Are you looking to completing the famous Peter Habeler Trek, one of the finest examples of hiking holidays in Austria? Also known as the Peter Habeler Runde, this trek is a circular route that starts and ends in Vals, a mountaineering village with 537 inhabitants in Tyrol. This trek was dedicated to the Austrian mountaineer Peter Habeler on his 70th birthday and is one of the most renowned hikes in the region. If this trek is on your to-do list, we can help you! Below you will find all you need to know to complete the Peter Habeler Runde, from a map and itinerary to a recommended packing list, safety measures, guided and self-guided walking holidays in Austria, and more!
Peter Habeler was born in Mayrhofen, in Tyrol, and made alpine history when, in 1978, he climbed Mount Everest, together with Reinhold Messner, without carrying any artificial oxygen. The Peter Habeler Trek honors his accomplishments as a mountaineer and celebrates his climbing records all over the world! Will you follow his footsteps?
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Who is Peter Habeler?
Peter Habeler was born in 1942 in Mayrhofen, in Tyrol, Austria, and is known all over the world for his mountaineering experience. Among his many achievements, he was the first European to climb the Big Walls of Yosemite National Park, USA, and in 1978, together with Reinhold Messner, he made the first ascent to the top of Mount Everest without the aid of supplemental oxygen, which was previously thought to be impossible. Nowadays, he runs the "Peter Habeler Ski & Mountaineering School" in his hometown, Mayrhofen.
When Is the Best Season To Do the Peter Habeler Runde?
Like most treks in the region, the Peter Habeler Loop can be hiked from mid-June to mid-September. During this time of the year, the chances of finding snow at higher altitudes are lower. However, always look up the weather forecast before starting your trek and be aware that, on the mountains, weather can be unpredictable. At the huts, the staff will also be able to give you some guidance and can inform you about the conditions of the trails.
Peter Habeler Trek Map
The Peter Habeler Trek is a 7-stage, circular trek. Below you will find a map detailing the route.
Komoot is a very useful app when it comes to planning trekking adventures. Download our map for the Peter Habeler Trek here.
How Do I Get To the Starting Point of the Peter Habeler Runde Trek?
As you saw on the map, the Peter Habeler Runde is a circular trek, which means that there are various starting points for the trek. The village of Vals, in a side valley of the Wipptal, is the traditional starting point. In order to get there, the best way is to take a train from Innsbruck to St. Jodok am Brenner, and the bus line 4144 down to Vals (timetables at oebb.at). From Vals, you have to make your way to the end of the valley, where you will find the beginning of the trek. At Nockeralmen, close to the Peter Habeler Runde starting point, there is free parking (in case you travel by car) and also a bus stop in case you prefer public transport. Other starting points of the Peter Habeler Runde are from the South Tyrolean Pfitschtal to the Pfitscherjoch, in Zillertal from the Schlegeisspeicher or Hintertux, or you can also climb over the Venntal to the Europahütte directly from the Brenner Pass.
What Does the Peter Habeler Trek Itinerary Look Like?
The Peter Habeler Runde is a circular trek that starts and ends in Vals, a mountaineering village with 537 inhabitants in the district of Innsbruck Land, in Tyrol. The trek is 56,1 kilometers long, has a total ascent and descent of 4.230 meters, and includes 6 alpine huts along the way. We have prepared a 7-stage itinerary, but bear in mind that this trek can also be completed in 6 days. Stages 4 and 5 can be easily combined, as well as stages 6 and 7. Below you will find the 7 stages that make up this trek, ready?
Stage 1: Vals - Geraer Hut
From Gasthaus Touristenrast at the end of the Valsertal (bus stop or free parking at the Nockeralmen), you first walk along a wide farm track (no. 502) for about one hour, ascending gently to the top of the cable car. From there, the trek leads you through an undulating, beautifully laid trail to the border of the forest. From here, follow trail no. 502 in open terrain to the Geraer Hütte, at 2,324 m.
Ascent: 1.000 meters
Walking time: 3 hours
Stage 2: Geraer Hut - Tuxerjochhaus
From the Geraer Hut, the stage starts north to the Steinernes Lamm (No. 527) and leads over old glacial moraines through the front Höllwand and further to the Kleegrubenscharte, Kasererscharte, and Frauenwand. Finally, a path through alpine pastures will lead you to the Tuxerjochhaus, at 2,313 meters.
Ascent: 500 meters
Descent: 500 meters
Walking time: 5 hours
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Stage 3: Tuxerjochhaus - Friesenberghaus
From the Tuxerjochhaus, follow path No. 326 downhill to below the Lärmstange. Then turn southeast to the Spannagelhaus, at 2,531 meters, and continue to the Friesenbergscharte, at 2,911 meters. Here, at the highest point of the Peter-Habeler-Runde, you can enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. Over several zigzags, the path finally leads down to today's destination, the Friesenberghaus, at 2,498 meters.
Descent: 740 meters
Walking time: 5 hours
Stage 4: Friesenberghaus - Olpererhütte
Today you descend to the Friesenberg lake, only to climb up again over steep switchbacks. Afterward, the trail follows the Berliner Höhenweg, No. 526, for a short stretch and continues to the Olpererhütte, located at 2,389 meters.
Ascent: 220 meters
Descent: 310 meters
Walking time: 2.5 hours
Stage 5: Olpererhütte - Pfitscherjochhaus
This stage starts from the Olpererhütte, at 2,389 m, and follows path No. 502 towards Unterschrammachkar, at 2,280 m. A short ascent takes us below the Ameiskopf, at 2,400 meters. From there, path No. 528 runs past glacier cuts to Kastenschneid and below the Stamplkee to the Pfitscherjochhaus, at 2,276 meters.
Ascent: 430 meters
Descent: 570 meters
Walking time: 3.5 hours
Stage 6: Pfitscherjochhaus - Landshuter Europa-Hütte
From the Pfitscherjochhaus, the path runs past small lakes and through a barren stone landscape along the Landshuter Höhenweg (No. 3 and No. 528) and leads to the Friedrichshöhe to the Landshuter Europa-Hütte, at 2,693 meters.
Ascent: 675 meters
Descent: 250 meters
Walking time: 3 hours
Stage 7: Landshuter Europe Hut - Vals
From the Landshuter Europa Hut, the Geistbeckweg, path No. 529, runs towards the Sumpfschaftl, at 2,666 meters, and then guides you over the Lange Wand to the Inner Zeischalm and finally back to the trek's starting point in Vals.
Descent: 1.300 meters
Walking time: 4 hours
At Bookatrekking.com we have various possibilities for the Peter Habeler Runde. Here you can see all the options!
What Is the Accommodation Like on the Peter Habeler Trek?
During the Peter Habeler Runde, you will spend your nights in cozy alpine mountain huts. At the end of each stage, a warm hut with good, homemade food will be waiting for you to relax and recharge your batteries for the next stage. Booking your huts in advance is paramount. The Peter Habeler Trek overlaps with the Berlin Höhenweg trail and the Alpine crossing from Munich to Venice, which means that the huts are quite busy, especially during July and August. The huts on this trek offer dormitory accommodation, which means that you will be sharing the room with other trekkers. Enjoy exquisite local dishes and a good beer at the end of each stage in the Peter Habeler Runde huts!
The Geraerhütte team welcomes you daily in the summertime in their small natural paradise. The basis of the team is the Lanthaler family, with the hut owner Arthur and hut manager Katharina, as well as son René and daughter Elena. The meals are regional dishes, always prepared with regional and fresh produce. At the Geraerhütte you can find private and shared accommodation, and even dogs are welcome to spend the night!
The Tuxerjochhaus was built between 1910 and 1911 by Franz Hotter, the great-grandfather of the current host. The hut can accommodate 35 trekkers and offers running water, showers, and sanitary facilities with flush toilets, connected to the public sewerage system. From the end of June to the end of September, the Tuxerjochhaus welcomes visitors from all over the world!
At the Friesenberghaus, they focus on giving their visitors a pleasant, cozy atmosphere and friendly service. In the kitchen, they work with regional products and offer you a complete menu with different daily dishes and cakes. Enjoy the summer, the fresh air, and the great views at the Friesenberghaus at 2498 meters!
The Olpererhütte offers its visitors comfortable interiors with large windows that allow you to enjoy the wonderful panorama that surrounds this hut. The dormitories at the Olpererhütte have heating and offer a pleasant and warm stay. The hut also provides hot water, showers, and delicious local dishes!
The Pfitscherjochhaus is the oldest private refuge in South Tyrol. The Pfitscherjochhaus is located in the Zillertal Alps, directly on the border between Italy and Austria, in the immediate vicinity of the Pfitscherjoch. Since 1888 the refuge has been run as a family business - today it is already in its 5th generation by the Leopold Volgger family.
Landshuter Europa Hütte
The Europahütte, formerly known as the Landshuter Hütte is a refuge at 2,693 meters in the Zillertal Alps, which has been run jointly by the Landshut section of the German Alpine Club and the Sterzing section of the Club Alpino Italiano since 1989. What is special about this shelter is probably the fact that the national borders between Austria and Italy run right through the guest area. This hut can accommodate 90 trekkers and welcomes them all with culinary delicacies from the traditional Tyrolean kitchen!
Booking all the huts on the Peter Habeler Runde yourself can be tricky. At Bookatrekking.com we are happy to take this burden off your shoulders. Have a look at all our options for the Peter Habeler Runde!
Huts on the Peter Habeler Trek and COVID-19
With the current world situation, huts on the Peter Habeler Trek, like in all other hut-to-hut tours in the region, had to take some preventive measures. From theAlta Via 1in Italy to theSalzburger Almenwegin Austria, the same rules apply. In order to be able to spend the night at a mountain hut during this time, please follow these rules:
- Do not visit the huts if you have symptoms
- Bring your own sleeping bag(thin silk or cotton sleeping bag) and pillow
- Wash your hands regularly and keep your distance from other trekkers
- Facemask is compulsory
- Overnight only with previous reservation
Packing List for the Peter Habeler Trek
It doesn't matter if you are doing the Tour du Mont Blanc or if you are climbing Mount Triglav, packing is always key. Like other treks in the region, the Peter Habeler Trek is considered a moderate trek and does not require technical equipment. If you enjoy walking in the mountains, you probably already have everything you need at home. Here are our suggestions for you:
- Walking boots (worn in)
- walking socks
- Base layer tops – ideally thermal
- Mid-layer tops (eg. fleece)
- Trekking Trousers
- Hat for warmth or shade
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Warm layer.
- Casual clothes & footwear for evenings.
- Nightwear and underwear
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses & sun cream
- Small first aid kit
- Blister Plasters
- Insect repellent
- Electrical socket adapter
- Camera and charger
- Map and compass
- Book to read
- Energy snacks
- Walking poles
Peter Habeler Runde: Difficulty
The Peter Habeler Runde is a moderate trek that can be completed without a guide. That being said, it is not a walk in the park. The trail goes over rough terrain and has some exposed sections, not suitable for people with a fear of heights. The narrow, exposed paths do have ropes to help with the climb. As for every high-altitude trail, the Peter Habeler Runde requires experience hiking on alpine terrain and sure-footedness. The Friesenberscharte is the most difficult part of the Peter Habeler Runde and is only accessible in good weather.
The Friesenbergscharte: The Most Difficult Part of the Peter Habeler Runde
Between Tuxerjochhaus and Friesenberghaus you will come across the Friesenbergscharte at 2,911 metres. The Friesenbergscharte is the most difficult part of your hike and can only be crossed in good weather. You walk close to the cliffs and the route is very technical. However, there are steel cables everywhere to hold on to during the most difficult parts. Because of the altitude, this part of the Peter Habeler Runde is often the first and last part to see snow and therefore can be impassable. The warden of the Tuxerjochhaus will be pleased to inform you whether the weather is good enough for your crossing. If the crossing is not possible, you can descend from the Tuxerjochhaus to Hintertux and take the bus there to skip this part of the route. That way you can still continue your Peter Habeler Runde.
Is the Peter Habeler Runde Safe?
Yes, the Peter Habeler Runde is a safe trek, as long as you take the necessary measures and follow the marked trail. The path is signposted by white and red markings on rocks and trees along the way, as well as signs indicating the direction to the next hut. If you have any doubts once on the mountain, the huts' staff are very friendly and are always happy to give you a hand with the weather forecast, safety measures, and route indications.
Where Can I Book My Peter Habeler Runde Trek?
The Peter Habeler Trek offers the opportunity to embark on a completely self-guided adventure. The biggest challenge on the Peter Habeler Trek is not so much following the route, but booking accommodation along the way. If you need help booking accommodation for the Peter Habeler Runde, we can give you a hand. Our trekking specialists can book accommodation for you, so you can prepare for your Peter HabelerTrek adventure without stress. See all our options for the Peter Habeler Runde here!
Are you looking for an alternative hut-to-hut tour in Europe? Then take a look at one of our blog posts below:
- The GR20 in Corsica
- Tour Du Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland
- The Salzburger Almenweg in Austria
- The Kesch Trek in Switzerland
- Alta Via 2 in Italy
- Alta Via 1 in Italy
- Walker's Haute Route in France and Switzerland
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