Stage 5: Badener Hütte - Matrei in Osttirol

Sprawling sparkling glaciers spreading out in all directions await the eager Eagle Walk hiker. Most of the way is along the Venediger High Trail, allowing you to sample one of the most famous long-distance hiking trails in the country. Heading north, a gentle grade takes you up to Löbbentörl, from where you’ll have wonderful views of surrounding Venediger Range and the Froßnitztal Valley below. Passing Salzboden and the tiny tarn of the same name, the Glacier Trail aims eastward to Venedigerhaus Lodge at Inner Gschlöss. The Lodge serves hearty delicacies to hungry trekkers; once replete and replenished the trail continues to Outer Gschlöss and to the destination of the hike, Matreier Tauernhaus Lodge. What a workout! This Eagle Walk segment is not for the weak of heart, nor the weak of knees; but the scenic rewards are many. Far from little-they're gigantic!

(c) Fabian Pimminger
(c) Fabian Pimminger
(c) Fabian Pimminger
Eagle view

The loop walk along fascinating “Innergschlöss” Interpretive Glacier Trail takes some four hours to complete and gains 500 vertical metres; adequate equipment is required. Once arrived at Matreier Tauernhaus Lodge, you either rest and play for the day, or continue on to a pair of very pretty small lakes deeper in the surrounding wilderness. The historic rock chapel located between the Alpine pastures of Inner and Outer Gschlöss is a historic structure in Neo-Gothic style that is located directly on the Eagle Walk. Simply contemplate your good fortune while sitting here, surrounded by pure mountain beauty.

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Eagle kick

What a workout! The walk from Badener Hut across Löbbentörl to Venedigerhaus Alpine Inn alone takes 4 to 4.5 hours to complete; with a knee-jarring descent from Löbbentörl to Innergschlöss. It’s a long journey, and steep in places; but manageable nonetheless. The rewards are great—outstanding views, clean air, and stunning natural beauty.

Adlerweg trail. Stage 5: Badener Hütte – Matreier Tauernhaus

Route start: Badener Hütte
Route end: Matreier Tauernhaus
Meter up:
450m
Route length:
14km
Time:
5:30h

From Badener Hütte (2608 metres, you hike initially via the Venediger altitude trail and the Adlerweg trail (which is also the Badener Weg here) heading north for around an hour up to the Löbbentörl (2770 metres). A few rock-strewn gullies and little gorges are secured with ropes. Across a short slope you ascend again to the Löbbentörl, where, protected by rocks, there is a cross and a commemorative plaque. From now on the route proceeds steeply uphill. The descent on the north side has short rope sections proceeding down to the rocky grassy ridge and settled snow down to the lateral moraine of the Schlatenkees. You continue to descend on this moraine. At the Untere Keesboden there is a crossing to Alten Prager Hütte (not open for business), where you can also take a detour and head to the fascinating glacier path ‘Innergschlöss’. The Venediger altitude trail passes Salzbodensee (2731 metres), in which the Hoher Zaun and Schwarze Wand are reflected. To the north of the glacier white Gschlössbaches a path bears sharply east. In the well-managed Venedigerhaus which is close to the glacier (1689 metres) you can have a lovely rest. Along Gschlössbach continue heading out of the valley, between the Alpine pastures from the Inner- and Außergschlöss there is an old rock chapel where you can pause for thought. A more secular stop-off at Berghaus Außergschlöss (1700 metres) is recommended. The valley now spreads out. From Gschlöss proceed down for around an hour, not even 200 metres to Matreier Tauernhaus (1512 metres), where, after the long, demanding descents of this stage will presumably be a bit easier on your knees. Enjoy a rest here, some delicious regional foods and enjoy a comfortable overnight stay.

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