Stage 6: Matrei in Osttirol - Sudetendeutsche Hütte
Giving you a good workout and an Achilles-aching ascent, the path climbs steeply and steadily from Matrei’s hamlet of Glanz, 1,445 metres above sea level, to Sudetendeutsche Hütte Hut, situated at the heart of Granatspitz Range at an elevation of 2,700 metres. Even for conditioned hikers this is a physically demanding trek with almost 1,300 metres of elevation gain. But the payoff for that work includes historic mountain farms at the hamlet of Glanz and a multitude of blossoms at Edelweiss Meadow, 1,900 metres above sea level. When you tire of the rainbow of wildflowers on the ground, you can look up to find breathtaking vistas of Lasörling Mountain Range around every corner. Each switchback in the trail brings more of the mighty mountains into view.
A multitude of blossoms proliferate along this walk. But it's the edelweiss that dominate, transforming Edelweiss Meadow and environs into a true mountain majesty. In the area of Nussingkogel Peak you’ll might see rock crystals glistening in the sunlight.
At one point you're directly under the towering spire of Falkenstein Mountain, hawks and golden eagles soar overhead. Look closely and you might see some Spiderman wannabes scaling its rocky walls—Falkenstein is a popular 7+ grade climbing terrain with some truly challenging areas for rock climbers at perpendicular faces rising 10 to 50 metres.
Adlerweg trail. Stage 6: Matrei in East Tirol – Sudetendeutsche Hütte
Route start: Matrei in Osttirol (Glanz)
Route end: Sudetendeutsche Hütte
Meter up: 1250m
Route length: 8km
It is preferable to start this stage at the car park in the hamlet of Glanz, which then saves you a two hour walk. From Matrei i.O. it is a 20 minute drive to get there (taxi service available on request). All those of you who also want to tackle the first section of this route on foot, can get from Matrei via Hinterburg to the car park on a road which is not much used. From the car park in Glanz it takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to get to Äußere Steiner Alm and another 2 to 2 ½ hours to get to Sudetendeutschen Hütte. The trail proceeds for the most part through woodland which has ancient larch trees, pass Köfler-Almhütte (a private Alpine inn). In the area around the Ranzeralm you cross the road twice. Just above Lackner Almhütte a cart track begins which crosses a spring, before heading from east to west through pastures of Edelweiß. Anyone who does not want to hike through the woodland can also head from the car park in Glanz along the forest road at the start of the Edelweiß pastures. After a rocky ledge the path, which has handrails, descends into a light larch forest. Cross Steinerbach and get to the Alpine lodges in Äußere Steiner Alm (1914 metres), from Äußere Steiner Alm proceed in the flat floor of the Trogtal north-east, heading for the head of the valley. Little larch groves and mighty green schist boulders characterise this romantic route section. At the end of the valley head a goods cable car proceeds to Sudetendeutschen Hütte, in days past iron ore mining sites were located here, which is why this nook in the valley is described as the ‘Schmelzhütte’ (smelting lodge). The path to Sudetendeutschen Hütte proceeds uphill initially close to the Steinerbach, winding in hairpin bends up across sloping meadows, where you have the Nussingkogel to the left and the Bretterwandspitze to the right. Finally the terrain becomes somewhat flatter with its summits shaped by glaciers and in the nearby area you will find the spacious Sudetendeutschen Hütte (2650 metres), set in the midst of the Granatspitz group.