As you slowly but steadily hike further up, the landscape around you becomes more and more sparse and the once-green grass evolves into rubble heaps and heavy boulders. If you turn around, you'll already have a great view of the past valley, but when you reach the pass, you're almost speechless. The flat rocky plateau you just reached is surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Geigenkamm and underneath you is the vast Ötztal. As the wind whistles around your ears, you sit on a large rock to enjoy this unique panorama.
The Geigenkamm is an approximately 17 mile-long (28 kilometers) mountain range within the Ötztal Alps, which separates the Ötztal from the Pitztal. Although many of its peaks are over 9,500 feet high (3000 metres), there are surprisingly few glaciers. This has saved the mountain range from being developed as a skiing area and therefore an untouched high mountain nature still awaits you here today. And best of all: While the numerous ski lifts and cable cars in nearby Sölden lead to overcrowded summits, you will find peace and silence in the northern Ötztal. Only a few hikers go up to the wildly romantic peaks and slopes and so you have them all to yourself.
Our hike leads you in five days from Oetz over four mountain huts along fantastic peaks and lonely mountain lakes. For all summit collectors, two 9,000 feet (3,000 meters) peaks are also planned, which can be easily skipped by less ambitious mountain hikers. While numerous mountain pastures line the hiking trails in the valley, there is only a thin net of huts on the high mountain paths. The best thing to do before you start in Oetz is to get enough food and reserve a bed in the small mountain huts. When that's done, all you have to do is lace up your mountain boots and shoulder your backpack to conquer the lonely Ötz Valley peaks.
If you plan to shorten your hut tour to two or three nights, check out our alternative stage. With it you can customize your hike according to your needs.
The entrance to your hut tour along the Geigenkamm takes place in Oetz. From the bus stop, you stroll over the main road and then cross the Ötztaler Ache.Your way leads you first up to the Piburger lake. The lake is one of Austria's oldest nature reserves and due to its location the water warms up early in the summer months. Thus, it is perfect for a cool bathing refreshment.Afterwards, your path leads along comfortable but steep forest trails to the stage destination, the Armelenhütte.You can easily reach your starting point in Oetz by bus from the Ötztal train station.
Your second day starts after a cozy night at the Armelenhütte. From there you climb into Tumpental, which rises evenly to the back of the violin ridge.If you like, you can stop here at the Jausenstation Vordere Tumpenalm before continuing your climb to Erlanger Hütte.For a while, the road still runs along a good-to-be-done business road. Above the tree line, however, the terrain becomes barren and you follow the trail first across meadows and then through rough-grained terrain.About a few short hairpin bends, it goes over the pass between Brechkogel and Kreuzjochspitze, before you reach the Erlanger hut after a last climb.
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The third stage of the day awaits you with unique views and lonely mountain paths and runs on the signposted hiking trail 911 of the Alpine Club. Your tour starts at Erlanger Hütte and leads you around the picturesque Wettersee and up to the ridge between Wildgrat and Dreirinnenkogel.From the ridge, it goes in serpentines over a long and promising path on the slopes of sheep heaven and Edeltrautenkopf further towards Feilerscharte.After your ascent to the Feilerscharte, you can decide to climb the Fundusfeiler. The northernmost three-thousand-meter summit on the Geiger ridge offers you an incredible view, but in the last few meters it requires easy climbing in grade UIAA 1, so you have to use your hands over and over again.Afterwards it goes down evenly to Frischmannhütte.
Also on this stage, the trail follows the signposted trail 911. Starting from the Frischmannhütte, you can expect about 600 vertical meters in the direction of Felderjöchel. In the little-known north of the Ötztal Alps, you can concentrate on your breathing and on your steps as you master the slope to the yoke.With every step up, you will find first-class mountain panoramas, which can only be surpassed by the panoramic view on the Felderjöchel. If the weather cooperates, the view from Felderjöchel is the perfect place to rest.After the break, it goes down to the White Lake and the Lower Spitzigsee over to the stage destination. After you have overcome the last slope to the Spitzigsee, spreads below you the view of the turquoise blue Hauersee. Located directly on the shores of the lake, the small self-catering hut awaits you from the DAV.
At over 3100 meters, the fifth day will see the highest point of the entire tour. After you have rested well during your overnight stay in the Hauerseehütte, it's all about the Hauersee around the small glacier.Directly on the smooth-edged edge of the glacier, it goes along the insured climb to the summit of the Luibiskogel. The ascent is not easy and is partly due to iron kicks. If the ascent is too demanding for you, you can also go directly to the descent to Längenfeld.After your summit storm, it's the same way back to the Hauerseehütte. From there, follow a marked path over large stone steps down into Hauertal. As you descend, you will clearly notice the landscape around you changing and becoming more and more lovely and greener.As soon as you reach the tree line, the path leads along narrow and sometimes steep forest paths to a forest road. Following the fort road you will reach the vantage point Teufelskanzel and finally the end of your hike in Längenfeld.In the lively resort of Längenfeld, you will slowly return to the normal world after spending five quiet and lonely days on the peaks and slopes of the Geigenkammgebirgszug.
If the five-day hut tour is too long or too strenuous for you, then you have the opportunity to shorten your tour to three or four days with this hike.For a four-day hike, after your overnight stay in the Frischmannhütte, hike along the comfortable Köfler Waalweg to the Schartle. Then you descend to the Wurzbergalm and can there with a picturesque view a comfortable rest. Via the Winkelbergsee you finally reach the stage destination Längenfeld Winklen.For a three-day tour, you will climb the path from Längenfeld Winklen to the Frischmannhütte and from there hike the next day to Hauerseehütte, as described in stage E04. After your overnight stay at the Hauersee, we will continue on stage E05 in Ötztal to Längenfeld.