Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 47.07440°N / 12.69400°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: AI1-2 (50°, in upper third 55°, at the bergschrund short section might be steeper), UIAA III. Direct variant up to 60°, UIAA II. Alpine D.
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 12
Additional Information Grade: IV
Sign the Climber's Log

Route Description

The most famous ice climb in Austria and parade ice climb of Glockner massif, very impressive. Until early summer often firn, later blank ice. The difficulties are at bergshrund, in the Flaschenhals ("Bottleneck") in the beginning of the climb and in few last pitches. Exit to summit rocky.

Stonefall danger (especially later in the year ) in NE ridge where ice cover is retreating during the morning hours, also from rope teams in the exit of the route and on the normal route. After snowfall acute avalanche danger.

There is no "official" alpine grade, however, Tauernwind guide company grades the route at D and "Hochtouren in Ostalpen" (Scmitt & Pusch) grade it at AD+. The latter feels low, as the route is technically about as difficult as North face of Tour Ronde (D- or AD+ depending on the conditions and source), but has substantially longer approach, the route is much longer and substantially more dangerous.

Effort: Pallavicinirinne from Bergschrund 660m, approach to Biwakscahtel about 1km. Ascent to Biwakschachtel 3h, Pallavicinirinne 4-6h, descent via the normal route to Franz-Josefs-Haus 4-5h.
Best time: Right after the opening of Hochalpenstrasse (mostly start of May).

Route overview: Franz-Josefs-Höhe - Pasterze - Biwakschachtel - Pallavicinirinne - Grossglockner - Adlersruhe (Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte) - Hofmannsweg - Pasterze - Franz-Josefs-Höhe

Starting point is Franz-Josefs-Haus at 2363m. From there take stairs down to Pasterze glacier. Along the glacier curving slightly to the left and climbing to the biwackschachtel (3260m, 8 places, overcrowded on weekends) keeping on the left of rock ridge. There are several crevasses (hidden during the spring and early summer) and slopes are occasionally quite steep (~35°).

The climb can be reached in ¾ hours from Glockner-Biwakschachtel. First along the slope, then slightly descending (crevasses, seracs) below the north face and further to firn field on the foot of Pallavicinirinne.

Cross the bergshrund at a suitable place (usually not too difficult) and climb through narrow couloir ("Flaschenhals") into a widening couloir (50°). Climb up and slightly to the right the narrowing couloir as steepness increases (55°). Around 60-80 meters below the summit ridge to the right in steep (and somewhat loose) rock (II-III) further. There are three bolts on the last snow/ice pitch, then a stand with 2 bolts. Then one pitch (25-30 meter) with 1 bolt to another stand with 2 bolts. From here 20 meters to Glocknerscharte.


    • If there's enough snow, it is possible to climb directly up to Glocknerscharte on firn. It is slightly steeper (around 60°) and is more of a pure ice climb than the original variant. From here on, following the normal route to the summit (II).
    • Also, it is possible to take a narrow snow couloir on the left, approximately on half-height that joins NE Ridge above the hardest part of the Ridge, then follow the ridge directly to the summit. This variant is much more sheltered against stone fall than the actual Pallavicinirinne and also provides more varies climbing.
    • It is also possible to exit the Pallavicinirinne to the right, but these exits are steeper (65° and upwards) and require climbing in mixed terrain.

Few possibilities:

    • Normal route to Adlersruhe (glacier up to 35°, UIAA II) and further either to north to Franz-Josefs-Haus or south to Stüdlhütte. For those descending to north side, taking a short cut through Kleinglocknerkees might seems intriguing. The glacier is much steeper than the normal route and also heavily crevassed, so crossing it is probably not the greatest of ideas for most people.
    • More difficult possibility is to descent the Oberer Nordwestgrat to Grögerscheid (3660m) and descent snow couloir to Stüdlhütte.
    • Really good skiers can descend via Pallavicinirinne when conditions are right.

Climbing History

-First ascent by A.Pallavicini, J. Tribusser, G. Bäuerle & J.Kramser 18.8.1876.
-First solo ascent (2nd ascent overall) by A. Horeschowsky .7.1924.
-First female ascent (3rd ascent overall) by Maria Zeh & Th. Zeh 8.6.1926.
-First descent (4th ascent) by F.Herrmann 2.5.1929.
-First winter ascent (8th ascent overall) by R. Götz 5.2.1953.
-First ski descent by G.Winter & H.Zacharias 7.8.1961.
-First female ski descent by Ivana Filová, 4.5.2003.



Pallavicinirinne - Route description in German at
Grossglockner, Pallavicini, 24.5.2001 - by Manfred Feil. Excellent photos.





  • Alpenvereinskarte Grossglocknergruppe Nr:40. 1:25 000, 20m. Österreishische Alpenverein.
  • Kompass: Glocknergruppe NP Hohe Tauern Nr. 39, 1:50.000.


  • End Willi & Peterka Hubert: Glockner- und Granatspitzgruppe, 9th revised edition. Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, Müchnen 1995. ISBN: 3763312668.
    -approach #120, #87, #88, #1003, #1004)
    -ascent #1004, variants #1005-#1012
    -descent #1002, #59


  • Schmitt Edwin & Pusch Wolfgang: Hochtouren Ostalpen -
    90 Fels- und Eistouren zwischen Bernina und Tauern
    . Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, 2004. ISBN: 3-7633-3010-0.


  • Jentzsch-Rabl Alex & Jentzsch Andreas: Firn- und Eisklettern in den Ostalpen. Alpinverlag, 2003. ISBN: 3-9500920-0-5.


  • End Willi & Peterka Hubert: Alpenvereinsführer Glockner- und Granatspitzgruppe. Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, 2003. ISBN: 3763312668.


  • Pusch Wolfgang & Baumgartner Leo: Grossglockner. Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, 2000. ISBN: 3-7633-7509-0.

Getting there:

-Public: Bahn (timetable query) nach Zell am See und mit dem Bus weiter zur Franz-Josefs-Hoehe.
-Car: From Zell am See to Fusch and further along Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse to Franz-Josefs-Hoehe. Hochalpenstrasse is pay road.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-3 of 3

Ari - Dec 13, 2003 4:58 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Gongratulations Ivana! I added the information to the list of historic ascents.


rasto krizan

rasto krizan - Oct 28, 2004 8:45 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I would not say it is 55 degrees steep at the top of the snow part of the couloir. From my point of view up to 52. I ski-descended it.

all the best


dmiki - Apr 23, 2008 6:08 am - Voted 10/10

broken links does not work should probably be should be

Viewing: 1-3 of 3



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