Hohe Wand Spitze
Generally speaking, the ascent route to Kraxentrager / La Gerla starts at Landshuter Europahütte / Rifugio Venna alla Gerla and is a 1h affair. Most of this hike runs across a trail "paved" with granite slabs, with a short 30m long (down) climbing section, which is secured by fixed cables. The remainder of the climb is a scramble across granite blocks to the summit.
To reach the hut, however, a lot of effort has to be taken since it is far away from any trailhead. Therefore I will describe the whole route from the parking lot 500m beneath Pfitscher Joch / Passo di Vizze. Reaching the hut took up 75% of the time, spent to reach the summit.
See the main page for the approach information. Note that you are not allowed to drive to Pfitscher Joch though some guidebooks claim it. Approximately 500m beneath the saddle the road is closed. There is a parking lot at the bar, which closes the road.
- Start altitude: 1760m
- Summit altitude: 2998m
- Prevailing exposure: S, later N and S
- Type: 4h over marked paths
- Protection: Protected in a 30m long section between Friedrichshöhe and the summit
Effort: 1300m elevation gain
Power: 1 - easy
Psyche: 1 - some exposure on the micro-ferrata and close to the summit
Orientation: 1 - very easy
There are two routes you can take from the parking lot beneath Pfitscher Joch. They recombine directly south of Grawandkofel.
- From the turn before the bar a marked path leads up a narrow valley, called "Im Bärenbad". It leaves the valley after some 500m to head west onto a shoulder where you can find a pasture, complete with a hut. From that point you turn northward and head up a steep but easy slope.
- Hike on 500m more meters after the bar which closes the road. Here trail No. 3 heads up the slope, sutting short a long switchback of the road. It heads for Pfitscher Joch Haus /Rifugio Passo di Vizze and to Pfitscher Joch itself.
From the saddle several trails lead in all direction. Take the one, marked 528 or 3, which leads to Landshuter Europahütte. Every now and then, Kraxentrager is also indicated. The other route meets south of Grawandkofel at Nusserkopf.
The trail No. 3 is called Landshuter HHöhenweg (because of the hut) and is part of the Tiroler Höhenweg trekking trail. It stays at the same elevation of about 2350m for about 4km. This part of the trail is often "paved" with slabs and leads along the south slopes of Grawandkofel, Grawand, Hohe Wand Kluppen and Kraxentrager. After about half of the distance Kraxentrager comes into view. The normal route, however, climbs it from the other (western) side so you have to take the long road here.
Directly south of Kraxentrager a trail meets from Pfitscher Tal, which comes up straight from St. Jakob / San Giacomo. Here our path starts climbing towards a slightly pronounced saddle to the east of Friedrichshöhe, where you can also find Landshuter Europahütte. The path heads up there in multiple switchbacks and in the end turns into a scramble across lots of large granite blocks. Head left for the hut or turn right directly to head up to Kraxentrager.
To do the latter head up on the south-west ridge, steep only at first. Again, parts of the trail are paved with large slabs. At first you climb northwards but after a while the ridge turns north-east. After some 400m you come to a step in the ridge, near vertical, which you can climb down making use of the fixed cable placed there. You reach a kind of saddle from which the final steps to the Kraxenträger summit can be scrambled up. There are granite blocks but a path has been worn into the south-west slope so that the final steps don't pose any problems.
Essential GearHiking gear and warm clothes even in summer.