5 via ferratas and 6 summits in 3 days in the Wilder Kaiser region
Day 1: Jubiläumssteig trail and Klamml via ferrata
The 3-day tour starts in Going, Hüttling (820 m). Forest road 817 leads you past Graspoint-Niederalm (981 m) and up to the Obere Regalm (1,313 m - only open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays). In the cosy mountain hut below the south faces of the Regalmspitze, there is a special breakfast on the mountain every Wednesday when the weather is dry. This organic buffet includes fresh homemade farmhouse bread along with sausage from the farm’s own cows.
Continue on the panoramic path 827, making a steep ascent across Alpine meadows to the Brennender Palven mountain (also known as the Baumgartenköpfl, 1,572 m). You will be rewarded for the ascent with fantastic views over the rock massif of the Wilder Kaiser to the north and over the Kitzbühel Alps and Hohe Tauern mountain range to the south. This is also the location of the famous Bergsteigergrab, which is the final resting place of the “Koasamuch”. This renowned mountain climber from the “Edelweissgilde” organisation, who was born Much Wieser in Scheffau in 1888, brought the idea of the summit book to the Wilder Kaiser.
From the Brennender Palven, hike along Wilder-Kaiser-Steig trail 823 – also known as the Much-Wieser-Steig trail – as you head past mountain pines and sometimes over scree as you proceed towards the Ellmauer Tor rock saddle. You will need to head across a few exposed sections on the way to the turnoff leading to the Ellmauer Tor. At the turnoff, which is located below the south-west faces of the Vordere Karlsspitze mountain, turn on to the Jubiläumssteig trail.
The trail is highly exposed in certain places, but features wire ropes almost throughout. It snakes across slabs and along a wide range of imposing rock faces before coming to a distinctive natural arch, with slight ascents and descents leading to a notch. This must be crossed with the help of a ladder, along with steps that are secured using wire ropes. Heading through a gorge, over beaten steps and along a number of iron rungs, you will reach the exit of the Jubiläumssteig trail.
At the fork, turn southeast on to path 813/824. After a brief descent through the Klamml, you will reach the entrance to the via ferrata. The lower section is difficulty B/C, while the upper section that is accessed via a spectacular rope bridge features difficulty C/D. From the end of the via ferrata, it is only a few more minutes before you will come to the Gruttenhütte mountain hut.
(The Klamml via ferrata is an ideal indicator. Only if you are able to cross this without any problems should you take on the rest of the tour as planned.)
The Gruttenhütte mountain hut (1,620 m), which was built in 1899 on a rocky crest, is the highest mountain hut in the Wilder Kaiser region and features a beautiful sun terrace. It is located directly at the foot of the Ellmauer Halt (which is the highest summit in the Wilder Kaiser region at 2,344 m) and is therefore the ideal starting point for climbing to the Ellmauer Halt summit via the Gamsängsteig trail on the following day.
Day 2: crossing the Ellmauer Halt summit from south to north (Gamsängsteig trail – Kaiserschützen via ferrata)
Day two begins with the climb to the Hochgrubach cirque, where the Gamsängsteig trail starts on its way up to the Ellmauer Halt summit (2,344 m). The somewhat twisting path leads directly to the highest peak in the Wilder Kaiser region. The crossing of the Jagerwand with its 74 stirrups is sure to stay in the memory, as will the exposed slab rock face in the upper section. After taking a break at the summit and enjoying the panoramic view, the long descent begins on the next via ferrata.
The Kaiserschützen via ferrata (path no. 820) is a long path featuring difficulty B/C, but one that also boasts wonderful scenery. It begins directly beneath the summit and heads in a northwesterly direction to a large hollow between the Ellmauer Halt and Gamshalt summits. Walkers with enough time and energy can also take on the Gamshalt (2,291 m) and/or the Kleine Halt (2,116 m) mountains.
From the Kleine Halt, climb down to the Oberer Scharlinger Boden and walk along trail 813 surrounded by rocky walls. Keep going until you reach the Hans-Berger-Haus or continue for a further 20 minutes to the Anton-Karg-Haus mountain hut. The ice-cold water of the Kaiserbach stream offers refreshment for your feet after this long day. You can then enjoy the rest of the day on the sun terrace.
Day 3: crossing the Sonneck from north to south (Kufstein via ferrata – Sonneck – Kopfkraxen)
The third day begins with the approach to the Kufstein via ferrata. Start by following Bettlersteig trail 827 until you reach the fork of Güttlersteig trail 821, which you should then follow in a southerly direction. Turn left at the signpost Klettersteig and you will come to the entrance of the via ferrata within a few minutes. The difficulty levels are mainly between A and C, with a D in certain sections. The length of the via ferrata means that it should not be underestimated. Following a very steep middle section, the crowning glory of the path is an exposed crossing directly below the summit of the Unteres Gamskarköpfl (1,975 m), which is where the exit is located.
From the summit of the Unteres Gamskarköpfl, return to Güttlersteig trail 821 and walk uphill for around an hour until you reach the Sonneck mountain (2,260 m). This summit will reward you with a fantastic view. The glacier peaks in the main ridge of the Alps shine like beacons as you look south, with the shimmering Chiemsee lake visible towards the north. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Munich.
The southern descent leads you to the Wiesberg via the Kopfkraxen mountain. You then head downhill at the foot of the Sonnenstein until you reach the Kaiser-Hochalm Alpine pasture (which doesn’t feature any establishments that serve food). Continue on Adlerweg trail 821/823 until you reach the fork heading south. Passing the Kaiseralm and Hinterschiesslingalm mountain huts, you then hike through the fascinating Rehbachklamm gorge to Scheffau (745 m), the final destination of this three-day adventure in the Wilder Kaiser region.
The free “KaiserJet” bus takes you back to the bathing lake in Going, which was your original starting point.