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Hiking trail

Bus to Mittelberg and walk to Rettenbachferner via Pitztaler Jöchl, bus to Sölden

Hiking trail · Oetztal Alps
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Pitztaler Jöchl
    / Pitztaler Jöchl
    Photo: Sarah Stone, Macs Adventure
  • / Braunschweiger hut
    Photo: Sarah Stone, Macs Adventure
  • / A glimpse of the Pitztaler Glacier
    Photo: Sarah Stone, Macs Adventure
  • / The rocky ascent to Braunschweiger Hut
    Photo: Sarah Stone, Macs Adventure
ft 12000 11000 10000 9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4 3 2 1 mi

The most spectacular stage of the E5 route from Pitztal to Braunschweiger Lodge, via Pitztaler Jöchl ridge and down to the mountain restaurant on the Rettenbach glacier in Sölden.
difficult
7.8 km
4:30 h
1270 m
325 m

Route: Over the glaciers from Pitztal to Ötztal – Pitztal – Sölden via Pitztaler Jöchl.

Covering a distance of around 8km, this stretch is not long. However, due to the altitudes, terrain and challenging conditions on the 3000m high passes, its difficulty should not be underestimated.

In the morning, you will take the bus to Mittelberg at the end of the Pitztal valley. From there, you will hike along the clearly marked “Waterfall Trail (Wasserfallweg in German)” to Braunschweiger Lodge.

From Braunschweiger Lodge via Pitztaler Jöchl: An attractive route variant with a number of technical challenges. The path passes through large boulders and a 300m long exposed crossing equipped with wire ropes along a steep edge. Your efforts are rewarded with fantastic views of the ridge. The descent over rocks and boulders is very steep, with wire ropes for protection in some areas. In wet conditions, the rocky path across the Pitztaler Jöchl is very slippery. In rainy or foggy conditions, the route via Rettenbachjoch is recommended (see seperate notes) .

Both routes meet at the restaurant at the Rettenbach glacier valley station, where you can also find the road and bus stop for buses to Sölden.

You will take the bus to Sölden from the Rettenbach glacier valley station.

Author’s recommendation

If you plan on taking this route, be sure to ask the staff at Braunschweiger Lodge whether the route via Pitztaler Jöchl is passable.
outdooractive.com User
Author
Sarah Stone
Updated: March 14, 2019

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
3005 m
Lowest point
1735 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Today you may be walking past a few different areas where cows graze. Although generally very docile and used to walkers, keep your distance and never turn your back on a cow that is behaving strangely or aggressive. Be particularly vigilant around cows with calves. 

If you’re feeling tired from the previous stages or have experienced problems with heights, do not attempt this stage – it is more challenging, both physically and technically, than the previous stages!

This route is NOT SUITABLE for poor weather conditions.  Watch out for falling rocks and keep your distance from other walkers. At the start of the season, there may still be snow on this section of the route.

The path to the ridge is very exposed. A good head for heights and sure-footedness are essential!

Always allow plenty of time for your hike. The walking times indicated do not include breaks. Rest and photo breaks must be added to the times indicated.

Check the latest weather information and be on the lookout for changes in the weather. Storms can develop rapidly in the Alps.

Do not leave the marked hiking trails.

Tips, hints and links

 There are possibilities for refreshments at the following places: 

Gletscherstübele

Braunschweiger Hütte: https://www.braunschweiger-huette.at/ 

Berghof Steinbock: https://www.berghof-steinbock.at/de/sommer/e5-wanderer 

Gletschertisch Bedienungsrestaurant mit Café-Lounge: https://www.soelden.com/infrastructure-summer?do=info&id=5499 

Opening hours can vary so we recommend always carrying enough food with you to keep you going!

 

Start

Mittelberg Wendestelle, bus stop (1735 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.958151, 10.876711
DMS
46°57'29.3"N 10°52'36.2"E
UTM
32T 642787 5202223
w3w 
///forceful.reckoned.outshone

Destination

Mountain/Glacier Restaurant Rettenbach Glacier

Turn-by-turn directions

Take the bus from your accommodation to the destination station “Mittelberg Wendestelle”.

0.00 km - The bus stop is on your left. On your right is Berghof Steinbock. Go STRAIGHT AHEAD along the wide gravel path and follow signs for Gletscherstube.

1.70 km - The Gletscherstube is on your left. Continue STRAIGHT AHEAD on the wide gravel path.

1.90 km - TURN RIGHT and follow the trail that branches off to the left of the gravel path. The path is indicated with red/white striped markings and a large yellow sign points you in the direction of the waterfall.

3.00 km - Continue STRAIGHT AHEAD and follow the steep uphill path ahead, which is equipped with wire ropes. Hold on to the wire ropes and be careful where you put your feet. There is a risk of slipping in wet conditions.

3.30 km - Come to a wide gravel road. TURN LEFT and follow the road uphill.

3.80 km - TURN LEFT onto another path. This path has red/white E5 markings.

4.00 km - At the fork, BEAR RIGHT, taking the uphill path. On your right is a yellow sign pointing towards Braunschweiger Lodge. You will walk through a number of steep passages with wire ropes, all of which have red markings. Look out for the markings on the rocks.

5.50 km - You have reached Braunschweiger Lodge. Pass the lodge on the right. There are now two options for your onward journey: Via Rettenbachjoch (see seperate entry for this option) or Pitztaler Jöchl (continue to follow instructions below)

If you wish to walk via Pitztaler Jöchl, TURN LEFT at the lodge. You will pass through a section of boulders and then walk up a steep path diagonally to the slope.

6.30 km - You will reach a plateau. The views from here are the best views of today’s hike. The next section of the route is the most challenging. Take great care as you navigate the exposed crossing across the almost vertical slope. This part of the route is equipped with wire ropes. Hold on and tread carefully.

6.70 km - You have reached Pitztaler Jöchl. This is the highest point on today’s hike and on your journey through the Alps! The descent from the ridge is steep and includes boulders and a short section of often snowy terrain. Many of the passages are equipped with wire ropes.

7.50 km - You will reach a gravel road. TURN RIGHT and follow the rocky road as it snakes down towards the Rettenbach glacier restaurant, which you will clearly see in the distance (on a clear day). There is also a footpath which you can take as a shortcut.

7.80 km - The bus stop for bus 8404 to Sölden is outside the glacier restaurant. You’ve reached today’s destination.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Morning: Bus line 4204 to Mittelberg/Pitztal

Afternoon: Glacier bus, Rettenbachferner – Sölden

Coordinates

DD
46.958151, 10.876711
DMS
46°57'29.3"N 10°52'36.2"E
UTM
32T 642787 5202223
w3w 
///forceful.reckoned.outshone
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Always wear good walking boots with a robust sole, and take waterproofs with you. Don’t forget to take plenty of water with you (at least two litres) and to protect yourself against the sun.

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
7.8 km
Duration
4:30h
Ascent
1270 m
Descent
325 m

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