North face view View to Achensee lake
Sonnjoch is one of the most exceptional view points of the Karwendel
, which rises between the Falzthurntal valley to the east and the so-called "Eng" to the west. Its location and height provides free views from north to east and south. The eastern directions are dominated by the rough north faces of the Karwendels main chain which have a height of several houndred meters. It must be surely an exceptional experience to enjoy a sunrise on this summit with all those mighty walls glowing red.
Since the mountain is an perfect view point, it can be seen from many other mountains. From eastern directions the mountain offers a spectecular shark fin-like look which makes it pretty unique. But the most impressive view offers the approach through the Falzthurntal valley. There are some places in this valley from where it seems that Sonnjoch rises almost perpendicular from the valley floor to the top.
Unfortunately both valleys around the mountain are absolutely overcrowded on sunny days. This is due to the facts that they offer a spectecular view (even from the valley floor) and you can get into those valleys by sitting in your drivers seat. But most of the people stay in the valley or on the lower slopes. Compared to the valleys the summit is quite lonely though. But this still means that very many people ascend to the summit on sunny days.
The popular ascent isn' t difficult but a beautiful hike with spectecular views especially after getting higher than 2000m. Additionally the north face offers a more interresting route (via the so called Bärenlahner) as well as challenging climbs like the "Faszinosum Karwendulum" (german route description
If you like to enjoy the mountain a bit more lonely your chance is early in spring. The route via Gramaialm Hochleger is mostly on the south slope and snow-free quite quickly (even after winters with lots of snow!). Propably this route is possible with skies as well, but I haven' t heard of someone who did it.
Maps And Routes Overview
RoutesDespite of several climbing routes through the impressive north face of Sonnjoch there are two common routes to the top.
- Via Gramaialm Hochleger (South slopes)
Either starting at Gramaialm or the Eng you have to follow one of the trails to Gramaialm Hochleger (1756m/5761ft). From there a trail leads up the south slopes with no difficulties at all. The ascent from Gramaialm to Sonnjoch may be tricky in spring because of the river flowing down the valley.
Starting at Gramaialm you have to follow the road leading to Gramaialm for about 2km. From there a steep trail leads up to the Bärenlahner saddle (1994m/6542ft). From there the trail turns left (south) and follows more or less the north ridge up to the summit (exposed climbing up to UIAA I). Descent via the south slope route to Gramaialm.
South slope Gramailalm Hochleger
View from shortly above Gramaialm Hochleger
Sonnjoch from Achensee lake
In principal there are two trailheads:
- Gramainalm in the Falzthrun-valley
- The so-called "Eng"
Both trailheads are reachable by car and public transportation, but a car is the preferable way since public transportation requires many train changes and consumes a lot of time.
Gramaialm is easily reached via Pertisau at the Achensee-lake. To get to Pertisau you have to leave the Achenpass-road which is an important north-south connection (roughly from the Inntal valley to Munich) at Maurach (signs). Shortly after entering Pertisau you have to turn left and follow the signs to "Karwendeltäler" and "Gramaialm".
The "Eng" is reached via the Achenpass-road as well, but you have to pass the Sylvenstein-reservoir to Vorderriß. From there the road to the "Eng" starts. The road from Sylvenstein-reservoir to Vorderriß leads on to Krün which has a connection to the B2 which connects Innsbruck with Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Link to Google maps
centered at Sonnjoch.
By Public Transportation
From Germany you should choose the "Eng" as preferable trailhead. From Munich it can be reached by the BOB-trains to Lenggries. From there a bus drives to the "Eng". For more information visit the homepage of Deutsche Bahn
which provides information about all conenctions.
From Austria the Gramaialm trailhead can be reached from the town of Jenbach in the Inntal-valley. Jenbach has connection to trains to Innsbruck and Maurach. From Maurach a bus drives to Pertisau. This is the closest you get to Gramaialm. Therefore I suggest to take a bike with you to cover the several kilometers distance from Pertisau to Gramaialm. For more information visit ÖBB
with all austrian train/bus connections.
There are no permits, fees or seasonal closures. Only if you enter the Nature reservation area Karwendel
by car you have to pay a small amount of money for nature reservation porpuses (I don' t remeber exactly but I think it was 3 Euros).
Sonnjoch is located within the Nature reservation area Karwendel
. Therefore don' t pick up plants or leave litter and try to leave the area as you found it.
Longterm forecast of the town of Eben about 10km from Sonnjoch.
Not as detailed as the link above, but quite accurate forecasts.
- OEAV weather forecast
Weather forecast especially for mountaineering porpuses. Unfortunately this page is available in german only.
- Avalanche report (Tyrol/Austria)
Current avalanche report of Tyrol. A link on the left side leads to the english version (pdf-file).
WebcamsI haven' t found a webcam showing Sonnjoch. But there are several webcams around the Achensee-lake.
Lots of flowers in spring...
When To Climb
Sonnjoch is mostly climbed from spring to autumn. Make sure to bring enough water with you, since there isn' t any and no sun protection on the upper slopes.
In principle I think Sonnjoch is possible by ski in winter as well, but that requires a very secure avalanche situation and strong legs, since the roads are closed and may be endangered by avalanches from the steep slopes rising from the valley.
There is no hut directly on the mountain, but the Gramaialm Hochleger alp on the foot of the south slope offers 16 sleeping places (thanks to selinunte01
for pointing that out). The alp is open from about may to october (phone: 0043/5243/5166).
In the valleys around Sonnjoch are two hotel-like huts the Gramaialm
and the Eng
. The closest hut is Lamsenjochhut
Additionally the region around the Achensee lake is quite touristic with several places to stay. Camping is not forbidden, but because of the nature reservation area be careful of what you leave behind.
|Alpenvereinsführer - Karwendel alpin|
Bergverlag Rudolf Rother
|Guide book of the hole Karwendel up to a difficulty of UIAA III.|