Hochwildstelle is located in the Schladminger Tauern group and it is the second highest elevation of the Niedere Tauern range. As part of the Central Alpine Range it consists of crystalline rocks. Owing tho this fact, Hochwildstelle is one of the typical "grass-mountains" of the Eastern Alps, however, because of its relative great height sharp rocky ridges and faces give it a real alpine feature. The peak - and the whole surrounding area - seems to be in the "shadow" of the more attractive higher mountains of Austria and mostly visited by local people only. First ascent was done by M. Reiter and his companions in 1801.
The best approach is from the well-known ski resort Schladming (railway station; by car 90 km from Salzburg on the highway A10 towards Villach and on the road No.146). From Schladming following the Untertal (valley) further 13 km till the trailhead at Riesachfälle (waterfall; road toll with parking included; in the main season public bus service as well).
Also possible from the village Aich ( from Schladming further 11 km on road No.146, railway station on the same line). From here on motorable road(toll) cca.6 km to the lake Boden See.
Routes / Season
-Normal Route (2-days-version)
At Riesachfälle (1079m) starts the "Wasserfallweg" following the falls of the Riesach stream, equipped with iron stairs and a remarkable hangig bridge over the gorge with 35 m depth below our feet.
This steep part ends at lake Riesachsee(1338m; till here there is the choice to take the less interesting but more comfortable forestry road). Walk round the lake on its N shore and continue horizontal through lovely meadows to the houses of Kerschbaumer Alm and Kot Alm. From here leaving the broad road on the right, crossing the stream steeper to the Preintaler hut (1657m; cca. 2 hours; overnight stay).
From the hut cross the stream and take the trail No.782 ("Höfersteig") for the Neualmscharte. Pass by two ramifications on the left (for Neualm/Planai)and continue on the serpentine till the pass Neualmscharte (2347m) wich opens on the rigt side of a bizarre rock formation. (till here also from the N through the Seewigtal; from the Hans Wödl hut cca.3 hours).
From the saddle at first on the ridge, later longer traversing on its southern side (passing by the peak of Kleine Wildstelle), till the superb pyramide of Hochwildstelle appears - from this point of view our project seems to be totally hopeless. The next section is a beautiful horizontal promenade on the flat rocks of the ridge, followed by a cliff falling steep to the saddle before the summit block. Descend some steps southwards just before the cliff ("Grafenwirt Umkehr"; a copper plaque in remembrance of an unsuccessful climb) with the help of iron bows. After the narrow saddle once more some iron bows but no more artificial support till the peak!
Continue in the fall-line of the summit rather steep, on rocks and scree, taking care of loose stones wich are abundantly to found. The climb ends just below the summit cross( cca.4-4,5 hours from the hut).
Descent: follow the ascending route till the ramification for Neualm at point 2057m. From here through wet meadows to the abbandoned huts of Neualm and descend directly to Kerschbaumer Alm. Take this way in ascent if decided to compress the adventure in one day.
From Preintaler hut take the path No.702. Walk till the pass Wildlochscharte and continue on the S ridge with easy scrambling. The narrow and exposed upper section of the ridge demands a bit of climbing abilities (difficulty 5.3/I-II UIAA) supported by some iron bows.
S ridge is usually combined with descending on the normal route (Summit 4 hours from the hut).
Best season for climb is July-September. In the earlier season (till mid-July) problems may occur because of steep snow slopes. In winter be aware of possible avalanche danger, in the first place on the grassy slopes below the Neualmsattel.
Camping / Huts
The area is protected as part of Nationalpark Schladminger Tauern, so camping on the terrain cannot be recommended. Camp site is to found in Schladming (with all other kinds of accomodation); the mountain huts allow one-day trips or "from-hut-to-hut" trips as well.
The area is part of a National Park, so the usual rules of environmental protection are authoritative. No entry fee, but you have to pay road toll/parking at Riesachsee and Boden see.
-Kompass Wanderkarte No.31 Radstadt-Schladming
-Freytag&Berndt Wanderkarte No.201. Schladminger Tauern, Radstadt, Dachstein 1:50.000
-Alpenvereinskarte 45/3 Niedere Tauern III. 1:50.000 (available in digital form as well).