The Lisener Spitze on the left
The Lisenser Spitze and it's sister summit the Lisenser Fernerkogel
are two popular summits that dominate views in the Lisens Valley all the way to Gries at the junction with the Sellrain Valley. The domination is because of the dramatic cliffs of the "Plattige Wand" directly below the peaks, and the Lisenser Ferner (Ferner means glacier) spilling down from a high cachement plateau. Naturally enough, the glacier has retreated in the last century, such that it peeks over the edge of the plateau with undoubted malice, yet it's powers are greatly diminished from former days when it tumbled all the way to the valley floor.
A skier arrives
In the winter and (especially) spring, the glacier appears restored to it's former glory because of a good snowpack to the valley floor. A teeming horde of skiers makes their way up on sunny weekends, as Tiroleans like steep and don't mind climbing to get it. It's one of my favorite skis because there are no long valleys to schuss, just steeply up 1600 meters, and oh-too-quickly down.
You also have a nice choice one the elevation up to the plateau has been ground out (1200 meters). The Lisenser Spitze is another 400 meters above, and you can keep your skis on all the way to the summit. The Lisenser Fernerkogel
is 500 meters above, but more complex. That mountain (not described in more detail here) requires a traverse of a steep icy or melted out slope to a hidden glacier, then a few hundred meters of rock climbing to the summit (dangerous when icy).
A funny thing about this mountain is the name. As Borut pointed out from his eastern redoubt
, no one can settle. Lisener, Lisenser, Lüsener, Lüsenser. In different guidebooks and maps I've seen each of these variations. I've settled on one here arbitrarily!
Getting ThereBy car:
Innsbruck - motorway A 12 - exit Sellrain - Gries in Sellrain - Lisens parking lot. There is a 3 euro fee here.
Hike the road south from Lisens, enjoying the view of the massive Lisenser Fernerkogel and it's glacier ahead. At the dead-end of the valley, go straight up the lowest angle line, starting with a broad gully in the middle. Skiers make switchbacks up and a bit right from here. Finally, a bit below the glacier, slopes broaden such that you can pick your own line up to the Lisenser Ferner Plateau (2800 meters).
From the Plateau, turn right up a broad, gentle glacial slope to around 3000 meters elevation. Here you have the Lisenser Spitze on your left (directly visible) and the Lisenser Fernerkogel access slopes on your right (the peak itself is hidden). For the Spitze, make your way to a broad glacial lobe just east of the summit, then follow the short east ridge to the top. You can easily ski from the summit.
Skiers coming up
Looking south from the Lisener Spitze
: When the snow safety conditions are "elevated" (level 3 in local parlance), it's best to stay away. The most danger is from avalanches on the steep slopes below the glacier, either coming from avalanches originating there or from higher up. Snow sluffs continuously from the Plattige Wand, providing a pleasant diversion on your way down (these are well off your path). But too much activity there is a signifier that your own slopes are dangerous.
On my last visit I crossed two large and rather fearsome avalanche debris paths in the bottom 200 meters of the route. The Plateau has many safe slopes, but the final push to the summit is steep enough in bad conditions to be dangerous. All slopes are north facing.
selinunte01 has made a great schematic for the lower approach.
If parking your car at Lüsens, you need 3 euros in coins (50 cent, 1 or 2 Euro coins only).
There is no hut on the way to the mountain, but the Westfallenhaus to the west would be a good base hut for a few days of ski touring or hiking in the area. You could stay overnight in Lisens near your car (again, Lüsens is another version of the name!).
External LinksAn April ski tour
- My own trip in April 2010.