THE FORMIDABLE ONE
Simply stop and look up at this monolith. From the lake Grünau, which is close to the Sulzenau Hut, you can see the Wilder Freiger (to the north) posing in front of you – as beautiful to look at as his italian name “Cima Libera” sounds. In the back part of Ridnaun in the Stubai Alps, on the borders of Austria and Italy, the Wilder Freiger rises from the main Alpine ridge between Freigerscharte (gap) and Pfaffennieder. The gap of the Pfaffennieder separates it from the Wilde Pfaff and the Zuckerhütl, a 3,418-meter high pyramidal peak of consolidated snow (firn), that demonstrates that it belongs to the “big ones” in the valley and therefore functions a favorite playground for alpine adventurers.
Via paths, glaciers and icy flanks, the Wilder Freiger can be ascended from different sides and by different paths. The sea of mountain ridges and clouds that form a panorama for you when standing at the top is nothing less than overwhelming. The 360° view stretches from the Dolomites to the Ortler and to the Ötztal, as well as to the Stubai Alps and to the Hohe Tauern.
When ascending the Wilder Freiger for the first time in 1869 Julius Ficker and his two mountain guides from the Stubai, Pankraz Gleinser and Sebastian Rainalter, had to walk all the way from Neustift to Ranalt, where they hiked through Längenthal to their overnight stay at the hut on the Hoher Grübel. The next day, they hiked about 5 hours from the hut to the peak. The glacier and the massive ice, which was covering the Wilder Freiger, were impressive and demanding at the same time, as they surrounded them on all sides. Bit by bit, alpine huts were built and trails installed around the Wilder Freiger. Already in 1912, a high mountain route – the Lübecker Weg – connected the Dresdner Hütte (hut) across the peak of the Wilder Freiger with the hut on the Becher. This path was installed as an ice free crossing from Stubai, over the main Alpine ridge to Ridnaun, from the Dresdner Hütte (hut) via Peiljoch to the Fernerstube (cabin) and from there onto the bottom of the ridge to the Aperer Freiger and further on across the slopes uphill to the Lübecker Scharte (gap) where an almost continuous wire-rope secured ascent begins.
Walk easily for 2 hours via the Sulzenau Alm (mountain pasture) to the Sulzenau Hütte (hut) or for 2.5 hours via the Bsuchalm (mountain pasture) to the Nürnberger Hütte (hut). Both huts are
ideal for an overnight stay and will work perfectly as a starting point for the ascent of the Wilder Freiger.
Day 2: First, ascend to the Seescharte (gap at 2,762 m a.s.l.), which can be reached from the Sulzenau Hütte via Grünausee (lake) or from the Nürnberger Hütte on a winding path. Afterwards the path leads from below the Gamsspitze across chunky rocks to the beginning of the glacier (at about 3,160 m a.s.l.). Hike across the ridge to reach a snowfield at about 3,340 m a.s.l., where you then walk on to the ridge leading to the peak of the Wilder Freiger. You will pass a small tollhouse made of stone.
Descend the same way, that you ascended.