Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 46.50300°N / 10.53900°E
Additional Information Route Type: classic climb
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: rocks UIAA III, ice 45°
Sign the Climber's Log


The Hintergrat is a logical route to the Ortler on the ridge that spreads wide to the east with a remarkable shoulder. It is a bit more difficult than the normal route from the Payer hut but it provides a very impressive traverse of the mountain, climbing on an exposed ridge with fantastic views to all sides.
The Hintergrat is climbed often in the summer season and so it is better to avoid the weekend to avoid traffic jam in the difficult parts.
Difficulties concentrate on the final 200 meters. Up to the Signalkopf (3723 m) it is only strenous.


From the famous village Sulden/Solda (1846 m) a marked mountain path leads to the Hintergrat-Huette/Rifugio del Coston (2661 m) where normal climbers stay the night; 2,5 h, shorter when you use cablecars to the Schaubachhuette (mid-station) or Langenstein. Owner of the hut are the mountainguides of Sulden. About 70 beds, guided from July to the end of September.

Route Description

First follow a path to a big slope with rubblestones (difficult to follow in the dark) and a couloir to the Fore-summit Oberer Knott (3480 m) where you meet the ridge for the first time.
The following walk through snow to the Signalkopf (3723 m) is also easy. Some meters before the highest rocks a layer crosses at the left side to reach the ridge again behind the Signalkopf. There is usally a little rope that helps over the next steep meters (without it is UIAA IV-V). Climb a steep snow field than again rocks (one part UIAA III). Again some ice and the final rocks that are quite easy. About 6 h to the summit

Descend on the normal route

Essential Gear

Nomal harness for glacier climbs; Some layers for the rocks. Perhaps a second ice axe for the first climber if there is pure ice on the ridge.

best time

Summer from mid of July to end of September


The Ortler mountain has first been climbed 1804 on a route from Trafoi that is not common today because of loose rocks.
In Summer 1805 Ortler was climbed several times on the Hintergrat Route by an "expedition" sent by Erzherzog Johann for scientific / touristic reason. The Ortler was the highest "german mountain" then and therefore important; a flag and a fire on the summit showed everybody the "victory" of Ltd. Gebhard, the leader of the expedition. There were fixed ropes on the ridge to lead him to the top.
After that wars with Napoleon were more important for the austrian emperor.
It is hard to believe that the ascent over the Hintergrat was completely forgotten for decades. The rare ascents until 1870 were done on other routes. The first man to redescover the route was Theodor Harpprecht (from my hometown Stuttgart) with guide Peter Dangl on July 19th 1872. Since then the Hintergrat is the 2nd normal Route to the Ortler

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-4 of 4

Silvio1973 - Jul 23, 2005 8:35 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

July 2005, there is no longer any rope or chain on any section of the Hintergrat. However our feel is all the route's difficulties are NOT concentrated on the key passage "Signalkopf". There are at least two passages of sport climbing (french grade: 4b) after Signalkopf, one before and one after the large snow steep field. Both are however equipped with some bolts. The point is that the way is very long and complex; if you want to secure yourself on any dangerous or exposed point it can take more than 10 hours to get to the summit (and once on the top you need at least two hours to get to the closest shelter, "Bivacco Milano"). Conclusion: a team have to climb not totally secured on some exposed passages in order to close the way up in less than 6 hours.
Said that, this was - up to today - the most scenic way we experienced.

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Jul 23, 2005 1:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

thank you for your report and for telling your experiences!
as I've read here there is still something that helps over the first difficult rocks. Probably I should not write "little rope" but "sling". Is this correct in your eyes?


Silvio1973 - Jul 24, 2005 11:24 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

There is no rope, there are just a couple of slings in some places but not in Signalkopf. The slings are located in two other points of the ridge (two points of sport climb, that I would classify of level 4a).

Buthrakaur - Oct 2, 2009 10:18 am - Hasn't voted

GPS track for Hintergrat

GPS track for Hintergrat on Google Maps

Viewing: 1-4 of 4



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