Waldhorn is located on the main ridge of the Niedere Tauern range (Schladminger Tauern group). Despite of being only the sixth highest elevation it is one of the most attractive peaks of these mountains.
Waldhorn is featured by steep grassy/scree slopes on the southern side and rocky faces on the NW and NE, separated by the north ridge (wich is dominating the scenery at Preintaler hut). Its western neighbour on the main ridge is Greifenberg (2618m) and eastwards is connected by a shallow saddle to Kieseck (2681m), junction of huge secondary ridges. The peak is surrounded by lovely lakes, expanse of alpine meadows and intact environment - perfect choice for people seeking a less-crowded corner on the "playground of Europe".
First known ascent made by E. Augustin and A. Bauer in 1878.
The best approach Schladming/Riesachfälle - see Hochwildstelle page. It is also possible from Lessach (on the S) or from Kleinsölk (on the NW) but both are much longer.
Normal Route: Till the Preintaler hut: see Hochwildstelle page.
From the hut (1657m) start on the path No.777 leading into the Lämmerkar valley. On the top of a moraine barrier pass by the ramification for Klafferkessel/Greifenberg. Climb one more step of the terrain and you are in the uppermost cirque of the valley decorated with two lakes
Follow the path between the lakes and ascend the steep scree slope leading to Waldhorntörl (pass; 2283m; cca.2 hours; take care of snow fields may exist till mid-July, allowing a slide directly into the lake).
Reaching the pass it is time to use our hands! The climb starts on the edge of the W ridge (steep but not difficult on grassy rocks)
followed by an exposed traverse in the NW side. Walk through a flat grassy top and climb one more rocky section. From here the path turns into the southern side of the mountain. Traverse on narrow grassy banks till a rocky hump. Walk round it (rather exposed scrambling, the lake in the depth of 300m seems to be vertical below our feet) and continue steep but less exposed on rocks and scree upwards till reaching the uppermost section of the E ridge (the summit is visible only from here). On the ridge some steps to the summit (cca. 3 hours 30 min from the hut).
Difficulty: some places 5.2 / UIAA I. Maked trail but free of any supporting equipment (iron bows, chains etc); the route demands experience on alpine terrain. The grassy banks on the southern hillside may be loose after melting or heavy rainfalls and also can be dangerous in any kinds of slippery conditions. Do avoid the same place in winter because of extreme danger of avalanches!
-From the South:
From Lessach through the Lesachtal to Waldhorntörl approx.4 hours; from there see above.
From the Schwazensee (1171m) through Kieseck cca.5 hours 30 min., with some climbing, traces but not marked trail on the connecting ridge between Kieseck and Waldhorn.
Camping / Accomodation
The area is part of th National Park Schladminger Tauern, so camping on the terrain can not be recommended. Overnight stay in the Preintaler hut makes possible a comfortable two-days trip to the summit. (The hut is opened in summer season only, the loft of the wood-shed beside of it is usually opened in winter.) There is no accomodation on the way from Kleinsölk and Lessach.
As part of a National Park the usual rules of environmental protection are authoritative. No entry fee but road toll between Schladming-Riesachfälle.
See Hochwildstelle page.