The Hochgrabe is regarded as one of the ‘altitude’ ski tour classics in Villgraten. Two different ascents proceed to its summits, which provide extensive views. Whereas the Winkeltal ascent (Außervillgraten) is shaded and extensive, from Ainettal (Innervillgraten) you negotiate the jagged climbs on the sunny side and some firn snow afterwards during the ascent. Both however require safe avalanche conditions.
The starting point is the little town of Innervillgraten. In the town centre (route signposts) we follow a steep mountain road to the right along the Ainetbach, in a northerly direction. After several hairpins there is parking available for tourers (around 1550 m). On several occasions the forest trail provides a short-cut and we now keep heading into the valley, past the big Alpine lodges and after an hour we come to a „Hüttl“, the junction for the Hochgrabe (signposts). Whereas pleasure-seekers would rather strive to continue further in to the wide slopes of the Ainetlenke and Hohe Haust, we climb via steep grass flanks and after another sweat-inducing hour reach a sort of flattening. In a left-right loop, we enter a small altitude plateau beneath the summit structure. Hidden away here are the Sieben Seen, small ‘puddles’ which you will look for in vain in the winter. The route continues, proceeding now along the summer trail, safe in terms of avalanche risk yet steep, via a ridge and the ridge area which follows up to the highest point, or somewhat flatter through one of troughs which surround the steep slopes up to the ridge summit, which may occasionally be corniced. Care is required here. Descent along the ascent track.
Additional ski tour tips can be obtained in the ski tour guides by Thomas Mariacher. These are available here: http://www.grafikzloebl.at/verlag/buecher/