Austria 2019 · Hiking · Travel · Zillertal

Furtschaglhaus

A short but steep hike from the Schlegeis Stausee to the Furtschaglhaus hut.

Distance

5.5

miles

Elevation Gain

2,037

feet

Time

3:11

hours

Elevation Profile

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.” After breakfast, we hopped on the bus again up to the Schlegeis reservoir (stausee). Again we walked over to the base of the Zamsergrund, but this time we continued on along the lakeshore instead of turning up the Zamsergrund.

Schlegeis Stausee (reservoir) and Schlegeiskees (glacier)

We became concerned when we encountered a sign saying “Berliner höhenweg ab Schlegeis gesperrt!” Which, with the aid of Google, translates to “Berliner höhenweg from Schlegeis closed!” That’s a bummer. There is no alternate route around the lake. We decided to go check it out. We came to a gate with a sign indicating the route was closed here. But there was no one around, so we decided to proceed cautiously. We came around a corner and saw that a major rockslide had come down from high above, and there was construction equipment here presumably to clear and repair the route. We moved ahead briskly, in case anything else came down that chute from above.

The 3,476m Olperer and the 3,288m Gefrorene-Wand Spitzen above the Schlegeisspeicher

We continued around the lake and crossed the Schlegeisbach.

The Schlegeisbach creek flowing down from the Schlegeiskees and Furtschaglkees glaciers

The trail ascended gently for a while along the Schlegeisbach, but then turned away and began climbing steeply up the mountainside.

The Berliner Höhenweg and the Olperer

The trail climbed steeply and relentlessly, but the scenery improved continuously.

Ascending the Berliner Höhenweg toward the Furtschaglhaus.
Waterfall on the Furtschaglbach below the Furtschaglspitze

At last, we came over a rise and saw the Furtschaglhaus. After a few more minutes of hiking up the steep trail, we made it to the hut.

Sonnenterrasse (sun terrace) at the Furtschaglhaus, which was originally constructed over 130 years ago (expanded several times since).

We arrived earlier than usual, just in time for lunch.

Tiroler Gröstl for lunch at the Furtschaglhaus

Given the steep trail this morning plus a big day planned for tomorrow, we decided to take it easy and rest this afternoon. Allan muttered something about needed to get away from me for a while and wandered off to listen to music. I hung out in the hut, and wandered around outside.

Furtschaglhaus dining room
The Furtschaglhaus hut
Schlegeiskees glacier below the 3,509m Hochfeiler (left of flag pole), the tallest peak in the Zillertal.

We regrouped later in the afternoon and talked a couple of German hikers who had come down from the Schönbichlerhorn (tomorrow’s route for us). They indicated it was rough, but that there are cables on the steepest parts.

We cleaned up, did a little laundry, and went to dinner. We sat with a father-son party from Germany – they both spoke English pretty well, so we were able to converse throughout dinner. Tonight’s meal was Schweinebraten (pork roast) with Knödl (boiled dumpling) – delicious!

After dinner, the clouds thickened and developed into a thunderstorm.

Evening storm at the Furtschaglhaus hut

Tonight we shared a room with a party of deaf trail runners. They appeared to have a great time in the dining room, furiously signing and laughing.

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