle from Germany / Allgäu region by using highway A 7 to exit Oy and road number 399 to Pfronten. Take Achtalstraße and – after the border – L261 to Grän and Haldensee. At Haldensee take road number 199 to Haller and Nesselwängle / Gimpelhaus parking area.

  • From Grän you can take the cablecar to Füssener Jöchl.

  • By train and bus:
    Railway stations near trailheads are: Musau and Vils.

    See the ÖBB schedule here.

    Every trailhead has its bus station. See the schedule for bus line 4262 here .

    Routes Overview

    Große Schlicke
    Gimpel with its west arete as seen from Rote Flüh (September 2012)

    Gimpel normal route:
    Starting at the southeast pillar of Gimpel south face the normal route uses a system of oblique running chutes and broad meadow ledges up to the east ridge and the upper east ridge to the summit. In parts UIAA grade I, some moves grade II, the rest is steep and exposed hiking terrain.

    Gimpel Nord:

    Best base camp and information about rock condition: Otto Mayr Hütte

    Trailheads: Musau or Füssener Jöchl

    Trail to routes:
    Starting at the hut descend on forest road tot he first switchback. Leave the road to your right, traverse the wood tot he scree field below the rock face. Ascend the scree to the starting points of the routes.

    Famous north face routes:

  • “Schrei aus Stein” up to IX

  • Schertelplatte“ up to VI

  • „Feuerland“ up to IX-/A0

  • Direct Northwest face up to VI, with “Klagemauer” variation up to VII-

  • More Internet information:

    Gimpel south and west routes:

    Best base camp and information about rock condition: Gimpelhaus or Tannheimer Hütte

    Trailheads: all trailheads within Tannheim valley

    Gimpel north face
    Gimpel summit
    Tannheimer Hütte as seen from Gimpelhaus

    Trail to routes:

    From Gimpelhaus follow trail number 415 in the direction to Rote Flüh. From Tannheimer Hütte do the same on trail number 417. Both trail meet in the Gimpel sink. From there follow trail 417 in the direction of Judenscharte, the col between Gimpel and Rote Flüh. There is a lower and an upper trail to the col. For the climbing routes take the upper trail near the bottom of the south face to your route starting points.

    Some famous routes:

  • West arête, “Nur Mut Johann” up to III+ (V- without technical help at the crux), starting at Judenscharte

  • Southeast face III+

  • Neue Südostkante up to VI

  • Kaminreihe

  • “Primavera IX-

  • The Freudig, T.: Klettern auf der Tannheimer Sonnenseite – guide book has some more south, east and west face routes of Gimpel.

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    Große Schlicke
    Gimpel north face as seen from Raintal (September 2012)

    Red Tape
    No restrictions as far as I know.

    You find hotels, campgrounds and other accommodation at
    Tannheimer Tal (Grän, Haldensee, Haller, Nesselwängle)

    Mountain huts:
    Musauer Alm
    Vilser Alm
    Otto Mayr Hütte
    Füssener Hütte
    Tannheimer Hütte

    Gear & Mountain Condition

    Friedberger Klettersteig
    Bold Gimpel summit

    Gimpel for experienced hikers on the normal route is a late spring, summer and autumn summit, depending on the snow conditions.

    You need a helmet for Gimpel normal route as there is frequent rockfall near the south faces of Tannheim mountains. Yor need to master UIAA grade II in exposed terrain.

    All other routes are for the experienced climbers. Most routes have fixed pegs. Take nuts and friends with you. Rope / double rope with 50 meters, helmet, slings, quickdraws, screwgate carabiners and a figure eight descender, in case you don´t use the normal route as descent, are recommended.

    Current Weather:

    Mpas & Guide Books

    Große Schlicke
    Gimpel (right) with Köllen- and Gehrenspitze and upper Raintal


  • Alpenvereinskarte Bayerische Alpen, scale 1 : 25.000, map number BY 5: Tannheimer Berge, Köllenspitze, Gaishorn, 1st edition, 2012, Deutscher Alpenverein

  • Bayerische Topographische Karte, scale 1 : 50.000, map number UK50-48, Füssen und Umgebung, Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation Bayern, 2012

  • Guide Books

  • Alpenvereinsführer: Allgäuer Alpen und Ammergauer Alpen, alpin, Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, 2008

  • Hölzler, W., et al.: Allgäu Kletterführer inklusive Tannheimer Berge; Panico Alpin Verlag, 6th edition, 2010

  • Freudig, T.: Klettern im Herzen der Tannheimer Berge, 2004

  • Freudig, T.: Klettern auf der Tannheimer Sonnenseite, 2nd edition, 2006

  • The climbers guides of Toni Freudig can be ordered here via Internet .

    Summit view from Gimpel to Köllenspitze
    Gimpel west face and Rote Flüh (right) as seen from Schartschrofen



    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.