Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.34885°N / 10.92160°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 8730 ft / 2661 m
Sign the Climber's Log


GrünsteinEvening sun on Grünstein (right) and Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze (left)

Grünstein is a major summit of the Mieming range and is located in the western part of this area. With a height of 2661 m Grünstein is not among the highest peaks of Mieming range, that is Hochplattig, more than 100 m higher, or Griesspitzen, east of Grünstein. Nevertheless Grünstein is wellknown and, besides of Hohe Munde, one of the most visited summits of Mieming main range.

Grünstein is located between Griesspitzen and Grünsteinscharte to the east, Marienbergspitzen to the west, Hölltörl col and Höllkopf to the south and Dachenkopf, Drachenkar and Schwärzkar to the north.

It is the highest summit of the west range of the Mieming area between Grünsteinscharte and Marienbergjoch. This west range is a huge rock wall, dropping down 400 to 500 meters to the north and the south. The normal route is the south route which requires some rock climbing up to UIAA grade II. The rock is good for Mieming range standards; normally Mieming rock climbs tend to be in bad and crumbled rocks.

GrünsteinGrünstein, east arete and Grünsteinscharte as seen from Tajatörl in spring

Another well known route is the east arête coming from Grünsteinscharte (UIAA grade II, III in parts) and the west arête from Marienbergspitzen (UIAA grade II – III in parts).

The summit is an excellent lookout, the higher Mieming summits blocking the view only in eastern direction.

I said Grünstein is one of the most visited summits within Mieming main range. This does not mean crowds on the summit as the normal route has its obstacles and is poorly marked with cairns. At Hölltörl, the starting point of the normal route, there is no signpost pointing out the summit. All other routes are less known. So don´t worry, you will not meet many people on your way.

Getting There

Northern main trailhead is the parking area of Marienberg ski runs above the village of Biberwier.

Southern main trailhead is the parking area at Thaler Inn, Arzkasten near the village of Obsteig.

GrünsteinGrünstein at the right end of Mieming range as seen from the northwest
GrünsteinGrünstein and (left) Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze above low clouds in autumn

Your reach Biberwier

  • by car from Munich on highway A 95 and then road number B 2 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Turn on road number B 23 and pass through Garmisch. Use Austrian road number 187 to the beginning of the Ehrwald-Lermoos valley, turn left on road number L 391 through Ehrwald to Biberwier and follow road number L 71 to the parking area of the Marienberg cablecars.
    Up to 2015 no parking fees.

  • by car from MemmingenKemptenLandsberg and Füssen region go to the end of highway A 7, pass the border and go on road number 179 to Lermoos, passing by Reutte. Turn on L 71 to Biberwier and to the parking area.

  • Railway stations are at Ehrwald and Lermoos; trains coming from Innsbruck, Munich and Reutte. See the ÖBB schedule here

  • GrünsteinSummit view to the north, Zugspitze, Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze, Ammergauer mountains
    GrünsteinSummit view to the east, Griesspitzen, Inntal

    You reach Obsteig by car either from Innsbruck or from Landeck by following highway number A 12 to the exit “Telfs” Turn on road number 189 and pass through Obsteig. Take the first road branching off to the right in the woods and follow it until you reach the parking area at the inn.

    Routes Overview

    Routes Overview

    Southern normal route

    This route starts at a col named Hölltörl (hells gate). I don´t know where this denomination derives from; it is simply a beautiful place.

    Reaching Hölltörl from the north:

    Follow the forest road from the parking area above Biberwier circling around the huge hotel at the valley station of Marienberg cablecars. Turn left on a narrow trail entering the woods. Follow this trail through the woods up to the station of the first section of the cablecars. Ascend the ski run and regain the trail on the left side (in the ascent sense) of the ski run. Traverse higher up a debris flow zone and regain the forest road after that. Follow the road up to the mountain station and to the near Marienbergjoch, the huge col between Hochwannig and Grünstein range.

    Left of Marienbergjoch a trail starts and traverses the south slopes of Marienbergspitzen up to Hölltörl.

    Reaching Hölltörl from the south:

    Follow the forest road starting at the inn and parking area to Lehnberghaus by either following the road and later the trail using the valley ground or following the forest road on the west slope of Nisskogel – Jöchle – Wankspitze ridge. From Lehnberghaus follow the trail in northern direction to Grünsteinscharte. At about 1720 m turn left on the trail to Hölltörl.

    GrünsteinMarienbergjoch as seen from the traverse to Hölltörl
    GrünsteinHöllreiße, ascent to Hölltörl (beginning of the east arete) and to Hölltörl (to the left of the picture)
    GrünsteinAt Hölltörl

    Summit ascent:

    North of Hölltörl you see a scree cone coming down from two rock chutes. Ascend that scree cone and traverse to the left, passing by the first / eastern chute until you reach the bottom of the second / western chute. Climb the eastern limitation of that western chute until it gets perpendicular (UIAA grade I). Traverse there into the chute (steep slab (UIAA grade I).

    With snow fill you can climb the chute directly, too.

    GrünsteinFirst (wrong) and second (right) chute as seen from Hölltörl
    GrünsteinSouth ascent lower part
    GrünsteinSouth ascent lower part

    Ascend the chute shortly and go right when this is easily possible. Leave the chute to your right and scramble up easy rocks to a ridge. Turn left there and walk up to the upper part of the first / eastern chute. Stay left and climb a first short rockwall (UIAA grade I) until you can traverse into a chute. Pass by this chute and climb a second short rockface (UIAA grade II, secured with an iron rope) up to a ridge. Follow that ridge to a third rockwall which can be climbed on its left side using a huge crack or in its middle part using a chute. From there on follow a rock ridge (UIAA grade I) up to a sort of landing which marks the lowest point of the upper Grünstein south cirque.

    Left of you is the upper end of the western chute; with enough snow you can ascend and descend the whole chute (this is the normal ski route).

    GrünsteinSecond, secured, rockwall
    GrünsteinThird rockwall
    GrünsteinUpper Grünstein cirque; bootskiing area

    Follow the foot tracks in the scree navigating round a rock ridge to the right. Gain the scree and grassy ridge above the rocks and follow it straight up to the uppermost part of the cirque. The ridge turns into a rock ridge near the upper end of the cirque; you can climb it up directly (UIAA grade I / I-) or navigate round it on its left side (steep scree tracks; this is the descent route, too).

    At the upper end of the ridge (or a bit below it) traverse to your right into the huge summit rock chute coming down right / east of the summit block. Ascend this chute; there is one huge rock blocking the chute, climb it directly (UIAA grade II). A second chockstone was washed out of the chute recently; funnily enough this was – as I was told – the most difficult bit of the route. Actually (2015) it is instable terrain which will get better / more firm in the future.

    GrünsteinSummit chute
    GrünsteinChokestone in summit chute
    GrünsteinCircling around summitblock

    Leave the chute to your left when you reach the summit block. Don´t follow the chute to its end. Follow the ledges to your left navigating around the summit block until you reach its western face. Climb up the west face of the summit block to the nearby summit.

    The descent is on the same route. Parts of the scree filled upper Grünstein south cirque are good for bootskiing down in the scree. Great fun!

    GrünsteinSummit view to the southwest with upper Grünstein cirque
    GrünsteinSummit view to the south

    Ski route

    The ski route mostly follows the southern normal route. You need to reach Hölltörl, from the north via ascending the Marienberg ski area to Marienbergjoch and then traverse on the south slopes to Hölltörl, or you start at Thaler Inn, ascend to Lehnberghaus and to Höllreiße, turn left and ascend the slopes to Hölltörl.

    For the summit ascent you need enough snow and good avalanche conditions. Use the eastern chute completely to reach upper Grünstein cirque. Go up to its upper end and leave the skies at the entrance to the summit chute.

    Follow that chute up to the left side ledges, circle round the summit block and climb it on its western side. With very good snow condition you may reach the summit with skies, too.

    This route is only for the very experienced ski tourist! Don´t underestimate the difficulty of skiing down the south side of Grünstein!

    GrünsteinSummit view to the north

    Other routes

  • East arête, starting from the first peak within the east arête west of Grünsteinscharte; UIAA grade II and very exposed;
    Grünsteinscharte can be reached from Coburger Hütte (north) and from Thaler Inn / Obsteig and Lehnberghaus (south)

  • North chute, 60 degrees, ice and snow route early in the year, starting from Coburger Hütte; in the upper part you have to traverse on the south side to the uppermost normal route or you follow the uppermost east arête (UIAA grade II). Crampons, helmet, ropes, ice tools and a lot of experience are mandatory

  • Northern Buttress (UIAA grade IV+), climbing route, rock is not perfect!; route starts from Coburger Hütte

  • Northwest buttress, UIAA grade IV

  • West wall in instable rock, UIAA grade III+

  • West arete, UIAA grade II / III, coming from Marienbergscharte and Marienbergspitzen

  • GrünsteinWest arete Marienbergspitzen - Grünstein
    GrünsteinSeebensee, Drachenkopf and - left - Grünstein north face

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    No Red Tape as far as I know.


    You find all kinds of accommodation at

  • Ehrwald

  • Lermoos

  • Biberwier

  • Nassereith

  • Obsteig / Telfs

  • Mountain huts

  • Lehnberghaus

  • Coburger Hütte

  • Gear & Mountain Condition

    GrünsteinUpper Grünstein south cirque

    Grünstein nearly is a year round summit. In late spring, summer and autumn it is a mountaineers and climbers summit which requires climbs up to UIAA grade II (two parts) on the normal route in rather good, sometimes exposed rock. The other routes are more difficult and more demanding.

    You should bring a helmet for the south normal route. As the most difficult rock wall is secured with an iron rope you need no extra rope with dry and snow free conditions. Slings, rope and hareness for less experienced mountaineers can be useful for the south route and for the two aretes.

    The north chute is a late spring / early summer outing. Crampons, helmet, ice axe and a rope with ice screws and some slings are a must.

    In late winter and spring Grünstein is summited with skies, too. You have to be an experiences skier to do so! Most common is the south normal route, using the chutes more than the ridges on the south ascent. Very good skiers do the north chute, too. Both ski routes require excellent ski and snow conditions.

    You need full avalanche gear and ice gear, especially for the north chute.

    See the Tirol avalanche bulletin here.

    Current Weather:

    Ehrwald valley and Ehrwald mountain

    Maps & Guide Books

    GrünsteinDrachensee and Coburger Hütte; the shelter for all northern ascents


    Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 25.000, Blatt Nr, 4/2, Wetterstein- und Mieminger Gebirge, Mittleres Blatt

    Zugspitze, Mieminger Kette: Ehrwald, Lermoos, Garmisch, Reutte. Wander-, Rad- und Skitourenkarte. 1:50.000 KOMPASS-Karten, Innsbruck, Februar 2009

    Guide Books

    Wutscher, Rudolf:
    Alpenvereinsführer Mieminger Kette
    München : Bergverlag Rother, 1989.

    The "old" classic (probably sold out)
    Pfanzelt, Helmut:
    Alpenvereinsführer Wetterstein und Mieminger Kette.
    München : Bergverlag Rother, 1971.



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    Mieming RangeMountains & Rocks