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Mountain ranges / Stubai Alps / Sulzkogel / Kühtai - Sulzkogel (normal approach from Kühtai)

Kühtai - Sulzkogel (normal approach from Kühtai)

Starting point: Kühtai (2020 m)
Starting point Lat/Lon: 47.21371°N 11.02469°E 
Destination: Sulzkogel (3016 m)
Path name: normal approach from Kühtai
Time of walking: 3 h 30 min
Difficulty: easy marked way
Difficulty of skiing: easily
Altitude difference: 996 m
Altitude difference (by path): 996 m
Map: Stubaier Alpen Sellrain, 31/2 1:25.000
Author: pg
Views: 295
Trip rating: 5 votes
Number of pictures: 43
Access to starting point:
From Ljubljana, we drive on the highway past Salzburg in the direction towards München. At the multilevel junction Dreieck Inntal we go on the road A93 in the direction of Innsbruck/Kufstein/Brenner. When we return to Austria we continue on highway A12 to a crossing with the exit 87-Zirl-Ost. There we join the road L13 and we follow it to valley Sellraintal. A wide and comfortable road further leads past settlements Sellrain, Gries and St. Sigmund and through a long tunnel, after which after approx. 20 km of moderate ascending we find ourselves in a tourist hamlet Kühtai. The best option for parking is free parking lot at the chapel and the bus stop just after the sign which marks the beginning of the village, and in case if it is occupied, the hamlet offers numerous alternative options. It is also possible to drive through the village and start the ascent at Dortmunder Hütte; in this case there will be slightly bigger altitude difference, but a little more direct path towards the artificial lake Finstertal.

Alternatively we can drive through northern Italy: in this case from the main Slovenia on the highway A2 we drive to one of the border crossings with Austria and we continue towards Lienz. Here we continue on the road 100 and past the passage Prato alla Drava we drive into Italy. In Italy we follow the road SS49 all the way to the juncture with highway A22 in the direction towards the mountain pass Brenner. After the mountain pass, we continue in the direction towards Innsbruck and then few more kilometers in the direction towards Bregenz to the exit 87-Zirl-Ost. From there we continue as the instructions above.
Path description:
Just above the high mountain chapel in the eastern part of Kühtai we notice a signpost, which points us towards the west towards Sulzkogel and artificial lake Finstertal. After few minutes of easy crossing above Kühtai, the path turns towards the south and starts lightly descending towards the plain, which is situated approximately 50 altitude meters lower as the starting point and from which we can see the continuation of the path towards the viewpoint above the lake, which is situated left from the barriers above us. The footpath, which soon joins the path, which comes from the direction Dortmunder Hütte, is then for some time moderately ascending on a grassy slope, and in doing so, it several times crosses torrents. A little higher we few times cross the mountain road and after a good hour of walking from the starting point above the tunnel, we ascend to a viewpoint above the northern edge of the artificial lake, where there is a big panorama board, and a nice view opens up towards massif Zwölferkogel, which zakriva Sulzkogel behind it.
The path further leads mostly horizontally on the left side above the lake (or above the hollow, in which it was situated) and after a little more than half an hour of comfortable walking it brings us to its south edge below the rocky massif of Finstertaler Schartenkopf. At the end of the crossing above the lake, at the signpost we continue straight in the direction towards the southwest (sharply left - towards the east - the path branches off towards Finstertaler Scharte).

From the crossing ahead, the path starts moderately ascending and at first crosses a larger stream and soon after this on a steep slope, on which most of the year is snow, a little more significantly ascends to an ample crumbly gravel valley below the massifs of Sulzkogel and Gamskogel, which in the first half of July is usually still covered with snow, but because of the undemanding terrain and relatively gentle slope, usually it doesn't cause any problems. After a little less than half an hour relatively of gentle walking on the path which runs on the right edge of the plain, signs point us upwards towards the ridge on a slightly crumbly slope.
On a smaller saddle below the rocky massif of Sulzkogel we turn to the right and the footpath which runs on a gravel of in parts large rocks of a wide upper ridge, we in zig-zags follow to a quite ample and very panoramic summit.

The tour because it is not technically demanding and has a relatively small altitude difference on the path and a nice view from the peak offers a great opportunity for an easy approach on a three-thousander, but it is better to avoid the ascent in the summer heat because of the sunny positions and crumbly gravel terrain.
On the way: Finstertaler Stausee (2335m)
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