The Route via the southwest-ridge is the normal route to Hochfeiler/Gran Pilastro (3.510m), the highest summit of the Zillertal_Alps. The route starts at Hochfeiler-Hut (2.710m - 3h from Stein in Pfitscher-valley) and takes round about 2,5h to the summit. The normal route has the difficulty "easy", because there are no glacier-passages or rock-climbings on the way up. The way is also well marked, so the normal route is a nice hiking-trip to a big mountain of the Eastern Alps.
Hochfeiler 3.510m (left) and southwest-ridge seen from the way from STEIN to Hochfeiler-Hut. You can see Hochfeiler-Hut in the middle and behind Niederer Weisszint (Punta Bianco Basso) 3.264m.
The route starts at STEIN/SASSO in the Pfitscher-valley, South-Tyrol/Italy. It is possible to park at the third switchback after STEIN/SASSO on the Pfitscherjoch-Street.
To Stein: From Germany and Austria via Innsbruck and Brenner-pass to STERZING/VIPITENO (Fourth exit on the italian highway A22 from Brenner-pass). You have to pay toll for the Brenner-pass on the highway. On the austrian side you have to pay 8,00 Euro for cars and 1,00 Euro on the italian highway. It is useful and time-saving to pay the austrian toll with "video-maut" (www.asfinag.at). From south on italian highway A22 to STERZING/VIPITENO. From STERZING/VIPITENO you drive into the Pfitscher-valley (val di vizze) via ST.JAKOB/SAn GIACOMO to STEIN/SASSO. You reach Hochfeiler-Hut on a nice track in 3h.
From the Hochfeiler-Hut 5-10min on the well marked path to the north-west ascending the one and only steeper part of the route. Here are fix-ropes installed. After this passage you have to turn to north-east and follow the ridge to the top of Hochfeiler on the very well marked path. The high number of ascents produced many paths on the ridge. Don´t worry about finding the right way, all paths reach the top ;-). The last 50 meters you can ascend on the snow ridge or in the rubble on the right.
Hochfeiler - The last 50meters
Hochfeiler - Southwest-ridge seen from the summit
Hiking-sticks are very useful on the way up and down, because the route goes on big rubble. The last 50 meters of altitude could require crampons if the ridge is full of snow. Normally it is possible to ascent on the right side of the ridge in the rubble.