Austria 2019 · Hiking · Silvretta · Travel

Erich Endriss Weg

The Erich Endriss Weg is a ridge-top trail from Gaschurn to the Tübinger Hütte with stunning views into deep valleys and tall peaks in the Silvretta Alps of Austria.

Distance

8

miles

Elev Gain

2,536

feet

Elev Loss

1,947

feet

Time

7:51

hours

Click markers on map for more info

Elevation Profile

We enjoyed a good night’s sleep at the charming Hotel Monika in Gaschurn (ga-SHOO-ren) in the Montafon valley after the long trip from the US yesterday. Breakfast today consisted, as it will every day in Austria, of plain yogurt and granola (with cornflakes), ham and cheese slices, Kaiser rolls, butter and jam, and coffee.

View from our balcony at the Hotel Monika across the Montafonerstraße.
The Versettlabahn talstation (bottom station) is just out of view to the left.

After checking out of the hotel we walked across the Montafonerstraße (street) to the Versettla Bahn gondola for a ride up nearly 1,400m (4,500ft) to the start today’s hike.

Riding the Versettlabahn from Gaschurn up to the Erich Endriss trail (weg),
the trail to the Tübinger Hütte.

We stopped at the Mittelstation (middle station) to take pictures of the valley below and peaks above and then reboarded to the top (after waiting a while for a gondola car with space available). 

The Versettlabahn gondola ascending from Gaschurn at the Mittelstation

After finding water for my pack, we started hiking up the Erich Endriss Weg trail behind the gondola station in perfect t-shirt & shorts weather. The trail climbed somewhat steeply up to a small plateau below the 2,370m Versettla peak where we took a short break and a few pictures.

The Alps on the North side of the Montafon valley from a plateau just below the Versettla peak,
with the Kops Stausee (reservoir) behind.

Past the Versettla we came to a junction with a side trail to the 2,466m Madrisella.

After passing over the Versettla, the trail continues toward the Madrisella to the right (with summit cross visible on top).

After a brief debate (I lost) we took the side trail up the Madrisella.

Summit of the Madrisella

Up to the summit.

Summit cross atop the 2,466m Madrisella

On the way down we heard a horn playing and then saw a man playing an alphorn on top of another small peak. No idea how he lugged that instrument so far out into the mountains, but it sure was a beautiful sound.

Man playing an Alphorn atop a small peak near the Madrisella.
Beautiful music miles away from the trailhead.

We took another short break at the 2,423m Matschuner Joch where I donned a long-sleeve t-shirt due to cooler weather in the afternoon as the clouds thickened. The trail continued onward and mostly upward, but with occasional downhill sections as well. We came to a high point at the 2,550m Vorderberg overlooking the trail down to the 2,515m Vergaldner Joch and the Tübinger Hütte beyond and took a few pictures and panoramas.

From the 2,553m Vorderberg, the highest point on the Erich Endriss Weg.
The Vergaldner Joch lies below, from where begins the descent to the Tübinger Hütte to the left.

From the Vorderberg we could see across the Garnera valley to the Hochmaderer Joch, an alternate route we are considering for tomorrow’s crossing over to the Saarbrücker Hütte.

The Hochmadererjoch over which we will cross tomorrow en route to the Saarbrücker hütte. The trail is barely visible on the left side of the valley, crossing over on the right side of the rock formation. Visible in the distance through the Hochmaderjoch is the Getschnerscharte, over which we will traverse in a few days.

360º panorama from the Vorderberg (click and drag to pan and zoom)

We then descended from the Vergaldner Joch across a bowl, then over the 2,415m Mittelbergjoch for a closer view of the remaining route and the hut. One of the routes we are considering for tomorrow, the Plattenjoch, ascends and crosses over the ridge above into Switzerland.

The Tübinger Hütte is visible toward the lower left. The Plattenjoch is directly above.

Descending from the Mittlebergjoch, we forded a creek, working our way upstream to find a suitable crossing. And then came across an old stone cabin just above the trail.

Allan exploring an old cabin

Shortly after we came to another trail junction where the sign indicated 15 minutes to the Tübinger Hütte.

The sign indicated 20 minutes to the Tübinger Hütte (visible at left)

It appeared to be only 5 or 10 minutes away but actually took about 20 minutes with several talus fields and unbridged streams to cross before finally arriving at the hut.

High above the Garnera Valley near the Tübinger Hütte
The Tübinger Hütte – one more talus field to cross
Arrived at the 111 year-old Tübinger Hütte

We checked into the hut, removing our boots/shoes in the Schuhraum (boot room), and unpacked in our 5+ bunk room in which one other guy occupied a bed.

Our room at the Tübinger Hütte. I took the lower left bunk; Allan took the upper right.

Had dinner (soup and alpine macaroni & cheese) and a beer in the dining room, and our first Kaiserschmarrn for dessert. There were no other native English speakers in the hut, and our waitress could just barely speak enough English to take our order (my pigeon-German was insufficient).

Biere und suppe (soup) at the Tübinger Hütte
Kaiserschmarrn for dessert at the Tübinger Hütte

We sought advice from members of the German Alpine Club (DAV – Deutscher Alpenverein) at another table (most of whom spoke little to no English) regarding our preferred route up the Plattenjoch the next day. They advised against it due to steinschlag (rockfall) in the area, and an unknown amount of schnee (snow) remaining on the steep descent from the Seelucke; they advised that the Hochmadererjoch was a safer route (which we saw from the trail today). I thought it was funny that the guy who appeared most knowledgeable and experienced went on and on and on in German in response to a yes/no question about snow in the Seelucke.

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