The Kahorn is an interesting mountain, through and through. It does not immediately stand out to ski tourers and is only visible in the distance. Somehow you get the feeling that it doesn’t want to be found. Anyone who has ‘done battle’ with the massive protected forest, knows how far off it is, since every time you think you will soon get to the top there is another climb which is higher. Nonetheless the ski tour terrain above the tree limit is perfect. And when there is enough snow the forest can also be tackled. Starting point is the little parish of Maria Hilf in Defereggental, around 2.5 km west of St. Jakob im Def. Just before the signposts for the town we bear left, cross the Schwarzach (signposts) and head up past the chapel to the car park at the end of the toboggan run (1520 m). It is also possible to ascend via a prepared sunken road just before this. Car parking is available at Lappbach bridge. We now follow the rolled forest trail up to Alpe Stalle (1714 m), which we tackle from the nice inn, heading into a short section of Stalletal. After around 15 – 20 minutes we leave this section at a steep forest glade heading west. In summer there is a traditional trail here up to the Blindisalm. At the gnarly larch pale, red dots mark the route but these are sometimes hard to make out. Getting a feel for the route we take the track up between larch and pine trees, before we reach the ridge, heading south, slowly via open terrain. The track now swings on the ridge which widens, up to 2300 m, before we cross into the expansive east-facing slopes which head up to the pre-summits of the Kahorn, so we can go around it. Please note there is a risk of avalanche here. Always keeping south after the edge area of the terrain we enter a broad plateau beneath our pyramidal tour destination. We tackle the summit slope in hairpin bends (north-east – east, > 30°) before we climb via the short yet narrow east ridge up to the highest point. The summit slope and the preceding crossing is a key section in terms of technical avalanche characteristics and is only to be tackled when conditions are safe. 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/