Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.99656°N / 11.71163°E
Additional Information County: Tyrol
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 10161 ft / 3097 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

Geographical classification: Alps - Eastern Part > Zillertal Alps > Hochsteller

Hochsteller m 3097

Hochsteller is a wide and secluded rocky mountain belonging to the range called Zillertal Alps or Alpi Aurine (in italian); the summit is located near the Italian-Austrian boundary ridge, entirely on the Austrian side, between Monte Lavizza – Haupenhöhe to the South and Kälberlahnerspitze to the NW. It had been a rarely climbed peak until a few years ago, actually now it's more frequented in reason of its interesting Normal route. Along the ascent you can enjoy stunning views over Croda Alta/Hohe Wand, Croda Rossa/Rotbachlspitze, Cima Grava-Hochfernerspitze, Hintere Weisspitze and Grosser Moseler. Also the summit views are wide over the surrounding ranges, as Tuxer Alpen, Alpi Aurine - Zillertal Alps, Val di Vizze-Pfitscher Tal summits and the superb lake Schlegeis-Stausee.

Hochsteller labelled from Schrammacher approach
Alpi Aurine/Zillertal Alps annotated view from Schrammacher approach

 

When viewed from the Italian side, the mountain has the appearance of a dark and square rocky trapeze truly distinctive, with a long and flat - but notched in some places - summit ridge facing South; along this latter runs the upper section of the Normal route, joining Monte Lavizza, which someone consider as a fore-summit of Hochsteller. The other main ridges are the more jagged NW and NE ridges, surrounding the Hochstellerkees glacier.

 

Grosser Moseler seen from Hochsteller fore-summit
Grosser Moseler seen from Hochsteller fore-summit
Schlegeis-Stausee basin seen from the summit of Hochsteller
Schlegeis-Stausee basin seen from the summit of Hochsteller

Getting There

Road Approach

The starting point to climb is Val di Vizze – Pfitscher Tal

Getting to Val di Vizze

- From Brennero Motorway exit Vipiteno-Sterzing 947 m and take the road n. 508 entering Val di Vizze and reaching the villages of Prati-Wiesen, Caminata-Kematen, San Giacomo-St. Jacob and Sasso-Stein m. 1508, where the road becomes unpaved. The road rises quickly towards Passo di Vizze, but cars are allowed as far as the IV hairpin m. 1806. Parking.

Croda Alta - Hohe Wand
Croda Alta - Hohe Wand dominates Passo di Vizze

 

Approach to Passo di Vizze – Pfitscher Joch m. 2275

From Sasso to Passo di Vizze the road is open to private vehicles as far as the IV hairpin along the road m. 1806. From here take a path to the North (signposts «Pfitscher Joch»), or alternatively carry on briefly along the road, then turn to left following the path n. 3. 1 hour and a half by walking. Otherwise a minibus service is available; there are frequent departures both from Sasso-Stein and Passo di Vizze. See here more info: Passo di Vizze minibus

Tiny lake below Passo di Vizze shelter
Tiny lake near Rifugio Passo di Vizze
Croda Alta - Hohe Wand seen from Hochsteller approach path
Hohe Wand seen from Hochsteller approach path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hochsteller Normal Route from Passo di Vizze

Hochsteller Normal route from Passo di Vizze report

Summit altitude: m 3097 - Difficulty: Alpine F+ - Vertical gain: 822 m from Rifugio Passo di Vizze m 2275 - Exposure: South - Hut: Rifugio Passo di Vizze m 2275 - Starting point: Passo di Vizze m 2251

A very interesting and panoramic route inside a wild environment; it starts following at first a good path, then it involves an easy scramble up the rocky summit ridge

Hochsteller, on the standard route skirting Croda Rossa
On the standard route skirting Croda Rossa
Hochsteller seen from West
Hochsteller seen from the approach (West)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the hut descend briefly the dirt road towards Passo di Vizze and take soon on the right a track that head to the lake located below the hut. From the track the well-worn path to Croda Rossa-Rotbachlspitze immediately begins, climbing meadows eastwards and reaching the border crest between Italy and Austria, marked by various boundary stones. Continue on the ridge in the direction of the well visible Croda Rossa, then leave the main route at a characteristic rocky shoulder at 2600 meters (cairn). Here an uncertain track branches off on the right, descending slightly and crossing vegetated slopes and scree around Croda Rossa eastern slopes just below its rocky summit. 

Hochsteller summit ridge
Hochsteller summit ridge
Scrambling on Hochsteller summit ridge
Scrambling on Hochsteller summit ridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon the path becomes more obvious up a steep grassy slope to reach the beautiful terrace pastureland named "Hohe Öfen" at about 2730 m. where the unmistakable shape of Hochsteller appearing like a dark trapezius begins to be visible. Descend briefly to reach the wide grassy saddle called Haupentalscharte m. 2684.

Top of Hochsteller and Schlegeis-Staussee
Top of Hochsteller and Schlegeis-Staussee

 

Climb up between blocks and debris, keeping the left side of the ridge rising towards Hochsteller foresummit; the path becomes very steep in the upper part getting the foresummit named Haupenhöhe or Monte Lavizza m 3040, summit cairn, from which a superb view towards the Alpi Aurine appears. From the fore-summit turn to left (North) and start to scramble up a long rocky ridge, quite easy but with some exposed moves, leading to the summit.

Schlegeis-Stausee seen from Hochsteller top
Schlegeis-Stausee seen from Hochsteller top
Gran Pilastro subgroup seen from Hochsteller fore-summit
Gran Pilastro subgroup seen from Hochsteller fore-summit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Descent: reversing the same route

Essential gear

Hochsteller map

High mountain gear, eventually a rope. Be aware that in late spring and early summer it's possible to find snow or ice along the summit ridge; in that case crampons and an ice-axe are reccomended

Red Tape

Boundary stone along Hochsteller standard route
Boundary stone along the route
Cima Grava-Hochfernerspitze and Hintere Weisspitze
Hochfernerspitze and Hintere Weisspitze
Croda Rossa-Rotbachlspitze
Croda Rossa-Rotbachlspitze
Zillertal Alps Natural Park signpost
Zillertal Alps Natural Park signpost

 

 

 

 

 

 

No fees no permits needed. The peak is located within the Zillertal Alps Natural Park, a wild and preserved environment.

When to Climb

Best season goes from middle June to the end of September

Hut

Passo di Vizze - Pfitscher Joch hut
Passo di Vizze - Pfitscher Joch hut
Rifugio Passo Vizze
Rifugio Passo Vizze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Rifugio Passo di Vizze m 2276

Meteo

Meteo Provincia Bolzano

Guidebooks and maps

Guidebooks

“Alpi Aurine” by F. Cammelli – W. Beikircher Guida dei Monti d’Italia CAI

“Prestigiosi 3000 del Sudtirolo” by Hanspaul Menara

Maps

"Ahrntaler Berge - I monti di Valle Aurina" map 1:25.000 - Mapgraphic Bolzano