Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.44977°N / 11.33836°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8123 ft / 2476 m
Sign the Climber's Log


WörnerWörner west face as seen from Wörnersattel

One of the most impressive aspect of Karwendel mountains is the easternmost range above the little town of Mittenwald. It is a huge and steep to near perpendicular limestone wall, rising about 1.400 meters of altitude difference from the valley floor up to the summits. Only few cirques which are deeply cut into that wall give easier access to the summit region.

The northeastern pillar of this rock wall is Wörner. The view is dramatic when you drive from Garmisch-Partenkirchen up to Mittenwald: 600 meter of steep limestone are looming large over some wood and meadow hills; this is the west face of that mountain which - incredibly enough - hosts the normal route to the summit.

This normal route is not an easy hike but not a too difficult rock climb. As many summits of the Northern Limestone Alps and especially of the Karwendel mountains, Wörner requires at least UIAA grade II climbing (in parts) and a good handling with exposure.

WörnerSoiernspitze group as seen from Wörnersattel
WörnerWörner as seen from Dammkar
WörnerHochlandhütte below Wörner

Being the northwestern edge of Karwendel Wörner is connected to the south with Großkarspitzen, Schönbergspitze and Tiefkarspitze and to the east with Hochkarspitze. To the southeast there is the huge Großkar cirque which drops down to Karwendel valley. To the north is Seinsgraben valley and the Soiernspitze subgroup of Karwendel. To the west is located Mittenwald.

In former times Wörner was a lonely and exclusive mountain. The normal route was marked with some cairns and - as the aspect is rather frightening - only few knew about the normal route. Nowadays red dots and stripes are leading you up to the summit. This causes, despite of a clear warning at the beginning of the rock part of the ascent, a lot more people and trouble on this mountain (rock fall among them). But still Wörner is one of my favourites within Karwendel mountains.

The first assumed ascent was in 1853 during a land survey campaign (unsecure). The first secured ascent was done by Hermann von Barth in 1870.

Getting There

WörnerWörner above Mittenwald valley

Main trailheads are at the town of Mittenwald. You can start your ascent to Wörner from Krinner-Kofler Hütte / Fereinalm (sometimes: Vereinalm or Vereinsalm), too. Trailhead for Krinner-Kofler-Hütte is Mittenwald or Vorderriß.

You reach Mittenwald

  • From Munich via highway A 95 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and road number B 2 to Mittenwald.

  • From Kufstein, Innsbruck or Arlberg region follow the highway A 12 (Inntal highway, fee required) to the exit Zirl. At Zirl proceed on road number 177 to Seefeld and Scharnitz. After the frontier go on on road number number B 2 to Mittenwald trailheads.

  • Alternatively follow from Telfs in the Inntal valley the Buchener Straße and on road number L 36 up to Leutasch Gasse. Go on on road number L 14 to the frontier and to Mittenwald. Alternatively follow L 75 and 177 to Scharnitz.

  • The Mittenwald trailheads can be reached with railway, too.
    See the railway schedule here .

    You reach Vorderriß

  • From Munich via highway A 8, direction Salzburg to the exit Holzkirchen, road number B 13 to Bad Tölz, Lenggries and Sylvensteinstausee and road number B 307 to Vorderriß.

  • From Mittenwald or Garmisch-Partenkirchen drive on road number B 2 to Klais and Krün and follow B 11 to Wallgau. At Wallgau follow the signposts to Vorderriß (private toll road).

  • From Kufstein, Innsbruck or Arlberg region follow the roads to Mittenwald and go on as described above.

  • WörnerGentianella germanica near Wörnersattel
    WörnerAchillea on the west slopes
    WörnerCampanula alpina near the summit

    Valley ground trailheads are:

  • Mittenwald barracks - hiker parking area: leave road number B 2 at the exit north of Mittelwald and follow road number St2042 to the junction with the barracks access road. Turn left there and proceed on this road between the barracks until you passed the underground crossing of road number B 2. The parking area is on the right.

  • Mittenwald Karwendelbahn - cableway valley station: proceed on road number B 2 to the exit “Mittenwald Karwendelbahn” and follow the signposts to the cableway parking or go on to the north on the road, pass under road B 2 and park your car east of that road.

  • Vorderriß - Mühlbach: proceed on the road into Eng valley until you reach a first clearing and a forest road branching off to the right (about 3,5 km after Vorderriß. Park the car where it is possible and follow that forest road up to Krinne-Kofler-Hütte.

  • WörnerWörner (left) as seen from Schellschlicht

    Ascents to Krinner-Kofler-Hütte are:

  • from the Mittenwald trailhead at the barracks follow the forest road in northern direction to Aschauer Alm. At Aschauer Alm ascend on Jägersteig trail to Krinner-Kofler-Hütte or alternatively follow the forest road to the mountain hut. This is the MTB route, too.

  • from Vorderriß follow the endless forest road (about 12 km) to Krinner-Kofler-Hütte. This is a wellknown MTB route, too.

  • Route Overview

    WörnerWörner west face with normal route and Wörnersattel

    The normal route uses the steep western rockface of the mountain. It starts at Wörnersattel, a green col northwest of the huge 600 meter high summit block. Wörnersattel is called Steinkarlgrat, Niederer Wörner or Steinkarlkopf, too (the latter is a summit north of Wörnersattel).

    You reach Wörnersattel via

    Hochland Hütte trail

    Best trailhead is at the Mittenwald barracks. Follow the forest road starting at the parking area to the south. Go left on a trail junction and follow that trail up to another forest road. Follow that forest road to the east and follow the signposts “Hochlandhütte”. Cross a creek on a footbridge and follow the steep forest road up to its end. Turn left and ascend on a good trail until you reach beautiful Hochlandhütte pasing by Obere Kälberalm hut.

    Traverse Wörnerboden to the northeast. At a trail junction follow the right trail up to Wörnersattel. Stay on the trail because of erosion.

    From Mittenwald / cablecar follow the road to the north and pass under road number B 2. Follow the forest road to the right until you reach its end at the valley station of the Dammkar hut cableway. Shortly above that cableway station a trail branches off to the left. Follow that partly steep trail up to Mitterkar and traverse on a nearly level trail to Hochlandhütte.

    Go on as described above.

    WörnerRehberg /right) and Hochlandhütte (left), parts of the trails are visible
    WörnerGroßkar and Larchetalm (green meadow), the unusual south ascent
    WörnerRehberg and trail

    Rehberg trail

    Best trailhead again is Mittenwald barracks. Follow the forest road starting at the parking area to the south. Go left on a trail junction and follow that trail up to another forest road. Turn left there and follow that forest road shortly in northern direction. After some 100 m a trail branches off to the right. Follow that trail up to Rehbergalm, Niederer Wörner and Wörnersattel.

    At Rehbergalm the Rehberg trail turns east and descend to Krinner-Kofler-Hütte. Thus Krinner-Kofler-Hütte can be used as a trailhead for the Rehberg ascend, too.

    Wörnerkar trail

    From Krinner-Kofler-Hütte use the trail which branches off the forest road about 300 m west of the hut to the left and ascends in many zigzags steeply through Wörnerkar cirque to Wörnersattel.

    Summit normal route

    Wörnersattel is a nearly level ridge. Follow that ridge until it ends at the first rocks of Wörner summit block. Follow the red marks over easy rocks (UIAA grade I) to a zigzag trail which ascends steeply the west slope near the northwest arete with spectacular, nearly perpendicular views down into Wörnerkar. The trail ends at steep rocks. Follow the red marks through a complicated sequence of little rock faces, chutes and rock chimneys (UIAA grade I, in parts exposed) until you reach the “traverse”. A narrow trail traverses Wörner west slope high above Hochlandhütte to the southwest with some steep ups and downs (easy rock scramble but exposed) until you reach a huge chute.

    WörnerLower part of normal route and Soiernspitze group
    WörnerBeginning of the traverse
    WörnerThe traverse

    Enter that chute and immediately leave it climbing up its right (southern) limitation. Follow that limitation on steep but good rock (UIAA grade I to II, exposed) until the red marks lead you again into that chute, now at its upper beginning. Cross the chute and follow some easy rocks and dihedrals up to the summit (UIAA grade I).

    WörnerClimb near the summit chute
    WörnerClimb near the summit chute
    WörnerUppermost part of the normal route

    WörnerArete to Großkarspitzen and Tiefkarspitze

    More difficult or unusual routes are:

    South arete to Großkarspitzen and Tiefkarspitze: UIAA grade III in parts, a long and very interesting ridge traverse

    Northwest arete - starting from the beginning of the “traverse”: UIAA grade III, interesting alternative to combine with the normal route

    South ascend via Großkar (trailhead: Larchetalm in the Karwendel valley), UIAA grade II, bad rock, unusual route.

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    WörnerWörner north face and Schlichterspitzen

    Red Tape
    Wörner is part of the “Alpenpark Karwendel”, an important and strictly protected national park.

    There is no entrance fee for the park but many regulations to follow.

    Camping is forbidden within the parks boundaries.

    Accommodation of all kind can be found at:

    The following mountain huts offer food and lodging:
    Dammkarhütte (private hut)
    Larchetalm (private hut)

    Gear & Mountain Condition

    WörnerImpressive Karwendel west face above Mittenwald

    Wörner is normally accessible from early summer to autumn until the first heavy snowfalls. Wörner normal route requires climbing skills up to UIAA grade II in exposed terrain. There are some fixed bolts along the route in order to secure less experienced persons. A helmet is advisable as there is a lot of loose scree along the normal route.

    In early summer snow can linger in the upper parts of the normal route, thus making the approach more difficult. Crampons and an ice axe can be advisable in this time of the year.

    Current Weather:

    Map & Guide Books

    WörnerWörner summit view: Hochkarspitze and main Karwendel ranges

    Guide Books

    Heinrich Klier, Fritz März, und Walter Klier
    Karwendelgebirge. Alpenvereinsführer alpin: Ein Führer für Täler, Hütten und Berge. Verfaßt nach den Richtlinien der UIAA
    Bergverlag Rother

    Bernd Eberle, Peter Mair, Mike Rutter, und Ralf Sussmann
    Kletterführer Karwendel: Alpine Ziele & Klettergärten incl. Martinswand
    Panico Alpinverlag
    1. june 2004


    Karwendelgebirge, West
    Scale 1 : 25.000
    Deutscher Alpenverein, 2005