Overviewgeographical classification: Eastern Alps > Hohe Tauern > Venediger Group > Kristallwand
Kristallwand (= wall of cristals) is a mountain of Venediger Group with very different sides:
To the north it shows an impressive, almost scaring, dark north face, that is a major eye catcher for the many hikers on Venediger Hoehenweg trail or climbers to Grossvenediger. It is often mixed up with the nearby mountain Schwarze Wand (3511m) because this name would fit better to Kristallwand north face.
In the contrary to the west the mountain is only a little hill on the big plain of the "Hohes Gletscherdach" (= high glacier roof) – a plateau where the glaciers Mullwitzkees, Frosnitzkees and Schlatenkees meet and where one can easily lose orientation in case of fog.
To the SE the mountain sends a moderate ridge that is used for the normal route, with a good (and necessary) basis at Badner hut.
From Matrei in Osttirol you have to follow the Innergschloess Valley to Innergschloess. The easiest is to get onto one of the privately owned cabs operating between the Matreier Tauernhaus and the Venedigerhaus.
Once you arrived at the Venedigerhaus, you follow the valley to its end. If you arranged it beforehand, you can let your backpacks be transported from there to the Neue Prager Huette by a material cable railway. Anyway, you will have to ascend to the hut yourself, this will take you on the well marked path approximately 3,5h. The Neue Prager Huette is the ideal base for high alpine tours to Grossvenediger, Schwarze Wand and, of course, Kristallwand.
is one of the dominant peaks around the Neue Prager Hütte. Fortunately, the alpinists visiting the area rather prefer the famous Grossvenediger and the Schwarze Wand and/or the Rainerhorn for a visit. Due to this, the Kristallwand is very seldomly visited, our group has been the first to visit in 2002 when we came there in the middle of June!
Objectively, the access to the Kristallwand is in parts a little difficult and can be dangerous: traversing the Schlatenkees southwards brings you in close contact with many big crevasses and the ascent is in parts as steep as 40 degrees.
The Kristallwand is situated in the Hohe Tauern Nationalpark
, consequently wildlife conservation is an important issue. Apart from this, no fees are charged neither are permits required.
When To Climb
Early summer till autumn is the best season for a high alpine tour, but during winter it is also possible to access the mountain via a ski tour, too. You don't have to expect seasonal problems as such, but rather timely problems: if you start too late, snow conditions will make it hard to have an enjoyable and safe tour.
Camping is generally not allowed in the National Park. Use the network of huts in the area (see above for further info).
The best is to get in touch with the Neue Prager Huette