Grossglockner (3798 m) Meletzki ridge

Page Type
Trip Report
Kaernten, Austria, Europe
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Oct 20, 2012
1984 Hits
74% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
Grossglockner (3798 m) Meletzki ridge
Created On: Feb 22, 2013
Last Edited On: Feb 28, 2013

There was already some snow. After some research my partner for the tour and I decided to try Meletzki ridge instead of the winter normal route from Kals, which was recommended to us by local guides.

We drove on Grossglockner-Hochalpenstrasse, parked at the large Hofmannshuette, and descended 250 m to the Pasterze. We traversed the longest glacier of the Eastern Alps and followed the marked route of Hofmannsweg (signs on the glacier and red-white-red on rock). The marks lead to a small kettle, open on one side. There was a waymark drawn vertically on the left entrance of the kettle. It looked like: start climbing here. The rock was brittle on inspection, not bolted and coudn't be belayed, neither does Hofmannsweg contain any UIAA III climbing.

My partner had the idea to bypass the kettle on the right (the normal way cuts the right rim of the kettle I think).

We came to a lightly slabby area with snow. Soon we saw the further waymarks. We reached the Frühstücksplatz of Hofmannsweg later, where the Meletzki ridge starts (roughly at 47.07428700, 12.71689500).

Belaying possibilities are installed poles or horns. There are a few bolts. The ridge is not difficult (up to UIAA II). With snow it seemed a little more difficult naturally. There are some waymarks.

Like seen on webcam photos before, there wasn't too much snow on the ridge. Marks were not always visible, so we tried a few own shortcuts. Often we guided the rope sidewise of the poles.

We had planned to exit the ridge before dawn, even if it'd take us longer. It took us longer because of wayfinding at the kettle, snow, relative late departure and I'm not the fastest guy anyway. So all time-margins were used up.

We did the last climbing during dawn. The last exposed crux had two bolts and was a little ticklish. I didn't find good foot hold. Simply resting the left elbow eased the situation. Now we used headlights. One last climbing draw and the rest to Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte was walking terrain.

The snow surface was again nice and crispy now after dawn. Crevasses were not perceptible or not there.

We crashed in the four-bed-shakedown with 8 persons.

The next morning after coffee, cake and cigarettes we started to Glocknerleitl. There was a good track, snow conditions at the Leitl ideal.

After exit from the Glocknerleitl are some steeper slabs with snow. Because of exposition we belayed at the poles from there on most of the time.

The Glockner peak site was a little unexpected to me. Beautiful. The way from Kleinglockner to Grossglockner was not so far as imagined. Impressive with exposition top of Stüdl ridge (next image, where some were climbing) and top of Pallavicini Couloir.

Grosses Wiesbachhorn, my first alpine tour above 3000m this year:

We enjoyed.

On our way back, there were practically no waiting times. Perfect timing for us. As Großglockner has 5000 climbs per year.

At the Leitl I got lowered 40 m which saved me nerves. Backwards it was easily descendable anyway as the track was a stairway.


Erzherzog-Johann-Huette (Adlersruh), highest alpine hut of Austria:

Last part of this nice tour was descend over glacier Hofmannskees on Hofmannsweg and last part variational down to the right directly. On one occasion there was compact ice with a little snow on top. Steep and exposed enough for ous to belay one rope lenght with three ice screws.

Then came rocky areas with 30 cm of soft snow. Foot's ligaments where happy about leaving that area unharmed.

Finally we strolled the 300 m back up to Hofmannshütte.

I am happy to have had my austrian touring partner Mario with me on that one.

Meletzki ridge from middle left to upper middle:


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-6 of 6
Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis - Feb 28, 2013 1:16 am - Hasn't voted

Mid Way?

The story seems to just cut off... any plans for fixing this?


Flo - Feb 28, 2013 3:45 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Mid Way?

Hi Josh, I didn't even know the page was visible to others. Now it seems we din't even reach mid way, I guess =)

I was looking for a word in English like cauldron, kettle, which I coudn't find. A rock landscape formation like a kettle, 100 m in diameter, but open to one side. How do you call that?

Thanks, Flo


DrJonnie - Mar 1, 2013 5:29 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Mid Way?

how about BOWL?


EastKing - Mar 1, 2013 2:28 am - Voted 10/10


Rarely do I take a look at trip reports that are mostly pictures. This one I did. Awesome job and way to go.

samtugwell - May 28, 2013 5:04 am - Voted 8/10

More info

Hi, I was wondering if you could give a bit more info on the technicalities, such as what time of year, what time you set out, how long each leg took etc. Also some info on the gear you took and consider to be necessary (you mention 3 ice screws for example).

Great photos by the way, looks like a cool day.


Flo - Jun 3, 2013 5:16 pm - Hasn't voted

infos on route

Here is some Imformation in German: It is a little old though.

It says 5 express sets total, 50 m rope, helmet, slings, full glacier equipment with prusiks.

Best time june to september.

We needed ice screws because we did not descend exactly along the Hofmannsweg, but variational. So we belayed one rope lenght with 3 screws total. we could have done without as it was not that exposed.

Anyway not a bad idea to have one or two screws per person on any glacier. the later in year, the better an idea, right?

I am not even sure that we did the whole ridge. Because we left it for sleeping in Adlersruhe/Erzherzog-Johann. From there we went to the Glocknerleitl.

It would be best going there not too late in the year and not to early. so you have stable snow conditions on the Glocknerleitl. And on the ridge the less snow the better. or at least stable snow.
Probably you can get good information on conditions from local guides in Kals or so.

Viewing: 1-6 of 6

Grossglockner (3798 m) Meletzki ridge

Trip Report
1 Images 6 Comments


Nearby Trip Reports Interactive Map Trip Reports in Austria