Zwölferkogel, Einserkogel

Zwölferkogel, Einserkogel

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.61195°N / 12.26253°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6312 ft / 1924 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelZahmer Kaiser overview as seen from Ackerlspitze - our summits left of center

The western part of Zahmer Kaiser range, located north of the more famous Wilder Kaiser, is a karst plateau with many gentle bumps, sink holes, dolines and horrible dwarf pine thickets. Defined by steep rock faces to the north and steep and rocky slopes to the west and south, this plateau starts at Petersköpfl, the westernmost summit, and rises gently up to the summit of Einserkogel, the highest and easternmost point of the plateau.

From there the main ridge of Zahmer Kaiser swings east to another nearby bump with a very low prominence, which is marked as Zwölferkogel on some maps and then to the col of Vogelbad and to Pyramidenspitze, where it splits up in two branches, one of them, the south branch, culminating in the summits of Vordere and Hintere Kesselschneid, the highest peaks of Zahmer Kaiser.

Zwölferkogel and Einserkogel thus have a central position within Zahmer Kaiser range. In addition nearly all main ascents or traverse routes of Zahmer Kaiser pass by near these neighbouring summit and the main traverse route Petersköpfl – Pyramidenspitze is located just 20 m below each summit.

Zwölferkogel and Einserkogel are only secondary summits of Zahmer Kaiser and seem to attract not much attention. There are no summit crosses at the tops. Passing by on the traverse route you will not even recognize them as true summits as they seem to be just another bump within the undulating karst plateau. So unlike Pyramidenspitze summit, which receives many visits throughout the year and always is a bit crowded, I daresay that you will be (nearly) alone on Zwölferkogel or Einserkogel.

Zwölferkogel has a dwarf pine thicket reaching up to the top of the mountain. Not the best thing for a summit rest. This is why I rather prefer the meadows of Einserkogel for a summit break despite of the fact that Pyramidenspitze offers better views.

Getting There

Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelZwölfer- and Einserkogel as seen from near Pyramidenspitze

Main trailheads are:

  • Kufstein – Sparchen / for all Kaisertal routes

  • Aschinger Alm – for the Egersgrinn route

  • Walchsee / Durchholzen for the Winkelkar route and alternative southern routes

  • You reach Kufstein and the Kaisertal trailhead by car

  • from Munich or Salzburg, using the highway A 8 to the intersection Inntal and the highway A 93 to exit Oberaudorf. Follow road number B172 to Niederndorf, turn right there on road number L379 to Ebbs. Continue on B175 in the direction of Kufstein until you reach Kufstein/Eichelwang. Turn left onto Kaisertalstraße (signposts for Kaisertal) and leave your car after about 500 m at the hiker parking areas left and right of the road (parking fee required!;

  • from Innsbruck area, using highway A 12 to exit Kufstein Nord (toll road!). Turn left on Wildbichler Straße and follow that road to the end of Kufstein / Eichelwang. Turn right onto Kaisertalstraße and go on to the parking areas.

  • For Aschinger Alm leave road number B175 at Ebbs and follow Kaiserbergstraße and Buchberg up to the Aschinger Alm (signposts).

  • For Walchsee / Durchholzen trailhead leave the highway at exit Oberaudorf if you come both from Munich / Salzburg or from Innsbruck direction. Follow road number B172 to Niederndorf and to Walchsee / Durchholzen. At a sharp bend to the left leave B172, go straight on and follow that road a short distance until you can park your car alongside the road.

  • Routes Overview

    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelRoutes Overview 01
    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelRoutes Overview 02

    Kaisertal routes

    Ascents from Kufstein to Vorderkaiserfelden

    From the parking area ascend the steep trail with its many stairs to overcome the lower slopes of the Kaisertal hanging valley. Follow the forest road to the upper end of the new tunnel which gives a car access to Kaisertal for the inhabitants of that valley. Pass by Veitenhof, a nice and good inn, until you reach a trail junction. Now there are several possibilities to go on:

  • Take trail number 816 to your left – it is the old supply road for Ritzau and Vorderkaiserfelden – and follow that old road to Ritzau Alm. Go straight on on the new supply road up to Vorderkaiserfeldenhut;

  • Follow the valley road, passing by Pfandlhof inn. At the beginning of the next clearing, an unmarked trail branches off to your left, ascending steeply the meadows and woods to Ritzau Alm. Arriving there continue on the new supply road to Vorderkaiserfelden;

  • Just follow the valley road and then the new supply road to Hinterkaiser, Ritzau and Vorderkaiserfelden or leave the road halfway through and follow trail number 827 directly to Vorderkaiserfelden, omitting Ritzau Alm.

  • Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelAscent to Vorderkaiserfelden
    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelRitzau Alm

    Route from Vorderkaiserfelden via Petersköpfl:

    Behind the hut start ascending on trail number 835 the southwest slopes of Naunspitze and Petersköpf.
    Pass by Naunspitze trail junction (1/4 hours ascent) and climb up the western edge of the Zahmer Kaiser karst plateau.
    Pass by Petersköpfl trail junction (5 minutes to the summit) following in ups and some downs the huge plateau of Zahmer Kaiser. You arrive below Einserkogel where the trail descends into a notch between Einserkogel and the eastern neighbouring Zwölferkogel. Some off-trail steps bring you up to the summit of Einserkogel.
    For Zwölferkogel follow the trail down into the notch and up again until you gain the summit off-trail through some dwarf pine clearings.

    Some use this route as ski tour route and ski down Vordere Steingrube (see next route). For me the route via Peterskpf is more or less the main snow shoe route in winter and spring; as the plateau hosts real dwarf pine thickets I think it is rather boring to ascend with skies on that route.

    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelLower Petersköpfl route
    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelRoute Petersköpfl to Einserkogel

    Route from Vorderkaiserfelden via Hinterkaiserfelden

    At the last road switchback some 100 m in front of Vorderkaiserfelden hut take the trail branching off from the road in eastern direction. Immediately after that junction there is another trail junction. Take the left / upper trail (number 816) to Hinterkaiserfelden hut. Follow trail 816 into Vordere Steingrube cirque and ascend the trail up to the ridge east of Zwölferkogel and some meters above Vogelbad col.
    Turn left onto trail number 835, pass by (or shortly climb) Zwölferkogel, descend into the notch and climb up to Elferkogel.

    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelHinterkaiserfelden
    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelEinserkogel as seen from Hinterkaiserfelden route

    This route is a ski tour route, too. You need a very good and high snow cover because of the many dwarf pines along this route. There are no major difficulties to overcome. In the upper parts it is better to aim directly to the summits of Elferkogel and Zwölferkogel; the summer trail makes the little detour to Vogelbad col.

    Egersgrinn route

    From the trailhead at Aschinger Alm follow a trail which uses the north ridge of Grinnerkopf, a secondary summit north of Zahmer Kaiser main ridge. The route uses some of the many forest roads in this area, too, but there is always a trail leading back to this ridge.
    At about 1200 meter a trail leads more northwest into the lower part of Egersgrinn, a huge and deeply cut in chute coming down from Zahmer Kaiser ridge. Ascend the trail zigzagging up Egersgrinn until the trail and the chute ends at Vogelbad col. Turn right there onto trail number 835, scramble up the rocks west of Vogelbad – this part is secured with steel ropes – and pass by (or shortly climb) Zwölferkogel, descend into the notch and climb up to Elferkogel.

    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelEgersgrinn and Aschinger Alm
    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelEgersgrinn from Vogelbad col

    Egersgrinn is a rather demanding but nevertheless nice ski route, too. Normally February and March are the best time for ski touring in Egersgrinn.

    Routes from Walchsee / Durchholzen

    Winkelkar route and Pyramidenspitze

    This is a really nice hiking and scrambling route.

    Follow the forest road from the trailhead in northern direction into the huge Winkelkar valley. Take trail number 91 / 816 to shortcut some switchbacks of the forest road and ascend on that trail into the huge Winkelkar cirque below Pyramidenspitze. Half way up a secured but nevertheless easy sort of Via Ferrata, called “Winkelkarsteig”, starts and overcomes the steep and rocky east slopes of the Pyramidenspitze – Jovenspitze ridge. Near the ridge the Via Ferrata turns to the southwest and climbs up to Pyramidenspitze.

    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelWinkelkar
    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelScramble at Vogelbad col

    An off-trail detour to Jovenspitze (scramble; UIAA grade I)is possible.

    From there use trail 835 / 816 to descend to Vogelbad col. Scramble up the rocks west of Vogelbad – this part is secured with steel ropes – and pass by (or shortly climb) Zwölferkogel, descend into the notch and climb up to Elferkogel.

    South route to Pyramidenspitze

    This is a rather long route from Walchsee to Zwölfer- and Elferkogel via Pyramidenspitze. Follow first the forest road from the trailhead in northern direction into the huge Winkelkar valley. At the first trail junction on trail number 91 / 816 at about a height of 1140 m take the left hand trail (number 90), which zigzags up to a notch south of Heuberg, the last secondary summit of the Kesselschneid subridge at the eastern end of Zahmer Kaiser.
    Take the first trail branching off to the right (probably number 88 first, then number 811) and follow this trail first in southwestern, then more western direction without gaining or loosing much hight. You pass by above Kleinmoosenalm and Großmoosenalm and below Hintere and Vordere Kesselschneid summits.

    Then you arrive at two trail junctions. At the second one take the right hand trail and ascend the broad cirques, called Ochselweidkar and/or Hintere Steingrube until you reach Pyramidenspitze summit (trail number 835)

    From there use trail 835 / 816 to descend to Vogelbad col. Scramble up the rocks west of Vogelbad – this part is secured with steel ropes – and pass by (or shortly climb) Zwölferkogel, descend into the notch and climb up to Elferkogel.

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelWilder Kaiser view

    Zahmer Kaiser is part of the nature protection area “Kaisergebirge”.

    The entrance is free.

    Please respect the following rules in the National Park:

    Accommodation can be found at:


    Mountain huts within or near Zahmer Kaiser:

    Hinterbärenbad / Anton-Karg-Haus

    Gear & Mountain Condition

    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelZwölferkogel and Pyramidenspitze as seen from Einserkogel; Wilder Kaiser in the background

    Einserkogel is like all Zahmer Kaiser summits a year round outing.

    In spring, summer and autumn it is an easy hike which requires hiking gear, good boots and maybe some walking poles.

    In winter Einserkogel is a snowshoe peak like e.g. Pyramidenspitze. With low snow cover Einserkogel can be reached by foot, too, for example via Petersköpfl.

    Einser can be summited with skies, too. The most challenging and most difficult ski route is Eggersgrinn, the northern ski ascent. Less frequented (and – to my opinion – less attractive) is the route via Vorderkaiserfelden and Petersköpfl, alternatively via Hinterkaiserfelden and Vordere Steingrube cirque.

    For ski or snowshoe tours you need full avalanche gear!

    Check the Tirol avalanche bulletin here.

    Current Weather for Kufstein:


    Zwölferkogel, EinserkogelSummit view from Einserkogel

    Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 25.000; Blatt Nr. 8; Kaisergebirge


    Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation Bayern
    Topographische Karte 1 : 50.000
    Blatt UKL 7 - Chiemsee und Chiemgauer Alpen



    Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

    KaisergebirgeMountains & Rocks