© Tirol Werbung/Eva Thöni
© Tirol Werbung/Eva Thöni

Four Day Trek: Fendels – Pfunds

This moderate to difficult four day trek leads through beautiful and diverse surroundings. For being such a small area, this little corner of Tirol has a great plethora of diverse natural areas. You'll explore fantastic flowered meadows and wide open Alpine pastures, diverse old-growth stone pine and spruce forests. You'll gawk at awesome views of the Lechtal Alps, the summit of iconic Hoher Riffler, glistening white Gepatschferner Glacier and splendid Wildspitze Peak. And if you're lucky, you'll see and/or hear some of the native wildlife whose populations have rebounded, such as ibexes and marmots. The final stretch of the trek traverses a gorge and crosses gorgeous Radurschtal Valley. Take some quiet time listening to nature and absorbing the amazing scenery. Gurgling brooks and creeks, a water wheel and a tiny lake provide hikers with a visual cornucopia and gentle refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Steep, rough, and technical, this trek should not be attempted by those with a fear of heights. You'll also need excellent endurance, a good cardiovascular system, sure-footedness, proper gear and mountaineering experience. For many miles, this trail is haphazardly maintained and route-finding on its upper stretches can prove difficult. Many sections are assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables and you should avoid this route unless weather conditions are good.

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Starting point  

Fendels, Sattelklause (1,870m)

Finishing point

Pfunds (970m)

Mountain chain

Ötztal Alps

Length

52.5 km

Duration

4 day(s)

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

difficult (black trails)

Altitude

2,965m 963m

Elevation uphill 2,680m
Vertical metres downhill 3,587m

Fitness level

Technique

Best time of year

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun

Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

* These are approximate values and recommendations. Please take your personal fitness level, technical ability and the current weather conditions into account. Tirol Werbung cannot guarantee that the information provided is correct and accepts no liability.

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Trail description

Day 1: Fendels – Anton-Renk-Hut
Elevation Gain: 400 meters | Hiking Time: 2½ hours | Distance: 5½ kilometers | Highest Elevation: 2,261 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)

In Fendels, take a ride on the chair lift to Sattelklause. From Planggerlift terminal walk towards “Zirmesköpfle, Anton-Renk-Hütte” and follow the slightly ascending forest road through the sparse woods. When reaching the fork in a bend to the left, stay on the well maintained dirt road and head uphill to Fendler Alm Pasture Hut. From there, continue on a singletrack trail (Anton-Renk-Hut) which passes by the old pasture hut and crosses a meadowy basin, altogether ascending. The leisurely route now takes you through woodlands (larches) and fields of Alpine roses along the slope parallel to Upper Inntal Valley until you reach the foothills of Zirmesköpfle Ridge. The trail climbs a few meters on the ridge (Anton-Renk-Hut). To the right of the ridge, on the slopes above a side valley of Upper Inntal Valley, stroll on a relatively level and slightly ascending trail into the valley (numerous stone pines). The final section of the route climbs vigorously to Anton-Renk-Hut, which is located on a small plateau.

Special Recommendation: Anton Renk was a 19th century writer whose poems were about love and the high mountains. The tiny commune of Fendels fell victim to disastrous fires twice in its history.

Day 2: Anton-Renk-Hut – Gepatschhaus Lodge
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,500/1,500 meters | Hiking Time: 9 hours | Distance: 18 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 2,889 meters | Trail Rating: Difficult (black)

From Anton-Renk-Hut follow signs for “Aachener Höhenweg” and walk uphill across meadows (also stones, rock piles and ledges) and past the fork to the lakes (continue on Aachener Höhenweg). The route leads you to the basin below Pfroslkopf, Mitterschragen and Äußere Rifekarspitze Peaks and runs upwards along its eastern edge (many rock piles and ledges). A steep climb brings you up to a ridge and to Rifekarscharte Notch. From there, take a steep descent along a jagged trail with fixed cables and continue on earthy ground through scree and talus down into wide Hüttekar Cirque (from this point, only very narrow and poorly defined footpaths or singletrack trails lead to Kreuzjöchl Col). Pass below an unnamed lake and traverse vigorously steep tussock slopes before the route runs down along rugged terrain and into the valley to the brook. Proceed towards “Aachener Höhenweg” and cross Fissladbach Brook right at the signpost. On the valley floor (meadows, scree, rock piles, and ledges) walk gently upwards. The trail takes you to the eastern slopes and narrows into a winding singletrack trail leading up a very steep grassy flank (partly jagged) to the saddle of Kreuzjöchl Col. After the saddle, walk down southeast on a good trail through grass, scree and talus along the slope above Gepatschsee Lake, heading into the valley in open terrain. The trail turns into a dirt road leading further down. When reaching the left bend just above Nassereinalm, take the marked trail on the right which runs down to the pasture hut. From there, continue along the road into the valley and traverse the sparse stone pine forest up to the beginning of Kaiserbergtal Valley. Follow the signs marked with “Gepatschhaus” and cross the brook before you continue on a dirt road which later turns onto a footpath (route with ups and downs along a slope). A descent now takes you into a meadow and to a fork where you follow a dirt road towards “Gepatschhaus”. At Gepatschalm, cross Fagge Brook and walk left at the next fork and climb the last section to Gepatschhaus Lodge.

Special Recommendation: The lovely Maria im Schnee Chapel, literally ‘Saint Mary of the Snows’, is shingled on the outside and was built in 1894-1895. In the 20th century, the chapel was restored to full splendour with new shingles applied.

 

Day 3: Gepatschhaus Lodge – Hohenzollernhaus Lodge
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,150/950 meters | Hiking Time: 7 hours | Distance: 15 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 2,965 meters | Trail Rating: Difficult (black)

From Gepatschhaus Lodge, walk a few steps on a dirt road into the valley and cross Fagge Brook on your way to Gepatschalm Pasture Hut. Pass by the pasture hut and follow the road in the meadows leading out of the valley until you reach a fork where you walk in the direction of “Nassereinalm” on an ascending path. The path soon runs along the slope out of the valley and climbs noticeably. Continue above the lake on a route with ups and downs (shrubs, stone pines) which eventually turns onto a dirt road. Cross the brook at the entrance to Kaiserbergtal Valley and take the dirt road on the left down to the valley (“Rotschragenjoch“, “Hohenzollernhaus”). The relatively level route now leads through open terrain (meadows, stones, talus) and into Kaiserbergtal Valley (passing by the fork to Schwarzsee Lake) and turns onto a footpath at about 2,300 meters, continuing at the same altitude for a long time (the path runs parallel to the brook and crosses it several times). Towards the valley end, the path climbs more sharply and up a steep slope before you reach the precipitous flank to Rotschragenjoch Col. The first portion of the ascent follows a winding footpath on earthy ground and scree while the upper part has no trail and, becoming steeper and steeper, leads almost straight up to the col along the right-hand side of a rock outcrop (the last portion resembles a gully; attention: there are no fixed cables). On the other side of the col, follow the signs to “Hohenzollernhaus”. As you traverse a grassy ridge of rugged terrain, there are permanently fixed cables for protection. The path first meanders down along the right edge of Hüttekar Cirque and then zigzags down in the meadows to Radurschltal Valley and the bridge at the toll hut. Walk a few meters along the right bank of the brook to reach Hohenzollernhaus Lodge.

 

Day 4: Hohenzollerhaus Lodge – Pfunds
Elevation Loss: 1,150 meters | Hiking Time: 3¾ hours | Distance: 12 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 2,123 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)

Follow the footpath next to Hohenzollernhaus Lodge towards “Radurschlalm” and walk gently down across the sparse stone pine forest. The route passes to the right of a fork leading to a bench and then runs along the right-hand side of the slope through open terrain and into the woods (at the fork keep walking towards Radurschlalm Pasture Hut). The trail brings you to Radurschlalm area where you take a descending dirt road to “Pfunds”. After crossing Radurschlbach Brook, one can branch off (following the marked winter route uphill) to reach the sculpture park within a few minutes. Otherwise follow the forest road, which runs through Alpine meadows and woods along the brook and out of the valley (just slightly downhill, towards Pfunds without leaving the well maintained forest road). Pass by the parking area in Wildmoos (at roughly 1,600m) and continue on the road, now descending a bit more steeply. When reaching a fork, branch off right to Klammsteig Trail and leave the wide forest road. The trail leads down to Radurschlbach Brook and soon crosses it. Proceed on the right bank of the brook (Pfunds via Klammsteig Trail) into Pfunds Gorge. The route crosses the brook several times, leading out of the gorge. Later, the trail joins a descending dirt road, which you follow on the left bank of the brook directly towards Pfunds and the hamlet of Dorf.

Special Recommendation: The lovely Sculpture Park at Radurschlalm Pasture Hut is a place that will definitely captivate you: In this area of awesome natural beauty, renowned Austrian and international artists have demonstrated their skills and displayed their works in the great outdoors. Radurschltal Valley was originally owned by the Tirolean Landesfürst (sovereign) and primarily used as a hunting ground. At the height of salt mining, the valley attracted the interest of the Landesfürst also due to its abundance of wood. Huge amounts of wood (large-scale deforestation) were floated down Radurschlbach Brook to the Inn River and then to the saline in Hall.

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Your destination address: Sattelklause Fendels, Fendels

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