The summit of Nördliche Wösterspitze, the highest point of the mountain
The three-summited mountain named Wösterspitze is at the very north west corner of the Lechtal Alps
and dominates, together with Rüfispitze
, the area around Lech am Arlberg
. This mountain has three summits: the Nördliche Wösterspitze
(with 2558m the highest point; the summit cross is fixed here), the Mittlere Wösterspitze
(2557m) and the Südliche Wösterspitze
(2537m). The normal line of ascent, the one described here in this page, leads as a ridge walk over all three summits. As this line is technically very easy, the mountain has most likely been first climbed already centuries ago. A very worthwhile hike, with splendid views to all sides!
It’s not quite clear how the mountain came to it’s name; possibly it was named after somebody with the family name “Wöster” (The old German and not any more used word “Wöste” or “Woiste” has it’s origins in the medieval ages and stands for a patch of land that was deforested in order to create space for agriculture
Nördliche Wösterspitze seen from Wöstersattel
Wösterspitze seen from Rüfikopf in the west
Nearest airports: Zürich, Munich, Innsbruck.
Here are the three simplest ways of getting to Lech am Arlberg
Coming by car from Zürich
: Take the motorway to St. Gallen and continue on the motorway, following the signs to St. Margrethen-Chur, as far as Diepoldsau. Here, turn left and follow the road to Hohenems (Austria). Now take the A14, following the signs to Innsbruck, past Feldkirch until Bludenz. Then follow the E60 (Arlberg-Schnellstrasse) as far as Langen am Arlberg (Langen a. A.). In Langen, turn off and follow the road leading through the village of Stuben up towards the Arlberg pass. 3 km before the top of the Arlberg, there is the turn-off towards Flexenpass-Zürs-Lech. Follow this road to Lech. Distance: 196,8 km, duration: 2h 13min.
Coming by car from Innsbruck
: Head for the A12 direction Bregenz and follow it until it ends in Landeck. In Landeck, follow the signs to Bregenz and continue on the road through the Stanzer Tal as far as St. Anton. Then take the road to St. Christoph-Arlbergpass, go over the pass and 3 km down the other side. At crossroads, turn right and follow the road leading over the Flexenpass to Zürs and Lech. Distance: 116,8 km; duration: 1h 32min.
Coming by car from Munich
: Follow the E533 towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen, then, in Oberau, just ca. 5 km before reaching Garmisch, turn right, following the signs to Reutte (Austria). Upon arrival in Reutte, stay on the road (no. 198) leading up the entire tyrolean Lechtal valley and in Warth, turn left onto the road to Lech. Distance: 188,7 km; duration: 2h 45min.
Coming by means of public transportation
: All fast trains commuting between Zürich (Switzerland) or Bregenz (Austria) and Vienna stop in Langen am Arlberg
. In Langen, change to the postal car that commutes regularly between Langen and Lech. Coming from Munich: Take one of the international trains bound for Italy via Innsbruck, alight in Innsbruck and change to one of the fast trains bound for Bregenz or Zürich. Alight in Langen am Arlberg or St. Anton am Arlberg, then take the postal car to Lech.
No camping allowed on the mountain.
Lech, 1445 meters above sea level and mostly known as a winter resort, is a charming village and offers many possibilities also in summer. There are many excellent hotels and very well-kept pensions which are open all year around and offer accommodation at moderate cost, and Lech is surrounded on all sides by beautiful and preserved mountain areas with countless hiking possibilities. The village of Zürs, on the other hand, is exclusively a winter resort. All hotels and restaurants are closed down in summer, so that oftentimes during that time of the year it appears somewhat like a ghost-town. Thus, in summer, take into consideration that there are no accommodation possibilities in Zürs!
Camping is not permitted in the mountains.
External Linksonline weather forecast for Lech
The ridge connecting Südliche with Mittlere Wösterspitze
Routesa) The long way
: Start in Lech-Oberstubenbach
. Follow trail no. 645 via Tälialpe
fairly steeply in serpentines to the cross just below Wöstersattel
col on 2170m. Turn right and follow the Friedrich-Mayer-Weg
trail leading horizontally through grass intersparsed with rock along the western slope of the three Wösterspitzen and rising to Bockbachsattel
col on 2336 meters (Note: Both Wöstersattel and Bockbachsattel can also be reached from Steeg in the Lechtal valley via Vorderbockbachalpe and Bockbachtal. It takes far longer, though; the mileage would be something like 12 kilometers or 7.5 miles.). Now turn left and follow the trail rising first gently over the wide, plateau-like grass crest, then steeply up to Südliche Wösterspitze. Follow the narrow and now far more rocky ridge (one should be free of fear of heights for this passage, though apart from that, there aren’t any technical difficulties) to Mittlere Wösterspitze. Here, the trail turns left and descends about 30 meters to the col separating the Mittlere Wösterspitze from the Nördliche Wösterspitze. From the col, rise gently over the rocky slope leading to the highest point of the mountain and the summit cross on Nördliche Wösterspitze.
Overall mileage: 9 kilometers (5.6 miles)
Lowest point: 1444 meters (4738 feet) in Oberstubenbach
Highest point: 2558 meters (8392 feet) on Nördliche Wösterspitze
Cottongrass on the way to Bockbachsattel
b) The short way: Take the cable-car from Lech Rüfiplatz to Rüfikopf on 2350 meters. From Rüfikopf, follow the trail to the Monzabonjoch col (Note: can also be reached from Zürs via Monzabonalpe. Mileage: 6 km or 3.7 miles; gain in height: 500 meters or 1640 feet.) above the little mountain lake named Monzabonsee. Turn left and follow the trail first descending a short way, then rising gradually through the alpine grass below the Rüfispitze and more steeply at last to Bockbachsattel col. From here, proceed as described above.
Overall mileage: 5 kilometers (3.1 miles)
Lowest point: 2200 meters (7218 feet), just below Monzabonjoch
Highest point: 2558 meters (8392 feet) on Nördliche Wösterspitze
MapsThe in my opinion best maps to use are: Kompass Wanderkarte no. 33 Arlberg/Verwallgruppe 1:50000 and Kompass Wanderkarte no. 24 Lechtaler Alpen/Hornbachkette 1:50000. There are also the Alpenvereinskarte 25 no. 3/2 (Lechtaler Alpen, Arlberggebiet) and ÖK 50 Blatt 143 (St. Anton am Arlberg).
A useful guide-book for this area (in German, though) would be the AV-Führer Lechtaler Alpen Alpin, Bergverlag Rudolf Rother.
GearAs this is a mere hike, no extra gear apart from good shoes and wind and rain protection, as well as enough food, is needed. Be sure of the weather (thunderstorms), though, as the last part of this hike leads over an exposed crest.