Kemacher is a broad Karwendel range summit, standing high above the town of Innsbruck. Located between Kaminspitzen to the east, Sattelspitzen and Langer Sattel to the west, Inntal valley to the south and Gleirsch valley to the north, Kemacher is the culmination point of the famous Innsbrucker Klettersteig, the via ferrata between the mountain station of the Karwendel cable car and the Frau Hitt col.
Most people traverse this summit on their way via the Innsbrucker Klettersteig. Nevertheless Kemacher can be climbed, too, from Langer Sattel col to the west of the mountain via the west ridge. For the very (!) experienced ski mountaineer Kemacher is an interesting ski tour challenge using the south slopes above Höttinger Alm. You need very, very good snow conditions for that kind of outing.
Kemacher is part of the Inntal range of Karwendel area and thus part of “Innsbrucker Nordkette”, too. Easy accessible from the cablecar station of Seegrube via Langer Sattel and frequented as part of Innsbrucker Klettersteig, the summit can be crowded on bright days.
Best trailheads are at the mountain stations of the Innsbruck cableway Nordkettenbahn:
You reach Innsbruck by car
via highway A 8, A 93 (Germany) and A 12 (Austria, toll road) from Salzburg or Munich direction or on A 12 coming from Landeck direction.
Leave the highway at exit Innsbruck Mitte and proceed to Rennweg road for the first section of the Nordkettenbahn (the so called Hungerburgbahn) or follow the signs to Hungerburg, north of and about 200 m above Innsbruck center. Höhenstraße road leads you there.
Check in to the second section to Seegrube and third section to Hafelekar.
If you don´t want to use the cablecar park at the second section valley station at Innsbruck Hungerburg. Long ascents / descents!
Best railway station is for shure Innsbruck main station. Busses are available for Hungerburg and Rennweg trailheads.
Trailhead Hafelekar mountain station
Follow the signposts to Innsbrucker Klettersteig to the east. There is a sort of a crux at the beginning of the via ferrata (rated “C”), 10 minutes from the cable car, be quick or wait…
Follow the Innsbrucker Klettersteig to the summits of Kaminspitzen and to the summit of Kemacher.
In most cases mountaineers proceed to Langer Sattel and up to Östliche Sattelspitze where the second part of Innsbrucker Klettersteig starts.
Trailhead Seegrube cablecar station
Take trail number 216 up to Hafelekar cable car station and to the beginning of Innsbrucker Klettersteig.
Alternatively take Schmiedhuber trail to the east. At the first trail junction take the right hand trail up to Langer Sattel. Turn right there and follow the Innsbrucker Klettersteig up to Kemacher, using its rocky east ridge.
Follow the forest road to Umbrüggler Alm and take trail number 215 (Nisslsteig) up to Höttinger Alm (drinks, food, lodging). A sparsely marked, steep trail takes you up to Langer Sattel. Follow the east ridge to Kemacher. Huge altitude difference: about 1.700 m.
I recommend a start at Hafelekar, the whole Innsbrucker Klettersteig to Frau Hitt Sattel and a descent to Hungerburg. Strong mountaineers include Vorderes Brandjoch from Frau Hitt Sattel.
Kemacher is a very difficult ski tour for very experienced mountaineers and possible only with excellent snow condition and a sufficient snow cover. You go up and ski down the steep south slopes.
The ridge Kaminspitzen to Kemacher and the whole western part of Kemacher belong to the Alpenpark Karwendel, an important and strictly protected national park.
There is no entrance fee for the park but many regulations to follow.
Please respect the following rules in the National Park:
Innsbruck and surrounding
Kemacher require a via ferrata kit with self belay and helmet. As Innsbrucker Klettersteig is very frequented on sunny days a helmet is a must!
The traverse of Kaminspitzen / Kemacher is rated A – C. You should have some experience with rock and via ferrata.
The summit is mainly a summer and autumn undertaking.
Kemacher is a very difficult ski tour for experienced mountaineers and possible only with excellent snow condition and a sufficient snow cover.
Alpenvereinskarte scale 1 : 25.000, number 5/1, Karwendelgebirge westliches Blatt, 2013, with UTM-grid
Klettersteige Bayern - Vorarlberg - Tirol, Rother Klettersteigführer, 11th edition, 2016