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The Peter Habeler loop — an alpine trail around the Olperer

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The Peter Habeler loop — an alpine trail around the Olperer

Hiking Collection by Mareike

7

Tours

26:02 h

35.1 mi

11,575 ft

Spend seven days above 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) altitude following a high-altitude trail around the magnificent Olperer. At 3,476 meters (11,404 feet), it is the highest mountain in the Tux Alps. On beautiful, partly-challenging paths, you can admire the summit from all sides. The landscape reveals new, beautiful mountain views around every corner as you climb.

The path follows in the footsteps of Peter Habeler, a famous mountaineer from Zillertal. Habeler went down in alpine history when, together with Reinhold Messner, he climbed Mount Everest without an oxygen supply for the first time in 1978. The trail was opened to celebrate Habeler’s 70th birthday. Although Habeler has climbed peaks all over the world, he still considers the Olperer to be one of his favourites.

The Olperer lies on the Tux Ridge between the Zillertal, the Wipptal and South Tyrol. In total, you will cover a distance of 34 miles (55 km), climbing over 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) on the first day. All of the stages lead through Austrian soil except stage 6, which runs through Italy.

As this is a high-altitude trail, you should be experienced hiking on alpine terrain. Sure-footedness and a head for heights are also essential. Some of the narrow paths are partly exposed, but difficult sections have ropes.

The third stage is the longest. It leads you up to the Friesenberg Chart, which almost breaks the 3,000-meter (9842 feet) mark. On the other days you can take it easy as the routes usually take between three and four hours to walk.

Experienced mountain hikers can complete this Collection in less than seven days. For example, you can combine stages 4 and 5 and walk from Friesenberghaus directly to Pfitscherjochhaus. Stages 5 and 6 can also be easily combined.

Mid-June to September is the best time to hike this route, as there is usually no snow at high-altitudes then. However, keep an eye on the weather. The hut opening hours are a good way to structure the time on your hikes. Huts will also inform you whether the trails are passable.

At the end of each stage, a hut with food and beds is waiting for you. During the day you have to bring your own food as you won’t find huts to stop for lunch on any of the stages. Make sure you book your accommodation well in advance as the trails partly overlap with the Berlin trail and the crossing of the Alps from Munich to Venice. Places fill up especially fast for July and August.

Since the Peter Habeler Loop is a round trip, you can start from various points. The village Vals in a side valley of the Wipptal is a practical starting point. There is a free parking lot at the Nockeralmen and also a bus stop. You can take the train to St. Jodok am Brenner and take bus 4144 down into the valley from there to the Vals in Tirol Touristenrast (timetables at oebb.at). Alternatively, you can ascend from the South Tyrolean Pfitschtal to the Pfitscherjoch or start your hike in the Zillertal from the Schlegeisspeicher or Hintertux. You can climb over the Venntal to the Europahütte directly from the Brenner Pass.

Berlin High Trail: komoot.de/collection/44/the-berlin-high-trail-explore-the-zillertal-alps-in-8-stages

Traumpfad Munich–⁠Venice: komoot.de/collection/480/the-traumpfad-from-munich-to-venice

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Peter-Habeler-Runde

33.6 mi

11,425 ft

11,450 ft

Last updated: May 20, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    03:29
    4.73 mi
    1.4 mph
    3,200 ft
    0 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the first day of the Peter Habeler circuit, you head up into the mountains. To get started, you have to overcome most of the vertical meters of the multi-day hike. However, the path is not technically demanding and is well suited for running in. The ascent is really worth it, because you will stay

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  • Intermediate
    04:02
    6.05 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,500 ft
    Intermediate mountaineering route. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 2 is characterized by the ups and downs typical of high-altitude trails. You climb saddles and cols that always promise new views in a landscape formed by glacial moraines. The paths are beautiful and alpine: some are demanding and exposed.

    

    You leave the Geraer Hütte in a northerly direction and

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  • Difficult
    05:55
    5.44 mi
    0.9 mph
    2,575 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Behind the Tuxerjochhaus it gets really alpine. On stage 3 you reach the highest point of the Peter Habeler circuit at 2,904 meters. Loose scree, boulders and probably one or the other old snow field await you on the ascent to the Friesenbergscharte. If there is still a lot of white or if there is fog

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  • Difficult
    01:47
    2.68 mi
    1.5 mph
    500 ft
    775 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Great for any fitness level. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    You can use the fourth day on the Peter Habeler circuit to rest. The way to the next milestone, the Olpererhaus, is not far and takes less than two hours. The altitude difference is also limited. If you don't need a break, you can combine this stage with the one before or after.

    

    After a short ascent to

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  • Difficult
    03:23
    5.42 mi
    1.6 mph
    950 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    On stage 5 it remains alpine, but the path is well developed. Where there are slabs of rock on the slopes, there is a level route made of the same slabs of rock for easy walking. An acquaintance of the last few days, the view of the Schlegeis reservoir, accompanies you one last time.

    

    First of all, it

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  • Difficult
    03:18
    5.06 mi
    1.5 mph
    1,675 ft
    300 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This stage leads completely through South Tyrol. The starting point and destination are both directly on the border between Austria and Italy. On this day you climb several hundred meters through rocky landscape to reach the ridge that separates the two countries. You can then enjoy your dinner in the

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  • Difficult
    04:09
    5.70 mi
    1.4 mph
    250 ft
    4,600 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Stage 7 is the last day of the Peter Habeler circuit. That's why you have to descend from the alpine mountain world and at over 1,000 meters in altitude, that really gets in your legs. So better plan a few more breaks and enjoy the beautiful landscape again. The Zeischalm is special on this path. Its

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    35.1 mi
  • Duration
    26:02 h
  • Elevation
    11,575 ft

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The Peter Habeler loop — an alpine trail around the Olperer

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