Whats this Großglockner all about?

Been quite busy lately, but now had the strength to force myself to make a new posting.

I have just briefly mentioned my upcoming trips and thought I should enlighten you a bit more about them. I’ll start now with the first one to Großglockner in Austria.

Firstly the trip is organized by Vaiska who also was the person who held the glacier course I took last summer at Kebnekaise. You can check out some pictures at my picture gallery site. I’m the one with the dreadlocks, if anyone wonders ;-). Kari “Vaiska” Vainio is very experienced fellow who has done many climbing trips to Alps, skied across Greenland and is currently on a winter exepedition to Svalbard. You can follow that in Finnish or in English if you are interested.

The trip is scheduled to 2.-11.8.2011. The current idea is to fly to Munich and drive from there with rental cars to Austria. This should give us a nice few days on the mountain.

Maybe a few words about hill itself.

Großglockner from the Luckner-Haus

kiss istván Großglockner from the Luckner-Haus

Austrias highest peak, standing just short of 4000m, Großglockner stands on the border of Tyrol and is part of the Hohe Tauern mountain range within the Hohe Tauern National Park. It’s 3798m summit was first ascended in 1800 by Austrian team is now one of the most popular mountains to be climbed in Austria. The popularity is not any lessened by the fact that its “normal route” more difficult than many of the other massifs in the Alps, but with a very good access. You can actually climb the mountain in just three days from the car park and there are numerous companies offering packaged “tours” to climb Großglockner. This is not always a good thing as it will bring the access for all the non-climbers who will then clutter the mountain. On the other side, it gives also a better chance for the interested people to climb the peak with relative safeness and supervision, which is far better than to leave unskilled people to try to ascend the mountain by themselves. There have been even deaths when people have fallen into crevasses just because of not knowing the thing of “roping up”.

The Hohe Tauern is also a popular trekking and sking area. Many people visit the area just to wander around and to admire the mountain range without intention of climbing the peak itself. Another even simpler way to see the massif is to drive along Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße up to Franz-Johan Haus without even stepping a single step by yourself.

Großglockner pictured from the Franz-Josef Haus

Großglockner pictured from the Franz-Josef Haus. Großglockner is the highest peak in the middle. Pasterze glacier veers off to right. Picture by Fridayonmymind @ Panoramio

You can actually also downhill ski and watch the slopes of Großglockner in the same time which is not bad way to get familiar to the mountain either. The Grossglockner Resort is a sking resort situated just 10km South-West of the mountain. So, theres plenty of action you can choose from when visiting the area.

I won’t get into details about the routes up the mountain, as I will make a separate post about the options you have there. That much I can say that there are basically three approach options to choose from – either via Kals am Großglockner, via Heiligenblut or via Franz-Johan Haus. All of these options are relatively short distance from the mountain and have access to almost all the routes.

As the Großglockner is fully inside the Hohe Tauern National Park, the camping is forbidden in the area. Bivuacs are allowed though. Luckily there are many huts which provide accommodation in true Alps fashion and you don’t have sleep under the bare sky if you don’t want to. The huts provide on top of the accommodation also catering so you don’t have to starve either. Personally I haven’t ever been into any of these Alpine Huts and I’m quite sure it will be quite different what we here in Finland have used to associate with huts. Just take a look at the Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte – the highest hut in the area just 350m below the summit – and you see what I mean 🙂



Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte by Nemes Attila @ Panoamio

Tough that alpine camping isn’t it? 😀

Well, this is it this time. I’ll try to post more about the actual routes and slopes you have there bit sooner than I manage write up this one.

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