Via ferrata trails around the Elfer

The via ferrata trails in the Elferlifte area are almost legendary among climbing enthusiasts. Not everyone has sufficient strength and stamina to master those three routes. There is one via ferrata trail at the Elferkofel, the Elferturm and at the Ilmspitz, respectively. 

Sportler beim Klettern im Stubaital

Via ferrata Elfer Nordwand

Characteristics: Very airy and interesting via ferrata which can ideally be combined with the beautiful and recommendable Elferkofel Steig.
Difficulty: very difficult. Mostly C, one D passage, some short 1+ and 2 climbing spots
Special hazards: in early summer, there is snow remaining quite often
Duration and altitude differences:
Access: 1 to 1.5 h / 460 m Via ferrata: 1 h / 220 m Descent: 1 to 1.5 h / 680 m
Exposition: Northwest Access: 1 to 1.5 h: From the Elferlifte Summit Station and along a comfortable zigzag trail to the Elferhütte in 25 to 30 min. South toward Elferkofel for 20 to 25 min. Access to the Nordwand-Route (sign: Nordwand-Kletterroute) on the right.
Descent: 1 to 1.5 hr. Down the Gipfelwand to the saddle, through a large block and onto a short descent (1+) into a steep chimney. Down (C/2), crossing a ridge (A/B) and short ascent to the Elfersattel (sign). Now either back north to the Elferhütte and to the Summit Station or ideally onto the Elferkofel Klettersteig (B to C/2, crossing) to Zwölferniederscharte.

Via ferrata Elferkofel

Characteristics: Ambitious climbers ideally combine the Elferkofel Klettersteig with the Nordwand via ferrata at the Elferturm.
There are several mountain huts along the way to the Elferkofel summit.
Surefootedness and basic climbing experience (also when descending) are necessary here. Partially with exposed, but beautiful ridge climbing. The via ferrata was generally overhauled in 2008 and equipped with a steel cable throughout.

Difficulty: Difficulty level B, partially C, some 1+ and 2 climbing passages
Durations and altitude differences:
Access: 1.5 h / 600 m
Via ferrata: 1.5 h / 100 m (1.5 km length)
Descent: 1.5 h / 540 m

Exposition: Southwest to southeast

Access: from the Summit Station to the Elferhütte. South towards Elferkofel onto the ridge and in southwest direction, the last stretch through a boulder area (short rappelling, A) to a saddle east of Elfertürme (Elfersattel). Shortly after, watch out for a sign (to the left a detour variant leads to the Zwölferniedersattel). Beginning of the secured trail near a small storage hut (sign).

Descent: 1.5 h. The most comfortable and beautiful way back leads east of the Elferstock via Panoramaweg to Elferhütte.

Zwei Kletterer am Gipfel der Ilmspitze

Via ferrata Ilmspitze

Characteristic: The via ferrata to the beautiful Ilmspitze, set up in 1986, is among Austria’s most beautiful and interesting trails. Original inserts are followed by steep, dolomite-like rock elements with challenging and exposed passages. Access is relatively long from both sides, whereby Innsbrucker Hütte presents itself as an ideal base. Highly worthwhile as a two-day route is the combination with the Elferkofel Klettersteig on the day before and spending the night at the hut. The descent from the Ilmspitze leads through a quite unpleasant, brittle rock area with remaining snow throughout the early summer months. Both the via ferrata and the descent require absolute surefootedness and experience  absolutely nothing for untrained mountaineers, children and beginners. Difficulty: difficult. Many, exposed passages C, otherwise A to B; the descent is partially secured as well, A to B Special hazards: Falling rocks when descending; caution required in the early summer months due to old snow fields – ask the host at the hut! Duration and altitude differences: Access: From Pinnisalm: 3 h / 850 m Via ferrata: 1.5 h / 280 m Descent: 2.5 to 4 h Exposition: Via ferrata west to southwest, descent southeast Equipment: Climbing set, helmet, mountain boots Starting points: Pinnisalm at 1.560 m (taxi bus) and/or Neustift Base: Innsbrucker Hütte on 2.370 m, ÖAV, open from mid-June to the beginning of October; T +43 (0) 5276 295 Access: A marked, long road leads from Neustift in the Stubaital (district of Neder) southwards into the valley to Alpengasthof Pinnisalm (2 h walking time or ascent with taxi bus; Information available from Funk-Taxi in Neustift; Registration: T +43 (0) 5226 2877.) Onto the marked hiking trail southwards further into the valley ascending to the Pinnisjoch (2,370 m, shortly behind is the Innsbrucker Hütte). Now in northeast direction along the marked, rocky ridge ascending and descending to the access, shortly behind a small storage hut. Route and climbing course: Behind the storage hut there is a small ravine formed by a jutting rock formation. A short distance up the ravine to the steep access wall. See sketch for detailed course of route. Descent: Descend from the top of the via ferrata to the fork of the marked descent near the last bigger ridge. Brittle, exposed stretches (partly secured, A) lead diagonally down to a gully with boulders. Over a secured step (B) and an unpleasantly steep area onto the foot of the wall. Along an exposed climbing ladder under the walls back toward the south and up a short ascent to the access. The remaining stretch is identical to the access route.

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