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Mountain ranges / Northern Limestone Alps / Kleiner Solstein / Railway station Hochzirl - Kleiner Solstein (on Höttinger Schützensteig)

Railway station Hochzirl - Kleiner Solstein (on Höttinger Schützensteig)

Starting point: Railway station Hochzirl (922 m)
Starting point Lat/Lon: 47.28105°N 11.24935°E 
Path name: on Höttinger Schützensteig
Time of walking: 6 h
Difficulty: very difficult marked way
Difficulty of skiing: more demanding
Altitude difference: 1715 m
Altitude difference (by path): 1715 m
Map: Karwendelbirge West, 5/1 1:25.000
Author: pg
Views: 221
Trip rating: 5 votes
Number of pictures: 47
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 Tyrol highway A12 to the exit 87 (Zirl-Ost). At the next crossroad, we continue straight in the direction of Seefeld. We follow a wide road B177 to the exit towards Zirl/Hochzirl and soon after this we go sharply right on an ascending road which leads towards Hochzirl. We follow the road to the railway station Hochzirl and we park on one of the parking spots nearby.

Very pleasant is the option of access with a train. Traveling by train from Ljubljana to Innsbruck is relatively quick and relatively cheap, and from the main railway station in Innsbruck towards Scharnitz with the midway station Hochzirl, every hour through the day runs a regional train, which takes us just to the starting point.
Path description:
From the railway station Hochzirl we follow the signs for (Neue) Magdenburger Hütte, which lead us on a forested cart track, and later a little narrower path starts ascending a little steeper on a forested slope. After about an hour and a half of walking from the starting point, we come on a mountain road near the inn Brunntal, where signs for mountain hut point us uphill on a quite steep path, which above the mountain pastures turns into a dense forest. We follow the footpath another hour to Neue Magdenburger Hütte, which is situated on a scenic location and boasts an interesting assortment of llamas. From the starting point to the hut there is approximately two hour and a half of walking.

At the mountain hut there is a crossing of two paths which lead towards the area of Solsteins: Zirler and Höttinger Schützensteig. Here we go right (east) on the latter, a little more demanding, but also more picturesque and more direct variant. Soon after the crossing we find ourselves in front of the first a little more demanding part of the path: passage below dark walls of western Karwendel, on which in appealing ambience leads a narrow footpath which is in parts precipitously winding high above the valley of river Sulzenbach. On the path, there are some safety catches, which help us mainly in wet, and we have to climb also a short jump, which doesn't exceed the Ist. grade of climbing and it isn't very exposed. A little higher, the path turns slightly to the left and crosses through the gully below the steep wall, and at an altitude around 2300 meters it brings us to a panoramic ridge high above the valley of Inn. We follow the path for few minutes to ample high mountain terrain of plateau between Solsteins (the orientation in this part in fog is often difficult).

At the signpost in the middle of plateau, we go sharply towards the east in the direction of Kleiner Solstein. The path at first leads over a steep band, then on a moderately long exposed ledge, secured with a steel cable, and eventually with occasional short climbing steeply over a wide rib of the mountain (if we carefully follow the blazes, only in parts I grade of climbing). The path brings us just below the western secondary peak of Kleiner Solstein; from here we descend a little to panoramic and occasionally slightly exposed upper ridge, on which good signs in few minutes bring us to the peak with a characteristic cross and wide view.

As I know, the path on Kleiner Solstein was just recently marked and in parts secured, which we can see on a relatively primal nature of the path; in spite of that, the ascent for experienced mountaineer shouldn't pose too much of a problem, and the path is relatively well visited. At the descent I recommend visiting easier accessible, rounded Großer Solstein, from which we can on easy panoramic path descend to the hut Solsteinhaus, and from there we round off the trip by returning on the path which directly, but not very steeply descends towards the railway station Hochzirl.
On the way: Neue Magdenburger Hütte (1633m)
Pictures:
Railway station Hochzirl - Kleiner Solstein1
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