Weisseck from the Riedingscharte Weisseck from the NOn the page of Radstaedter Tauern we learned about the different nature of those mountains, in comparison with the rest of Niedere Tauern. As Weisseck is the highest summit of Radstaedter Tauern, it's understandable that it's a handsome mountain, already quite rocky on the top. Despite that, the normal route is easy and the summit is very popular with hikers. Many well maintained mountain huts and the Riedingtal Nature Parc also contribute to the popularity of this nice area.
Weisseck from the NW
Weisseck is rising close to the very northwestern end of the long ridge, stretching between two long valleys: Zederhaustal
on the northeast and Murtal
on the southwest. Other summits are mostly neglected by hikers, exception being a few rare local experts. The summit of Weisseck has a distinct, long W ridge, lowering on the important Riedingscharte
(saddle), 2274 m. Further to the west rises an unimportant grassy summit of Grosses Reicheschkogel, 2413 m. The N slopes of Weisseck massif are falling down into the upper Zederhaustal, named also Riedingtal. Actually, the true Riedingtal
is only the valley, descending towards the N from the Riedingscharte, hosting also a nice lake named Riedingsee
. From the summit of Weisseck, two side ridges are lowering towards the NE. Between the two, lies a nice, quite closed valley of Oedenkar
. To skilled tour skiers it offers one of the greatest ski tours in the group. The main ridge of Weisseck continues from the summit towards the SE. From it the next valley descends towards the NE. It is called In der Hoelle
and is also used with tour skiers. Then the summits of the main ridge are following towards the SE. Finally, the S face of Weisseck is falling as a quite steep rocky wall into the high basin of Weisskar
, some 2300 m - 2400 m.
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As name suggests, Weisseck is a white mountain. As the neighbouring summits of Radstadt Group, also the upper part of Weisseck is composed of triassic Wetterstein dolomite, limestones and marble. Furthermore, the area around the summit of Weisseck (for example: summit cleft) is known also to be rich with minerals - fluorite and similar.
Hiking up by the northern side
What To Do There?
As said, the mountain is very popular with hikers who ascend it by the W ridge. The other ridges and slopes are not marked and may be more difficult. For rock climbing the walls of the upper part are not high and solid enough. And a special story is tour skiing. In winter conditions the Weisseck is quite remote, so the direct tours from Riedingtal are most often reported. But the very rewarding Oedenkar and In der Hoelle tours are quite steep and require good conditions.
Personally, I can't say anything about the panorama of Weisseck. A heavy cloud was covering its summit when we were there. But the altitude and central position in the Eastern Alps guarantee a fine view on the glaciated summits of the Hohe Tauern on one side and on the Niedere Tauern and Northern Limestone Alps on the other side.
The two bordering valleys are offering two very suitable sets of trailheads:
Due to the natural parc, driving into the valley is prohibited. But from the parking place near the Tauern Highway tunnel car taxi and in some terms also post bus is driving into the valley. If you are with car, you must exit the highway in St. Michael and then drive through the town of Zederhaus till the parking lot on some 1350 m. From there you either walk some 20 min to the Schliereralm
, 1495 m, or take a post bus till there (or pay toll). Schliereralm with its nice lake is a trailhead for northern pathless routes, non-marked trails or ski tours. From Schliereralm further into the valley of Riedingtal parc busses are driving. Their end goal is the popular Koenigalm
, 1667 m. On that meadow the normal W marked ascent on Weisseck starts.
Biking from the Sticklerhuette
The valley of Mur river is long and narrow. Having your own car, you can drive to the parking place on Rotguelden, 1341 m (also post bus till there). There the road is closed, but if you have coins for 5 EUR, you can lift the ramp and drive further till the meadow of Muritzen
, 1540 m. From there you walk further to the Sticklerhuette
, 1750 m, which is the best southern trailhead for Weisseck. To this hut also parc busses are driving - the first one at 8:30 from Rotguelden and then some 3-4 times a day more. If you take a bike with you, you pay another 2 EUR, but then you can quickly return at any time.
The below routes #1 and #2 (or #3) can be combined, but descending into the other valley then requires some logistics, if you have car on the other side.
From Sticklerhuette towards Riedingscharte On the W ridge
1. South Route
The ascent from Sticklerhuette is nice, not too long and quite easy. To overcome less than 1000 m of altitude, you will in average need 2 h 30 min. By the Swiss Hiking Scale the difficulty of this ascent would be T3/T2, so mostly it's just an easy walk up, only on a few places you need to overcome carefully some rocks on the summit ridge. In summer, the ascent over the S slopes can be very hot, but usually there's enough water on the slopes. There are almost no objective dangers, only in stormy weather consider the danger of lightning on the summit ridge.
Description. From the house inscription plates (path No. 740) direct you northwards, up the slopes. At first the shepherds path goes right, then it does a long turn left and crosses the slopes towards the NW. On 2100 m you pass the private Reinkarhuette, continue up and then again towards the NW. On the grassy side ridge you see another shepherds hut (2200 m) and soon you reach the broad saddle - Riedingscharte, 2274 m. From the other side the marked path (No. 711) from Koenigalm comes. 1 h 20 min till here. On the saddle you turn right and start following the W ridge of Weisseck. The path is broad and panoramic, after some 20 min it gets steeper and in the N face we already see some picturesque rocks. We keep on the main ridge or just slightly on the S side. Still higher on, there are a few rocky sections which require a safe step, but really no difficulties till the very top. But the ridge is quite long and at the end we must even lose some altitude from the fore-summit. 1 h 10 min from the saddle.
2. West-northwest Route
I haven't done this ascent, but it must be equally easy as the southern one. A well beaten and marked path starts ascending from the Koenigalm towards the SE. Later it crosses by the small Boarnlacke the N face of Grosser Reicheschkogel. Then it goes over its N side ridge and gains the Riedingscharte, 2274 m, crossing the slopes. Then by the W ridge on top, as described above in the #1 route. Less than 3 h from the hut, T3 places of dificulty are on the summit ridge.
3. Riedingtal Route
From the Schliereralm, 1495 m, a non-marked path goes towards the S-SW, and by the beautiful Riedingtal reaches the Riedingscharte directly. By this route we can gain the summit in some 3 h 15 min, plus we need some 20 min from the parking lot to the Schliereralm. But this way we don't need any parc bus or post bus.
4. Ski Tours
I guess the W ridge route is suitable also for skiing. The summit ridge is not too steep or exposed and the lower parts of the W ridge must be fantastic. But in winter and spring the Sticklerhuette and the Koenigalm house are not necessarilly open, so the tour is long. More often the two direct northern (Oedenkar) and norteastern (In der Hoelle and over the Felskarspitze) routes are praised. They are supposed to be among the best classical ski tours in the region. From the Schliereralm we go by one of the two valleys directly up towards the summit and from the valley ends we carefully choose the steep passages on the summit ridge.
Cotton grass Interesting cascade On the pasture
The upper part of Zederhaustal - Riedingtal - is declared a natural parc, so the nature is protected and most of commercial activities are prohibited. The official web page is here
When to Climb
Try to come in nice weather!
Weisseck can be ascended any time of season. Still, the tours outside the summer and autumn period are much more difficult and due to closed huts (and parc taxis not driving) also longer. Ski tours are steep in the upper part, so they require absolutely safe conditions - usually in spring months. In May or June we may already find the huts open, but in higher regions we can still encounter some snow, so consider taking a proper equipment.
The following three mountain huts are supporting the ascents on Weisseck:
- Schliereralm, 1495 m. Reachable in some 20 min from the parking lot in the Zederhaustal (or by parc bus). Opened from May till October.
- Koenigalm, 1667 m. At the end of the Zederhaustal (Riedingtal), reachable in some 1 h 30 min from the parking lot in the Zederhaustal (or by parc bus). Consider also using bikes to get up there. Opened from start of June till October.
- Sticklerhuette, 1750 m. Reachable in some 40 min from the Muritzen parking lot (toll road till there) or by parc bus. Consider also using bikes to get up there. Opened from mid June till mid October.