Wildspitze, the Giant in Tirol

Wildspitze mountain Austria
Der Wildspitze, a true bucket-list giant.

The Wildspitze is the second highest mountain in Austria and the highest in Tirol. With more than 100 different ski villages, the Wildspitze is a well-known setting for many wintersport enthusiastics looking for a memorable winter holiday. In summertime, the historical towns, rich culture and traditional Tyrolean customs, make this spot on earth a great location to stay after a long day out and about.


Located in Ötztal in Austria

The Wildspitze is located in the Ötztal Alps in Tyrol between the Ötztal and the Pitztal. It is the second highest peak in Austria with an altitude of 3772 meters. Only the Grossglockner reaches higher. The mountain was first ascended by L. Klotz, a local farmer, in 1861. However, in 1848 a group of climbers had already successfully climbed the southern summit, which is slightly lower. During the twentieth century, the snow on the north peak melted away, making the south peak higher. According to some, the ascent of 1848 is considered the first one.

The route via the Breslauer Hut is the most common. It starts in the village of Vent and the summit climb takes about four hours. An alternative route includes a stay over in the Braunschweiger Hut. As this route is more glaciated, there are more crevasses to cross, expanding the climb to 6,5 hours.

Three Best Ways to Climb the Wildspitze

The mountain is heavily glaciated and has twin summits; the South summit which is quite rocky at 3,768m and the North summit which is mostly firn-covered at 3,760m.

Best Time to Climb Wildspitze

The summer months of July, August and September are ideal especially for the normal routes. In case you want to avoid crowds during peak season, climb during weekdays. Due to ice melting on the North face route during summer, there has been increased danger of rock fall. Therefore, spring and winter seasons are recommended while using this route.

Wildspitze Climbing Routes

The Normal Route

Wildspitze (photo Fuchs Robert)

This route is considerably easy; however complete glacial equipment and experience will still be required. A local mountain guide is recommended for the glacier crossing.

The normal route starts from the Breslauer Hut which is at 2,840m over the Mitterkarjoch. Most people opt to spend the night at this hut and proceed to the summit the next morning. You could also take the chairlift from Vent up to Stablein at 2350m. An uphill ride costs €11

Two routes lead to the Breslauer Hut from Vent (1,900m); via Rofen or via Stablein. The route to Rofen has a suspension bridge across the river and is more scenic. The trail gets steeper to the north while following the Rofen Bach and after 600m, the Stablein trail joins from the right. The trail zigzags towards the west for about 200m to the hut.

The chairlift that operates in summer that can take you to Stablein. After which it will take roughly one and a half hours to the Breslauer Hut. You can opt to hike through the trail from Vent to Stablein.

There are two trails that go west from the hut; the upper one goes to Wildspitze and the lower one goes to Vernagt Hutte.

Aiming for the Mitterkarjoch, stick to the valley centre while gaining altitude; make a wide turn to the north and eventually north-east on the glacier.

Once you get to the Mitterkarjoch, the Taschachferner will stretch towards the west. Be on the lookout for crevasses here. The rocky south ridge is the easiest way to reach the summit.

The North Wall Route

This route, like the other north face routes is currently succumbing to the effects of global warming, therefore winter season is recommended as ideal to attempt a climb.

From Pitztal ski area, you can take the lift to Mittelberg Joch and then descend to the Taschach Glacier. On its left side, head south through crevasses, then west to the base of the steep wall. Once beneath this steep wall of ice, the best summit routes will be generally on the right side of the rocks that are in the middle of that face.

From the Pitz Valley Glacier

From Mittelberg Joch, which can be accessed via a cable car, head southwards to the Taschachferner glacier’s eastern edge. Without height gain and under an icefall, proceed westwards. There will be crevasses on your left.

From the snow bridge, turn left heading south-east, pass below the Hinterer Brochkogel and proceed beneath the Mitterkarjoch. The slope is much steeper from here. Make a right turn once you reach the base of the summit. The last hundred meters to the summit are completed by foot over icy snow and rocks.


Pitztal Valley

Pitztal Valley
© Ben The Man

The Pitztal Valley is one of the most-visited places around Wildspitze. A unique family atmosphere permeates the village streets. You find yourself in the middle of the Alps. Pitztal is a side valley of the Inntal. The villages of Wenns, Sankt Leonhard im Pitztal and Arzl im Pitztal are the most important stops for tourists.


© Daniel Fuchs

Idyllic is probably the best word to describe the nature in the Ötztal from hilly alpine meadows to the eternal snows high up in the mountains. There are several villages in this valley that will immerse you into the traditional Tyrolean culture: Sautens, Haiming-Ochsengarten, Sölden, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and Vent. All of them are great starting bases to discover the many hiking trails leading through this region.

Mountain Huts near the Wildspitze

Breslauer Hut

Mountain hut - Breslauer Hut
Breslauer Hut

The Breslauer Hut is a German Alpine Club mountain hut located at the base of the Wildspitze, the highest mountain in North Tirol. Due to its elevation of 2844m, it isthe perfect starting point for ascents up Mount Wildspitze. When the hut was built in 1882, there were only 15 sleeping places inside. Nowadays, it accommodates at least 172 people. It takes about three hours to reach the cabin from the village of Vent. Popular mountains climbed from this hut are the Hinterer Brochkogel, Ötztaler Urkund, Wildes Mannle and the Wildspitze. Hikers often stayover before hiking further to Braunschweiger Hutte, Taschachhaus or Vernagthutte.

Braunschweiger Hut

Mountain hut - Braunschweiger Hutte
Braunschweiger Hutte

The Braunschweiger Hut is slightly lower than the Breslauer Hut with an elevation of 2759m. The hut, owned by the German Alpine Club,is situated close to the Mittelbergferner Glacier along the E5 long distance hiking trail. Its wooden interior evokes the charm of the Tyrolean Alps. The smell of the traditional Austrian cuisine servedadds to the atmosphere. Many hikers set the cabin as their goal to get tremendous views of the Mittelbergferner Glacier. You can opt to hike your way up or use the Gletscherexpress lift, before descending your way down. The hut has 56 beds and 127 matress dormitories.


Mountain hut - Vernagthutte

Starting from Vent, it takes about three hours to reach Vernagthutte (2755m). The cabin is open from March to mid-May, and from mid-June to mid-September. There are 192 places to sleep.

Accommodations in the region of the Wildspitze

Tirol stretches over Austria and Italy and has become a popular winter sport destination. In the summertime, the region around Wildspitze lures active travelers from all over the world with its fine mountain vistas. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:


I highly recommend Geierwallihof in Vent. It is the last building up in the valley, where the road ends and the mountains begin. I stayed there a few times with my father and we had a lovely time. The Klotz family takes care of groups with the same personal touch as if you are by yourself. Enjoy the cordial and refreshing atmosphere surrounded by the most beautiful mountains of Tyrol.

Hubert is also an experienced mountain guide who takes his guests for beautiful hikes. The route is discussed and fixed the day before. Food and drinks are prepared by their kitchen. When required, the hotel bus provides transport, free of charge.

Hiking near the Wildspitze

Vent: Webcam − Blick auf
Live view of Vent

If you are looking for an active summer holiday, the Otztal in Tyrol has plenty to offer from family circular walks to glacier tours. The many huts, lakes and trails that connect them provide great fun while in the nature of Tyrol.

Mittelbergferner Glacier

From the village Mittelberg at the end of the Pitztal, you can take the Gletscherexpress or hike your way up to the Mittelbergferner glacier. This takes about 2 to 3 hours. If you wish to stay in the nearby Braunschweiger Hut, you will need proper equipment to cross the tongue of the glacier.
Starting from Sölden in the Ötztal valley you can hike to Pitztaler Jöchl.

Sellrain Hut Loop

The Sellrain Hut Loop is a tour divided into 7 stages with walking times between three and six hours. It is ideal for beginners and mountaineers planning for higher targets. The alpine paths lead from hut to hut all the way through the Sellrainer mountains. The tour often starts in Sellrain and has an overall distance of 78 kilometers during which it gains and loses 5,950 meters of elevation.

Nature exploration trail

The nature exploration trail is one of the many thematic trails found in the region. The hike is suitable for all levels across the Sölden ski area. The trail starts at the middle station of the Gaislachkogelbahn and ends at the Edelweiss Hut. Along the way of this 7km trail, you will be educated about several topics including the fauna and flora to be found there or the ancient customs and traditions of the Ötztal. Furthermore, it offers insight into the dangers that can be found on the mountains. Hiking the Nature exploration trail takes about two hours during which you ascend 100m and descend about 450m.

Hike to Heidealm

Starting in the village of Sölden, you walk to the church and take the steeply-rising trail leading to the hamlet of Innerwald. Then continue your hike to the area known as “Stiegele” before a rising pasture trail takes you to the Gaislach forest road. This will bring you to the Gaislach Alm mountain inn where you will find the further trail to the mountain hut, Heidealm. The remaining hike willascend and wind. This trail is rated an easy hike and can be completed in 1h30 min. However, most of the trail you will be ascending towards the hut, so make sure you are fit to undertake this hike.

Hut Tour Windachtal

If you have an active holiday in mind filled with hiking in beautiful mountain scenery, this hut tour might be perfect for you. This hut tour starts in Sölden and can be completed in three to five days, depending on your preferences. If you choose the five-day itinerary, you will find yourself hiking for 4 to five hours a day. Along the way, you can sleep in several mountain huts, where you can rest and enjoy some Austrian specialties. The severe elevation change (4000m+) makes this a difficult tour for experienced walkers.

Ötztal trek

For those with more time on their hands, the Otztal trek affords the ultimate Tyrolean experience. A total distance of 400 kilometers, divided into 22 sections and gaining over 30000 altitude meters, this multi-day trek guarantees picturesque mountain views, idyllic mountain lakes and thrilling trails leading to even better vistas. The Ötztal trek is a string of exceptional viewpoints to the summits of impressive 3000 meter peaks in the high alpine terrain.


The alpine hut region, Hochoetz, is truly a hikers paradise. The Acherkogelbahn takes you up to 2020m in no time, at the starting point of several well-marked hiking trails. It is recommended whether you are looking for easy hikes to nearby mountain huts or a more challenging tour over the mountain tops and sidevalleys of the Ötztal.

Hiking with kids

If you are on an active holiday with young children, you can find many family-friendly hikes around the area. However, if there is one hiketo recommend, it would be the Zwerglerweg. This hike starts at the middle station of the Gaislachkogel gondola and leads to the quaint Goldegg hut. The hike will give the children an opportunity to discover different stories and fairytales. The hike only takes about 40min and leads downhill, making it an easy walk.

Things to do around Wildspitze

Mount Wildspitze is located in Tyrol, Austria, a region where visitors are enchanted by the imposing mountain surroundings. The Ötztal is surrounded by several mountain huts and alms, making for great daytrips for hikers. Don’t forget to soak up the traditional culture by participating in one of the festivals during the summer or enjoying typical Tyrolean specialties such as Tiroler Gröstl and Kiachl with cranberry jam.

In Umhausen (1031 meters) you will find the Ötzi Museum, which was established as a result of the discovery in September 1991 of the Ötzi iceman.

From the car park of the Ötzi museum you can take a walk to the highest waterfall in Tyrol. The Stuibenfall falls 150 meters in depth, and is the highest waterfall in Austria