We had a discussion about the name of this mountain and that is why I named it like this (Grosser Happ). Check the comments section. It could be that I forgot to correct the name back to Grosser from Grosses.
Grosser Happ, 3350m is very rarely visited mountain. It is located in the ridge that comes from the main ridge of Venediger group, from the north side, exactly from Grosser Geiger, 3360m. From the summit the ridge continues in the south direction and reaches the important point. This is the pass Türmljoch, 2790m that is the connection between the valley MaurerTal on the west and the valley DorferTal on the east side. The valley Dorfertal is one of the most important valleys because there goes the most popular approach to Grossvenediger, 3667m. From the pass Türljoch the ridge continues over some less important peaks ( Niklakskopf, 2780m, Schlüsselspitz, 2778m and Finsterwitzkopf, 2254m that is approachable over the easy marked route from the village Hinterbichl, 1329m) and falls down to the large valley Virgental. The ridge is surrounded with two valleys. On the west side is MaurerTal and on the east side is DorferTal. From the summit of Grosses Happ is the ridge linked with Grosser Geiger.
Some glaciers surround Grosser Happ. On the east side above the valley DorferTal is the Dorferkees. On the north-west and west side is a glacier Maurerkees. Both glaciers have many crevasses and we must be very careful.
The approaches on Grosser Happ are interesting and big adventures. The mountain has many summits. The highest one and the main is 3350m high. The north ridge that starts on the pass between Grosser Geiger and Grosses Happ is hard to climb. Also the east face from the glacier DorferTal and south ridge from the pass Türmljoch.
The normal approach if I can say in that way goes over the west face. In the upper part is better to say very steep rocky slope. We start from the hut Essener – Rostocker, 2208m and start ascending over the marked route to the Türmljoch pass. On the altitude around 2500 meters we leave the marked route and start ascending to the north over the grassy slopes. After the steep ascent we reach the upper west slopes below the glacier. We cross them just below the glacier to the west ridge and slope that come from the main summit. In the last part we must cross the glacier (crevasses!). Then we ascend over the short wall and later over the steep rocky slope to the summit. We must find the best passages. The difficulty here is around UIAA I-II.
The view from the summit is very unusual. We see all the giants of Venediger group. Especially the view on Grosser Geiger and Grossvenediger is amazing. We see many climbers on the glaciers of Grossvenediger but we enjoy in the loneliness.
Getting there depends on in which valley you want to start your trip.
For the south approach you have to follow the road until Matrei, then the Virgental to the end of the valley to the village Streden, 1403m where there is a parking place. You have to pay 3 euros for one day or 9 euros for one week.
For this approach you park the car in the village Hinterbichl, 1329m and you reach the hut Johannishuette, 2121m by walk or you use via Taxi Venediger. This is also very popular ascent to Johannishuette because there goes the main approach on Grossvenediger.
Overview map of Venediger group.
Alpenvereinskarte (Map of the german/austrian alpine club) 1:25.000 Nr. 36 Venedigergruppe.
Grosses Happ, 3350m from the descent from Grosser Geiger, 3360m
The scheme of the route.
South-west approach. This approach goes from the hut Essener - Rostocker hut, 2208m in the direction to the pass Türmljoch, 2790m. Then from the marked route over the best possibilities over the west side (glacier and steep rocky face) to the main summit. Description.
South-east approach. This approach goes from the hut Johannis hütte, 2121m in the direction to the pass Türmljoch, 2790m. When we reach the pass we descend some 300 meters and from there over the best possibilities over the west side (glacier and steep rocky face) to the main summit. Description.
There are also other possibilities for reaching the summit but are much harder then the normal approach. If anyone knows some more information please tell me.
Note: The mountain is very rarely visited so be careful. The rope is urgent.
Vid Pogachnik said about tour skiing on the slopes of Grosser Happ: The description says: "From the hut over the bridge on Maurerbach. From there, there are two possibilities. Forwards towards Tuermljoch and behind Kleiner Geiger (2816m) near the rocky tower on the glacier and towards the north. The second option is directly by a narrow shoulder (ridge) - towards NE - and on the glacier. The summit ascent then without skis."
When To Climb
Grosser Happ, 3350m from the glacier Maurerkees.
January to May with Ski, July to September by foot. In summer time the huts are opened and you can get food almost as in a restaurant. The hut on the south-east side, Essener-Rostocker Huette, 2208m is opened the whole year.
Note: The skiing from the summit of Grosser Happ is not an easy tour skiing. It is hard alpinistic skiing exposed avalanches. Only for good skiers.
No restrictions of climbing or fees although the whole area is part of the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern.
Camping is not allowed in the National Park, but alpine bivouacs are allowed. In the parking place in Streden you have to pay parking fee. For one day 3 euros, for whole week 9 euros.