The shy one
Posing for the cameras and nevertheless not attracting too much attention. Every day at 11 am the sun lights up its back to present it in the spotlight, as seen from Neustift, however some of its glory is hidden shortly thereafter. You must hike up the Elfer to capture all of its beauty because at close range its rocky towers and spikes are much more impressive. Even though the blunt Dolomite rocks situated on a foundation of primary rock and the rocky formation of the Elferspitze and its Elfer towers may remind you of the Dolomites, the “home mountain” of the Neustift inhabitants with its glacial peaks of the Stubai Alps knows where it belongs. Proud and glorious on the one hand, shy and insecure on the other, the Elfer knows how to confound its spectators. While the summit cross at the eastern Elfer tower (2,499 m a.s.l.) leads you to believe it is the highest point, the main summit, also known as Elferkofel (2,505 m a.s.l.), doesn’t want to be forgotten.
It is perfectly fine if you let your eyes wander from the Elferspitze in all directions. As the rather shy one of the Seven Summits, this peak is not disappointed if it does not get all of the attention. The Serles ridge with the Kirchdachspitze (2,840 m a.s.l.) in the east, the Karwendel mountain range in the northeast and the Kalkkögel mountain range with the Schlicker See Spitze (2,804 m a.s.l.) opposite it in the northwest like to be in the limelight.
It is easy to understand why the Dolomite spikes of the Elfer always have attracted climbers. Fritz Kasparek, one of the first ascendants of the Eiger north face, discovered the Elfer in the ‘40s as a climbers mountain while he was stationed at the army high mountain school in Fulpmes during World Word II, erected to educate young commissioned officers. Still to this day, the pitons of his route are visible.
Starting point: Bergstation der Elferbahn (1794 m) / Talstation der Elferbahn in Neustift (993 m)
Destination: Elferkofel (2505 m)
Walking time: ↑2½ h ↓ 2½ h
Vertical height: 750 Hm
Huts and cabins: Panoramarestaurant Elfer (1794 m), Elferhütte (2080 m), Autenalm (1665 m), Karalm (1737 m)
SEVEN SUMMITS rating
Characteristics: Hiking (red mountain track)
HOW TO GET THERE / STARTING POINT
The tour starts at the bottom station of Elfer cable car at the outskirts of Neustift. Directly at the bottom station you find numerous free parking lots. Use the cable car to get to the top station where
the hike begins.
From the top station of the Elfer cable car, a winding path leads up for about 30 minutes to the Elferhütte. Then, follow the distinctive ridge uphill in the direction of Elferspitze. Shortly before the summit, you reach the Elfer saddle. There, turn right and hike up the short rope-secured passage for a few minutes until you reach the Elferspitze. Altogether it will take you approximately 2 to 2.5 hours
Go around the Elferkofel on the south side and you will reach the Zwölfernieder within about 3/4 of an hour. From Zwölfernieder, a small but nice path going slightly down leads to the eastern flank of the Elfer and then almost flat to the Elferhütte. This route takes about 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can descend from Zwölfernieder to the north via the Autenalm (1,655 m a.s.l.) or to the south via Karalm (1,737 m a.s.l.).