Trekking in the Alps

In this section we present a chapter from the book "Per Alpes, Discovering the Alps in 20 circular walks". Read the tour description below and check other publications of the Alps Convention.

  • Rätikon tour
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Tourist info

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Route descriptions: Not many people who can say they are familiar with the Rätikon, a compact mountain range situated at the junction of Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. This might be due to the fact that not very far away lie the four-thousanders of the Western Alps, giants of rocks and ice which attract the majority of climbers. This is surely a strength for the Rätikon, which as a result offers peace, quiet and solitude. Here you are unlikely to encounter crowds of tourists yet you will certainly find a good network of huts and tracks. The Schesaplana (2965 m) reaches almost 3,000 m and it hosts an incredible variety of landforms and species. The reason for its diversity is once again due to geology. The mountain is in fact made partly of crystalline rocks and partly of limestone. You will be able to observe this throughout the tour, rock walls and ice alternating with idyllic alpine scenes. The Brandner glacier is an impressive sight, located on the northern side of Schesaplana and stretching down to the Mannheimer Hütte. The tour will take you to Switzerland and Austria and to the small Principality of Liechtenstein. You will also tour around the Rätikon’s highest peaks, such as Schesaplana (2967 m), Drei Türme (2830 m) and Sulzfl uh (2813 m), and you can be sure that you will have the time of your life.

Skills required: Some parts of this tour require good climbing techniques, particularly the trail starting from the Totalphütte, crossing Schesaplana, Brandner glacier to the Mannheimer Hütte and all the way to the Nenzinger Himmel. You also need a head for heights. The equipped trails (grade I) should be fairly easy, however you must not attempt this route if the weather conditions are bad or it snows. Traversing the Brandner glacier is not particularly demanding as it is well equipped with signs and waymarks for most of the track. Nevertheless, you still need to wear crampons. The Rätikon offers a very good network of huts and tracks, but you must not underestimate the length of each journey, in fact you are expected to walk for up to 7.5 hours per day for 8 days.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun – Engi – Plasseggenpass – Grubenpass – Tilisunahütte


Travel time: 3,5 - 4 h.

From Partnun (1657 m) walk steadily uphill to the east along the Tälibach stream. After a steep uphill path you reach Engi (2227 m), a very attractive highland. After a few ups and downs you reach Plasseggenpass (2354 m) and enter Austria. Walk below the steep mountain crag of the Scheienfl uh and the Weißplatte and you get to the Grubenpass (2241 m), quickly followed by the Tilisunahütte (2211 m).

Accommodation:
Tilisunahütte (2211 m): Tel. +43-(0)664-1107969, e-mail: h.fitsch.tilisunahuette@gmx.at, open from the beginning/mid June to the beginning/mid October, OeAV.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Tilisunahütte – Schwarze Erd – Lindauer Hütte

Travel time: 3-3,5 h

Today’s route is rather short, but you can extend it by climbing from the Lindauer hut to the Geißspitze (2334 m), which is not particularly demanding. Leaving the Tilisunahütte, follow the path going below the Schwarzhorn and head towards the so called “Schwarzen Erd”. The path is of gravel and stones which make the ascent slightly harder and unpleasant. Cross the broad Blinkengrat crest to reach the Lindauer Hütte (1744 m). Once you get to this hut you can climb over the scenic Geißspitze, which takes 1,5 hours to ascend and 45 minutes to descend.

Accommodation:
Lindauerhütte (1744 m): Tel. +43-(0)664-5033456, e-mail: lindauerhuette@aon.at, www.lindauerhuette.chirimoya.at, open from the end of May to mid October, DAV.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Lindauer Hütte – Öfapass – Verajöchli – Lüner See/Seeuferweg – Douglass Hütte – Totalphütte

Travel time: 6,5-7 h

Today’s route is not particularly difficult, but it is rather long. Once you reach the Öfapass (2291 m) you can admire the Alpavera plain. The ascent to Verajöchli (2330 m) and the descent to Lünersee (1970 m) are not very demanding, enabling you to enjoy the surrounding landscape. You can start walking up towards Totalphütte directly from the southern bank of the reservoir. However, the route described in this guide, runs along the eastern bank and heads towards the Douglass Hütte (1979 m). Finally, keep following the steep path on the western bank and eventually reach the Totalphütte (2385 m).

Accommodation:
Douglass Hütte (1979 m): Tel. +43-(0)5559-25951 or +43-(0)664-4412378, e-mail: douglasshuette@muehlebach.at, www.douglasshuette.at, open from the end of May to mid October, OeAV.
Totalphütte (2385 m): Tel. +43-(0)664-2400260, e-mail: info@totalp.at, www.totalp.at, open from the beginning/mid June to beginning/mid October, OeAV.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Totalphütte – Schesaplana – Schafköpfe – Schafl och – Brandner Gletscher – Mannheimer Hütte

Travel time: 3-3,5 h

On the fourth day you reach what can be considered “the heart” of this tour. The ascent to Rätikon’s highest peak must not be underestimated and the same applies to the descent to the Brandner glacier. Experience is key. Leaving the Totalphütte (2385 m) follow the track as far as the Toten Alpe. Take the path equipped with fixed cable and reach the “Kaminle” followed by a sharp upslope towards the summit. Follow the signs directing you to the south-western crest as far as Schesaplana (2965 m) and its stunning panoramic view. To descend to the Mannheimer Hütte follow the waymarked crest heading west through the Schafköpfe (2792 m) to the Schlafloch. Slightly before you arrive at the Mannheimer Hütte (2679 m) you come to the Brandner Gletscher, a glacier that has almost no crevasses and it is usually well equipped with signs and waymarks.

Accommodation:
Mannheimer Hütte (2679 m): Tel. +43-(0)664-3524768, e-mail: mannheimer@a1.net, open from the beginning of July to mid September, DAV.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Mannheimer Hütte – Strauß Steig – Spusagang Scharte – Nenzinger Himmel

Travel time: 3,5-4 h.

The landscape you will see today is extremely varied and typically alpine. Your footwork and your head for heights are going to be put to the test for the entire length of the journey. Leaving from the Mannheimer Hütte (2679 m) follow the Strauß path (Strauss Steig) and cross the steep slope of the Panüelerkopf. Follow a partially equipped path, very steep with staggering views all the way to the Spusagang saddle (2237 m). It is followed by a very easy descent to Nenzinger Himmel (1370 m), after the Strauss Steig, going past Lake Hirschsee. The Nenzinger Himmel lies at the end of the Gamperdonatal valley and it is well known for being a place where people usually buy second houses, a phenomenon that over the last ten years has altered the valley. Today’s tour is not particularly long and you have time to visit some interesting natural beauties – such as gneiss rocks, yew trees (Taxus), rock formations, and the Bärawald (meaning “the bears’ wood”), the Gampbachfall (the Gamp stream waterfall) etc.- as well as the small church of St. Rochus.

Accommodation:
Alpengasthof Gamperdona (Nenzinger Himmel, 1370 m): Tel. +43-(0)5525-64606, e-mail: alpengasthof@nenzinger-himmel.info, www.nenzinger-himmel.info, open from the beginning of May to mid/end of October, private.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Nenzinger Himmel – Pfälzer Hütte/Bettlerjoch – Liechtensteiner Höhenweg – Große Furka – Kleine Furka – Schesaplanahütte

Travel time: 6,5-7 h

From the beautiful Nenzinger Himmel valley, walk past the church of St. Rochus and through the wood to reach the impressive Stübawasserfall (1490 m). Walk past the waterfall to the pasture in Bettlerjoch, where the Pfälzer Hütte lies (2108 m). Now you are already in Liechtenstein. After a lunch break, follow the Liechtensteiner Höhenweg path, below the Naafkopf, directed to the Grosse Furka (2359 m) and the Kleine Furka (2246 m). Once you are at the foot of the steep southern face, you reach today’s destination: Schesaplanahütte (1908 m).

Accommodation:
Pfälzer Hütte (2108 m): Tel. +423-2622459 or +423-2633679, open from mid June to mid October, LAV.
Schesaplanahütte (1908 m): Tel. +41-(0)81-3251163, e-mail: haga@schesaplana-huette.ch, www.schesaplana-huette.ch, open from mid June to mid October, SAC-CAS.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Schesaplanahütte – Golrosa – Gafalljoch – Mittelganda – Großganda – Carschinahütte

Travel time: 7-7,5 h

Magnificent, incredible, stunning … These are only few of the adjectives that can describe the ascent from the Schesaplanahütte (1,908 m) to the Carschinahütte. This 7-hour walk takes you beneath the majestic southern wall of the Kirchlispitzen and on beneath the Drusenfl uh and the Sulzfluh. Ascend steadily from the Schesalplanahütte to the Golrosahütt followed by the Gafalljoch (2239 m). Leaving Schweizer Tor on your left, cross the Mittelganda and the Grossganda, and reach the Carschinahütte (2221 m).

Accommodation:
Carschinahütte (2221 m): Tel. +41-(0)79-4182280, e-mail: info@carschinahuette.ch, www.carschinahuette.ch, open from mid June to mid October, SAC-CAS.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Carschinahütte – (Schafberg) – Berghaus Sulzfl uh – Partnun – St. Antönie

Travel time: 2,5-3 h (without Schafberg) or 4-4,5 h (with Schafberg)

Today you can immediately start descending towards the final destination, Partnun (1763 m) or St. Antönien (1420 m). You can also extend the route by ascending Schafberg (2456 m) from the Carschinahütte, before descending. This route takes 45 minutes. Once you reach the top you are rewarded with the stunning view of the steep southern face of the Rätikon.

Accommodation:
Berghaus Sulzfluh (1769 m): Tel. +41-(0)81-3321213, e-mail: info@sulzfluh.ch, www.sulzfluh.ch, open all year, private.
For further information: St. Antönien Tourismus.

A journey through limestone and granite


Ratikon tour

Trailhead: St. Antönien/Ortst. Partnun (1657 m, by bus to St. Antönien and then by taxi to Partnun (+41 0793021971) )
Highest point: Schesaplana (2965 m)
Total travelling time: 35,5-39,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3640 m - 3983 m (without Schafberg) or +3875 - 4218 m (with Schafberg)
Alp Convention

Useful information

Organised Trekking Tours
Guided tours around the Rätikon: you can book at Alpenbüro Netz GmbH: Tel. +41-(0)81-4202255 e-mail: graubuenden@alpenbuero.chwww.raetikon-tour.com.

Tourist information
St. Antönien Tourismus: Tel. +41-(0)81-3323233 e-mail: info@st-antoenien.ch, www.st-antoenien.ch
Tourismusverein Nenzing: Tel. +43-(0)552-563031 e-mail: tourismus@nenzing.at, www.nenzing-gurtis.at
Tourismus Brand GmbH: Tel. +43-(0)555-9555 e-mail: tourismus@brandnertal.at, www.brand.at
Liechtenstein Tourismus: Tel. +423-2396300 e-mail: info@tourismus.li, www.tourismus.li

Alpine Guides
Berg + Tal AG (St. Antönien): Tel. +41-(0)41-4504425 e-mail: info@bergundtal.ch, www.bergundtal.ch
Bergführer Montafon (Schruns): Tel. +43-(0)664-4311445 e-mail: montafon@bergfuehrer.at, www.bergfuehrer.at
Wilfried Studer (Wolfurt; hut-keeper of Mannheimer Hütte): Tel. +43-(0)664-3416655 e-mail: w.studer@hotmail.com, www.w-studer.at

Public Transport
Rhaetic Railway: Tel. +41-(0)81-2884340 www.rhb.ch
PostBus Switzerland, Postauto Graubünden: Tel. +41-(0)81-8641683, www.postauto.ch
Taxi: Tel. +41-(0)79-3021991

Maps
National map of Switzerland, Sheet 238 (Montafon): 1:50.000
National map of Switzerland, Sheet (Prättigau): 1:50.000
Map Freytag & Berndt Wanderkarte, Sheet 371 (Bludenz/Klostertal/ Montafon): 1:50.000

Alpine clubs
Oesterreichischer Alpenverein (OeAV): Tel. +43-(0)512-59547-0 e-mail: office@alpenverein.at, www.alpenverein.at
Swiss Alpine Club (SAC-CAS): Tel. +41-(0)31-3701818 e-mail: info@sac-cas.ch, www.sac-cas.ch
Liechtensteiner Alpenverein (LAV): Tel. +423-2329812 e-mail: info@alpenverein.li, www.alpenverein.li
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV): Tel. +49-(0)89-14003-0 e-mail: info@alpenverein.de, www.alpenverein.de

Weather
Switzerland: +41-(0)900-162 333 www.meteoschweiz.admin.ch

Websites
www.nenzinger-himmel.at
www.via-alpina.org
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