Climbing at the Elfer

Among climbing enthusiasts, climbing in the area of the Elfer Towers is almost legendary.

The "Dolomitenzacken" of the Elfer can look back on a long tradition. Fritz Kasparek, one of the first climbers on the north face of the Eiger, was the first to climb the Elfer Towers in the 1940s.

The Elferkofel via ferrata and subsequently the North Face route are among the oldest via ferrata routes in Tyrol. The climbing programme on the Elfer has been supplemented by other sport climbing routes and climbing gardens.

Thus, on the Elfer you have a good mix of notorious old alpine routes, via ferratas and also a good sport climbing offer.

Via ferratas

Characteristics: Very breezy and interesting via ferrata, which can be ideally combined with the beautiful and recommendable Elferkofel via ferrata.

Difficulty:  very difficult. Mostly C, one passage D, some short climbing sections 1+ and 2-.

Special dangers: in early summer often still residual old snow.

Times and altitude differences:
Ascent: 1 to 1.5 h / 460 m Via Ferrata: 1 h / 220 m.
Descent: 1 to 1.5 h / 680 m
Exposure: northwest

Ascent: 1 to 1.5 h. From the top station of the Elfer lifts and in 25 to 30 min. along a comfortable serpentine path to the Elfer hut. Continue south in the direction of the Elferkofel until after another 20 to 25 min. the access path to the North Face Route (sign: North Face Climbing Route) branches off to the right.
Descent: 1 to 1.5 h. Climb back down the summit face to the saddle, behind a large clamping block and a short descent (1+) to a steep chimney. Down this chimney (C/2-), cross a ribbon (A/B) and a short counter ascent to the Elfersattel (signpost). Now either return north to the Elferhütte and the mountain station or ideally take the Elferkofel via ferrata (B to C/2-, traverse) to the Zwölferniederscharte.

Characteristics: Ambitious climbers ideally combine the Elferkofel via ferrata with the north face via ferrata on the Elferturm. There are several diversions options up to the Elferkofel summit. Surefootedness and basic climbing experience (also on the descent) are necessary. Very exposed in places, but beautiful ridge climbing. The via ferrata was renovated in 2008 and equipped with a continuous steel rope.

Difficulty: Difficulty B, in places C, some climbing passages 1+ and 2-.

Times and differences in altitude:
Ascent: 1.5 h / 600 m, via ferrata: 1.5 h / 100 m (1.5 km).
Descent: 1.5 h / 540 m
Exposure: southwest to southeast
Access: from the mountain station to the Elferhütte. South in the direction of the Elferkofel further to the ridge and in a south-westerly direction, finally in rough terrain (short belays, A) to an embrasure east of the Elfer towers (Elfersattel). Shortly after, signpost (a bypass to the Zwölferniedersattel branches off to the left). Start of the belaying at a small equipment hut (sign).
Descent: 1.5 h. The most comfortable and beautiful way back leads east of the Elferstock via the Panoramaweg to the Elferhütte.

Characteristics: The via ferrata on the Ilmspitze, which was built in 1986, is one of the most beautiful and interesting via ferrata routes in Austria. Original interludes alternate with steep and exposed passages, skilfully overcoming the steep, dolomite-like rock. The approach is relatively long from both sides, making the Innsbrucker Hütte an ideal base. As a two-day tour, the combination with the Elferkofel via ferrata the day before and overnight stay at the hut is very rewarding. The descent from the Ilmspitze leads through very unpleasant, crumbly terrain and can have remnants of old snow until early summer. Both the via ferrata and the descent require absolute surefootedness and practice. Therefore not for occasional mountaineers, children or the inexperienced.

Difficulty: difficult. Many exposed passages C, otherwise A to B; the descent is also secured in places, A to B. Special dangers: Danger of falling rocks on the descent; caution in early summer because of old snow fields (ask the hut host !).

Times and differences in altitude:
Ascent: from the Pinnisalm: 3 h / 850 m via ferrata: 1.5 h / 280 m.
Descents: 2.5 to 4 h

Exposure: via ferrata west to southwest, descent southeast Equipment: via ferrata set, helmet, medium-strength mountain boots.

Starting points: Pinnisalm at 1,560 m (taxi bus) or Neustift.

Access: From Neustift in the Stubaital (district of Neder) a marked, long road leads south into the valley to the Pinnisalm Alpine Inn (2 hrs. walking time or possibly ascent by taxi-bus; information from the Neustift radio taxi; registration: T +43 (0) 5226 2877.) Continue south into the valley on the marked hiking trail and ascent to the Pinnisjoch (2,370 m, just behind it is the Innsbrucker Hütte). Now in a north-easterly direction along the marked, rocky ridge, ascending and descending to the entrance, just behind a small equipment hut. Route and path: Behind the equipment hut, a small gorge begins, which is formed by a pillar in front. Shortly in the ravine upwards to the steep entry wall. Route see ascent sketch.


Descent: Climb down the uppermost part of the via ferrata to the junction of the marked descent at the last large step. Brittle, exposed ledges (partly secured, A) lead diagonally downwards to a scree gully. Over a secured step (B) and unpleasant steep terrain to the foot of the wall. Return southwards on an exposed little path under the walls and a short counter ascent to the entrance. Continue as ascent.

Multiple pitches

An almost always very exposed climb on the shady north-west wall of the Elferturm.
Steep and breezy sport climbing on the northern Elfer Tower. The route is similar to the Romi. A beautiful, exposed and enjoyable climb for hot summer days, where you climb up a mix of slabs and grippy cracks.
Nordwand Riss
Special experience for multi-pitch beginners - Low difficulties (up to V-).

Chief Pinnis

New sport climbing route in Pinnistal

Level of difficulty: 7+|8-

Made accessible by Christian Piccolruaz

Sport climbing route completely drilled in: 5 great lengths in steep, rough rock, good footholds, countless slop holds

Climbing park in an impressive scenery

Character: technically demanding wall and slab climbing in mostly perfect rock.
Number of routes: 15
Route length: 12 to 28m
Difficulties: 5b to 6c+