The Gartner Wand – Austrian Alps

Tez Gilbert

December 13, 2015

The Gartner Wand walk is what I like to call a “Wow-Walk” (just take a look at the video below!). The kind of walk that no matter who you point out its lofty ridge to, it never fails to result in an “Oh, wow!” response. Its contrasting steep, unforgiving north face stands in striking contrast to the slightly gentler, grassy south face, and it is the knife-edge divide that we traverse across along on this impressive route, dropping and weaving on occasions to the southern flank. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted. In fact, we only include it in our walking programme in good weather and snow-free conditions, and when there is enough interest from our guests, as this a challenging and exposed walk and a head for heights and degree of alpine experience is needed.

This favourite high level walk is an out and back route covering 5.1km, with spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges in both directions and taking in two excellent summits with 450m total ascent. We start the walk from Lermoos and ascend over 1000m via the Grubigstein cable car, and start walking at 2028m. The route takes in sections of fixed cable, or “protected path” and some scrambling challenges but allows for plenty of opportunities to just stop and take it all in. The highest point, the Gartner Wand summit, sits at 2377m and its summit cross marks the mid-point of the walk and a great spot take a break and top up the energy levels. We then return the way we came and will without fail stop in at the Grubighütte for an extra large beer or Almdudler (delicious local soft drink) before the cable car descent and walk or bus back to Ehrwald. The 4 course dinner in the Hotel Sonnenspitze is well earned that evening!

The Gartner Wand Summit (2,377m) in the Austrian Alps

Many thanks to Tez, one our team in the Zugspitz Arena this summer, who took some fantastic footage in the video.