The Stubai Excessive Path (“Stubaier Höhenweg” in German) is without doubt one of the most lovely treks within the Austrian Alps. Linking collectively eight characterful mountain huts, this horseshoe-shaped route across the Stubai Valley oscillates between breathtaking passes and enchanting valleys, whereas affording hikers continuous views of serrated peaks, shimmering lakes, and luxurious glaciers.
I walked the Stubai Excessive Path in mid-October 2019, as a part of an prolonged climbing journey within the Alps. It was one in every of 4 multi-day excessive trails I did in Austria throughout the journey; the others being the Berliner Höhenweg, Schladming Tauern Höhenweg, and the Wormser Höhenweg.
(Observe: The data beneath is essentially directed in the direction of impartial hikers, slightly than of us going as a part of organised trekking teams).
At a Look
Distance: 80 km (50 mi)
Common Period: 7 to 9 days (see How Lengthy will it Take? for particulars)
Problem Degree: Reasonable
Excessive Level: Grawagrubennieder – 2881 m (9,452 ft)
Lowest Elevation: Neustift – 994 m (3,261 ft)
Complete Elevation Achieve & Loss: 11,306 m (37,093 ft)
Which path?: I don’t assume it issues. I hiked in a counter-clockwise path, and the Cicerone information books referenced beneath describe the path in a clockwise path.
What’s in a Title?: As of 2020, most folk – together with the Stubai space’s official web site – seek advice from the featured hike because the Stubai Excessive Path or Stubaier Höhenweg. Nonetheless, it’s also often called the Stubai Rucksack Route or Stubaier Runde Tour in German. For customers of the Cicerone Information books talked about beneath, notice that in “Strolling in Austria” it’s known as the Hohenweg and listed as 120 km lengthy, whereas in “Trekking within the Stubai Alps” it’s referred to as the Rucksack Route and estimated to be about 80 km in size. For the needs of this text, I’m going to go along with “Excessive Path” or “Hohenweg” and the shorter of the quoted distances, which aligns with GPX information for the route.
Getting There & Away:
- The termini of Neder and Neustift are serviced by an everyday bus service (a number of instances day by day / #590) from the close by metropolis of Innsbruck. The journey takes round half an hour, and the bus cease is situated instantly exterior the doorway to the Innsbruck prepare station. Click on right here for bus timetables.
- Mountaineering season within the Austrian Alps is usually between late June to late September. In a mean climate 12 months, September is good. The college vacation crowds are gone, the summer time thunderstorms (typically quick) have subsided, temperatures are cooler, and the mountain huts are much less crowded.
- Low season: Relying on the snow ranges and expertise of the aspirant, the Stubai Excessive Path may also be accomplished within the late spring or early to mid-fall. When climbing at these instances, chances are you’ll require an ice axe and traction gadgets. Additionally, notice that the full-service huts closed at these instances, so you have to to hold your whole personal meals and a maybe a tent/tarp (Observe: A lot of the huts have small winter rooms (“winterraums“) that stay open throughout the low season. See Lodging beneath for particulars).
- Personally talking, for somebody like myself who has all the time had an aversion to crowds (particularly out in nature), climbing the path low season was supreme. I didn’t meet a single different particular person doing your entire route, and the one day-trippers I noticed throughout my three days on path have been across the simply accessible Franz Senn Hut and Dresdener Hut.
- Guidebook: Cicerone Press publish two books that cowl the Hohenweg. Strolling in Austria provides a bare-bones account of the path, whereas Trekking within the Stubai Alps has a way more detailed abstract of the famed hut-to-hut route, together with trekking notes, fundamental maps for every part, facet journeys/alternates recommendations, distance and time estimates, and logistical data on attending to and from the path. Each books can be found in Kindle model or paperback.
- Maps: You may decide up maps for the Stubai Excessive Path on the vacationer workplace in Neustift. You have got a alternative of both a free fundamental map of the route or topographic maps by the Austrian Alpine Membership (Sheet 31/1 Stubai Alpen: Hoch Stubai 1:25,000 and Sheet 31/2 Stubai Alpen: Sellrain 1:25,000). Usually, I’d go for the latter choice, nonetheless, for this well-marked/simply accessible route, I feel that the fundamental map, mixed with a Kindle model of the Cicerone Information, and GPX information, ought to suffice for many hikers in all however winter circumstances.
- Permits: No permits are required to hike the Stubai Excessive Path.
- Language: German. Nearly everybody you meet that’s beneath 60 years outdated will communicate English, nonetheless, a number of easy phrases and phrases of the native tongue will all the time be appreciated by locals.
- Cell/Cell Cellphone Protection: I are likely to maintain my telephone in flight mode whereas out within the woods, however from what I can collect, throughout climbing season a number of the huts on the Hohenweg have Wifi/cell reception, together with the chance to cost your telephone and/or battery pack whether or not you’re overnighting, or simply stopping in for breakfast or lunch.
- Different On-line Sources: The Stubai.at web site is a wonderful supply of data not just for the Stubai Excessive Path however for the rest chances are you’ll be taken with doing whereas within the Stubai area.
Resupply & Water:
- Meals: There are not any villages alongside the Hohenweg, however meals are by no means laborious to come back by throughout the climbing season as all the huts are full service. Additionally it is attainable to buy snacks and sandwiches to go.
- Breakfast – Often served from round 6 to eight am. Continental-style, consisting of bread/butter/jam and occasional or tea.
- Lunch – Often served from noon to 2 pm, although it will possibly range from hut to hut. Order as a lot as you want from the menu. Beer and wine can be found.
- Dinner – Principal meal of the day and often served between 6 pm and seven.30 pm. The set-dinner choice is well-priced, ample in dimension, and might as soon as once more be washed down together with your alternative of grownup drinks.
- Prices: Most people that in a single day on the huts go for the “half pension” choice, which consists of dinner, mattress, and breakfast for between €45 and €55. Lunch is all the time à la carte.
- Low season: If you’re taken with climbing out of season, you’ll have to carry all your personal provides from begin to end. If you’re lucky – it occurred to me on three separate events throughout my time in Austria – pleasant locals might have left some beers within the Winter Rooms to assist get you thru the chilly nights!
- Water: Plentiful all through the hike. Can both be obtained on the huts or from streams alongside the way in which. Throughout my time within the Alps, I typically drank instantly from sources and had no intestinal points. The exception was if I used to be acquiring water downstream from huts or grazing animals, wherein case I handled with Aquamira drops.
Route / Situations:
- Overview: In the course of the summer time months the Stubai Excessive Path is a reasonably demanding trek. It consists of greater than 11,000 m (36,809 ft) of mixed altitude acquire and loss, and through its course, hikers will negotiate excessive passes, uncovered traverses, boulder fields, and steep scree slopes. The path is properly marked with splashes of crimson/white paint, and main junctions often have a signpost or a painted marker with a chosen path quantity.
- If climbing throughout the shoulder seasons, do I would like traction gadgets, ice axe, or every other specialised tools?: Throughout my October hikes within the Alps I didn’t carry an ice axe, however I did use Salewa mountain spikes (much like Kathoola Microspikes) and was very glad to have them for a number of the icy excessive sections. Additionally on the footwear entrance, I often wore a mixture of merino wool socks and Montbell Gore-tex All Spherical Socks beneath my path trainers. I’d undoubtedly go along with the identical system once more if I used to be to return to the Alps within the spring or fall. (Observe: I’ll publish a full gear record for the journey within the coming weeks).
- How Lengthy will it take?: Within the opening “At a Look” part I point out that the typical time taken for the excessive path is 7 to 9 days. That stated, the period of time it takes can range vastly relying on numerous elements. Match and skilled hikers carrying a lightweight pack and who’ve a comparatively good run with the climate, can comfortably do the hike in three or 4 days.
- Highlights: I loved your entire path, but when I needed to decide my favorite sections they’d be as follows:
- Stage 4 – Between Nurnberger and Suzenau Huts through Niederl Col.
- Stage 6 – Between Dresdner Hut and Neue Regensberger Hut through the Grawagrubennieder Cross.
Observe: I’ve learn that Stage 2 between Bremer and Innsbrucker Huts can be speculated to be attractive, however sadly, the climate gods didn’t smile on me for that difficult part, and I spent your entire day strolling by way of a mixture of freezing rain, robust winds, heavy fog, and snow.
- Lowlights: The one one which involves thoughts is the built-up space round Dresdner Hut, which may be accessed by cable automobile.
- Mountain Huts: Nearly all hikers on the Stubai Excessive Path keep within the mountain huts. These regularly-spaced refuges often boast unbelievable excessive altitude areas, together with spectacular vistas. Most are open from mid-June to late September, and together with in a single day lodging (dormitory and generally non-public rooms), in addition they supply breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As referenced above, the most effective worth can often be discovered within the half-board supply, which consists of a three-course dinner, a mattress, and breakfast for between 45 and 55 Euros (as of 2019). Observe that people which can be affiliated with sure different European Alpine or Mountain golf equipment (e.g. UK, German, French) get pleasure from reciprocal rights. In the course of the peak season months of July and August, lodging ought to ideally be booked upfront; this particularly holds true in case you are climbing in a gaggle.
- Is Wild Tenting Potential within the Austrian Alps?: Formally talking………….it’s sophisticated. There isn’t any “everyman’s proper/freedom to roam” in Austria, and alpine zone tenting rules can range considerably between states. The Stubai Excessive Path is situated within the Tyrol area, and in accordance with the Tyrol Tenting Act (2001), as per the Austrian Alpine Membership web site: “Tenting exterior of campsites is prohibited”. The one exception is alpine bivouacking “for a brief time frame required by the event.” Earlier than wild campers get too excited, the web site additionally states that “Deliberate bivouacking is equated with staying in a tent! Violations may end up in fines of as much as 14,500 euros, relying on the federal state.” In actuality, I think should you have been to remain properly away from huts and farms, arrange simply earlier than darkish in a stealthy spot, go away at daybreak the following day, and diligently follow LNT rules always, you’ll be unlikely to have any points. Click on right here for an in depth overview of the tenting state of affairs in Austria.
- Winter Rooms (“winterraums”): Though I did carry a shelter on the Stubai Excessive Path – for emergency functions solely! – I ended up spending all of my nights within the winter rooms. These little sanctuaries are a godsend on the finish of an extended day in tough circumstances. They’re typically an annex to the primary hut and stay open all-year-round.
Gear Record – Stubai Excessive Path
The bottom weight for my mid-October hike of the Stubai Excessive Path was 5.1 kg (11.1 lb), and the entire weight got here in at 6.3 kg (14 lb). The temperatures ranged between mid-teens Celsius (low 60s F) to a low of -9°C (15°F)
|ITEM||WT. (OZ)||SUB (oz)||SUB (kg)||COMMENTS|
|MLD Burn DCF||16||UL, frameless, slim profile – I’ve been utilizing totally different incarnations of the Burn for over a decade / I’ve had the DCF mannequin for the previous two years – up to now, so good.|
|Pack Liner (Trash Compactor Bag)||2||Low cost & efficient|
|Tarptent Aeon Li||16.8||Uber-lite, holds up properly in a storm when pitched low (108cm), and really roomy for one thing which weighs round a pound.|
|Stakes – Easton “Nail” fashions (6)||1.7|
|Pad – Thermarest NeoAir XLite (Sm)||8||Very cozy / Doubles as makeshift framesheet for pack / Put ft on backpack when sleeping / See 20,000 + mile overview.|
|Quilt – Katabatic Alsek 22 (Lengthy / 900fp)||22.2||Conservatively rated 22°F / Greater than 900 nights utilizing Katabatic quilts since 2011.|
|LokSak 20×12 (Meals Bag)||1.2||Meals storage bag of alternative for the reason that 2000s. I typically hear individuals complain concerning the seals breaking shortly, however I’ve all the time discovered them to be pretty sturdy (4 to six weeks of day by day use) should you don’t overfill them.|
|Toaks 700ml Titanium Pot||3.1|
|Toaks Titanium Siphon Alcohol Range
|Toaks Titanium Alcohol Range Pot Stand||1.2|
|Titanium Lengthy-handled spoon||0.7|
|SmartWater Bottles 1 LT (2)||2.6|
|FIRST AID / HYGIENE|
|Sunscreen (repackaged in tiny btle.)|
|Hand Sanitizer (repackaged in dropper btle.)||It’s been 20 years since I’ve had a case of the trotskies within the backcountry. I feel an enormous cause is my diligent use of hand sanitizer.|
|Aquamira (repackaged in dropper btles.)||Purification methodology of alternative since 2007.|
|Toothpaste (mini tube)|
|Dental Floss||Doubles as stitching thread|
|Antiseptic Wipes (2)||Clear cuts/wounds|
|Triple Antibiotic Cream (tiny tube)|
|3M Micropore Medical Tape||Breathable, paper tape / Adheres properly.|
|Stitching Needle||One-armed blind individuals can sew higher than I can.|
|Tenacious Tape, Mini Tube Tremendous Glue (repairs)||To compensate for lack of stitching abilities.|
|Rain Pants – Montbell Versalite||3.2||Very gentle, water resistant, however not essentially the most sturdy. High quality for on-trail climbing, care wanted when heading off-trail/bushwhacking.|
|Thermal Underwear – Montbell Tremendous Merino Center Weight Tights||6|
|Rain Jacket – Montbell Torrent Flier||6.5||The latest incarnation of the Torrent Flier. A few ounces lighter than the older mannequin. For off-trail, I favor the heavier 3-Layer Montbell Storm Cruiser.|
|Insulation – Insulation – Montbell Chameece Internal Jacket (Now not made/Changed by Montbell Chameece Jacket)||8.8||I’ve owned this fleece for the final 4 years / Supreme summer time insulation layer for the Alps– not too heavy, performs properly when damp, takes the sting off chilly mornings.|
|Insulation – Montbell 1000 Alpine Down Parka||9.1||Improbable warmth-to-weight ratio. Improve over long-time favorite 3-season puffy, the Superior Down Parka.|
|Further Socks – Darn Powerful Hiker Micro Crew||2.6|
|Buff (Unique Polyester)||1.4||Beanie, neck/face safety, condensation wipe, comfort retailer holdups if low on money / I got here late to the Buff occasion, however I’ve bought to say I’m impressed.|
|Montbell Chameece Liner gloves||0.9||Nearly 4 years of normal use and nonetheless going robust / Simply the most effective liner gloves I’ve used, and it’s not even shut.|
|Cellphone – iPhone 11||7.1|
|Otter Symmetry case for iPhone 11 (orange)||1.3|
|Digital camera – Sony RX100 3 + Neoprene digital camera case||11.3||After some years of solely utilizing my telephone, I bit the images bullet final 12 months and upgraded for the Scotland/Norway journey. Proud of the outcomes up to now.|
|Stuff sacks – HMG Cuben Fiber (2)||2.4|
|Headlamp – Nitecore NU25||1.8||Glorious rechargeable headlamp. More often than not I have a tendency to make use of the low crimson setting to protect night time imaginative and prescient.|
|Montbell Path Pockets (orange mannequin)||0.5||Love this little pockets. Use it each on path and off. Improve from the plastic cardholder.|
|Swiss Military Traditional||0.7||For a very long time I actually solely used the tweezers and scissors, however in recent times I’ve carried extra cheese and veggies on shorter hikes, that means that I now use the knife as a lot, or greater than the opposite two options.|
|Compass – Suunto M-3G International Professional||1.6||Adjustable declination and globally balanced needle (extra responsive than my outdated Suunto M-2).|
|Deuce of Spades potty trowel||0.6|
|Map Bag – Quart Dimension Ziploc||0.2||Retains maps clear, dry & organized.|
|Montbell Alpine Carbon Pole Cam Lock||7.1||Improve after a few years of utilizing the Fizans, attributable to the truth that I’ve had the twist-lock mechanism fail on me a few instances in excessive circumstances / Cam (flip) lock simpler to deal with, safer, and price the additional ounce and a half.|
|BASE WEIGHT||TOTAL||11.1 lb||5.1 kg|
|Shorts – Patagonia Baggies 7″||6.7||Mountaineering shorts of alternative since 2014/15. 7″ are lengthy sufficient that they can be utilized on path, however nonetheless look respectable round city. See Overview.|
|Base layer – Montbell Cool Hoodie||6.6||This was the primary solar hoodie I’ve ever tried and I’ve to say I liked it. Gentle, ethereal, dries shortly, the kangaroo pouch was helpful for snacks/telephone/map, and when mixed with the baseball cap, it offered nice solar safety.|
|Hat – CDT Baseball Cap||3.2|
|Sneakers – Brooks Cascadia 13||23.6||I’ve worn each mannequin of the Cascadias for the reason that 3’s, which got here out greater than a decade in the past. Since that point I’ve tried Altras, La Sportivas, and a few different totally different manufacturers, however I all the time come again to the Cascadias.|
|Socks – REI Merino Wool liners||1.6||Nonetheless my favorite liner socks, although the present fashions aren’t as sturdy because the pre-2013 variations.|
|Soiled Woman Gaiters||1.2||Helpful for conserving out dust and dirt. I’ve been utilizing DG’s since 2007.|
|Timex Ironman Watch||1.4||Low cost, sturdy, gentle, a number of alarms|
|Sun shades||0.8||Polarized lenses, 100% UV safety, wrap-around.|
|TOTAL WEIGHT||14 lb||6.3 kg|
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