Of average height and beautiful shape – this description may fit to several mountains in the Stubai Alps. However, with this summit, it is the plainness that surprises. At the Hoher Burgstall many a mountaineer may not expect to discover anything new because the summit is the easiest to hike of all the Seven Summits. However, this mountain full of views at the southwest end of the Kalkkögel mountain range teaches the alpinists to think differently. As a powerful limestone mass of intrusive rock based on primary rock, the Hoher Burgstall convincingly shows diversity of the Stubai mountains, and not only offers exciting views but also a variety of insights.
On days with good weather and clear views, the peak of Hoher Burgstall opens up a unique 360° panorama from the Karwendel mountain range over the Zillertal Alps and the mountains of the Gschnitztal up to the glaciers around the Zuckerhütl and the Franz-Senn-Hütte.
Sir Edmund Hillary, first climber of the Mount Everest in the year 1953, marked his first summit in the Alps four years before by conquering the Hoher Burgstall. However, much stronger than this is the connection of Franz Senn to Alpinism in the Stubai. Born 1831 in Längenfeld, he came to Neustift as a priest in 1881 and formed the touristic developments in the valley. He was a dedicated mountaineer and educated youth to be carriers and mountain guides. He produced maps including hiking times by means of his own expenses and introduced guiding fees. His mountain guides had to fix trails, secure paths and mark routes when they were not on the go in the mountains. In 1869, he founded the German Alpine Association together with three companions from Munich. Its purpose was to promote mountaineering as an experience. The only record of the clergyman Franz Senn’s own mountaineering activities in the Stubai valley can be found in the memory of his ascent of the Hoher Burgstall in July 1881. Unfortunately, his dream of an alpine hut at the Alpeiner Ferner was not realized before his death, however later thanks to the Austrian Alpine Association’s section of Innsbruck.
Starting point: Bergstation Schlick 2000, Kreuzjoch (2136 m)
Destination: Hoher Burgstall (2611 m)
Walking time: ↑ 3 h ↓ 3 h
Vertical height: 500 Hm
Huts and cabins: Panoramarestaurant Kreuzjoch (1742 m), Sennjochhütte (2225 m), Starkenburger Hütte (2237 m), Kaserstattalm (1890 m), Froneben Alm (1350 m)
SEVEN SUMMITS rating
Characteristics: Hiking (red mountain track) – short rope secured passages, short exposed
section close to the peak
HOW TO GET THERE / STARTING POINT
The tour starts at the top station Kreuzjoch, which you can reach by Schlick 2000 cable car. At the bottom station, you find numerous free parking spaces. Schlick 2000 cable car can be reached via the village of Fulpmes.
From the top station Kreuzjoch, start walking the easy-ascending panoramic path in the direction of Starkenburger Hütte. After the Sennjochhütte, follow the signs to Hoher Burgstall. The path leads uphill over the ridge, then turns right and passes underneath the south wall of the Niederer Burgstall. Then the path leads through a well secured channel of rocks winding its way up to the summit of the Hoher Burgstall, the last part going directly along the ridge.Duration: 3 hours to ascend.
The descent goes over the south side of the summit to the Starkenburger Hütte (2,237 m a.s.l.). From the hut, the path leads uphill for about 300 meters vertical height back to the top station of Schlick 2000. Alternatively, the descent can be made to the Kaserstattalm (1,890 m a.s.l.) and from there on to the Froneben Alm (1,350 m a.s.l.), located at the middle station of Schlick 2000.
ALTERNATIVE ASCENDING ROUTES
Starting point: parking space open air pool Neustift (1050 m)
Destination: Hoher Burgstall (2611 m)
Walking time: ↑ 4½ h ↓ 3 h
Vertical height: 1550 Hm
Huts and cabins: Starkenburger Hütte (2237 m)