Via Ferrata: “Rax via Gaisloch- (B), Gustav-Jahn- (B), AV-Steig (B) and the Kronich Eisenweg (C/D)”

Combination of 4 via ferratas (3x B, 1x C/D) to climb up the Rax allowing awesome views towards the Höllental. The first three via ferratas are fairly easy (B) but require a sure foot and no fear from heights. The last via ferrata (Kronich Eisenweg) is optional and by far the most difficult one (C/D) and requires experience and endurance (no suitable for beginners!).

Climb up Rax from Höllental via 4 combined Via Ferratas

The tour starts at the small parking in front of the tunnel at the Höllental (GPS: 47.746355, 15.763405) where a small trail (marked white-yellow-white) leads towards and up the Schönbrunnerstiege and then through the exciting Höllental. The white-yellow-white marked trail leads directly into the Gaislochsteig via ferrata (B). After climbing up the Gaislochsteig, the trail crosses with the Gustav-Jahn-Steig via ferrata (B) which traverses (sometimes very exposed) towards to the upper part of the AV-Steig via ferrata (easy B). Climbing up the AV-Steig then finally ends at the imposing Höllental-Aussicht (view point).
The tour then continues towards the Otto-Haus whereas the first part of the Törl-Weg is used to descend towards the Kronich Eisenweg via ferrata (C/D). This via ferrata is often declared with difficulty level C but in my opinion it is more a C/D – especially in the upper part where it becomes very exposed, very steep and overhanging. This via ferrata requires endurance and experience!
The descend is done by hiking towards the cable car and use it to go back to the valley.

This tour assumes the availability of two cars whereas the first one is parked at the valley station of the Rax cable car. The second on is used to go to the parking of Höllental (optionally the bus can be taken as well).
Please note that a full “Klettersteigset” (via ferrata set) is mandatory for this tour!


Tour Description

00:00 Start at the parking lot Höllental (GPS: 47.746355, 15.763405) and follow the yellow-white-yellow marked trail opposite of the parking lot towards Höllental.
00:01 Follow the trail parallel to the street (keep right 2x).
00:05 Hike up the Schönbrunnerstiege (iron stairs) and stay on the yellow-white-yellow marked trail.
00:50 At the crossing with the AV-Steig, stay right and follow the Gaislochsteig (yellow-white-yellow).
01:30 At the beginning of the Gaislochsteig put on your via ferrata set and follow the via ferrata (protected by a cable).
02:00 The via ferrata leads into the Gaisloch (a cave / ledge) and then continues very exposed towards an iron ladder.
Please note: This part of the trail is very often wet and thus slippery! Take extra caution!
02:30 At the end of the Gaisloch Steig, turn left into the Gustav-Jahn-Steig. This via ferrata is a sometimes very exposed traverse to the AV-Steig.
03:20 The Gaisloch Steig directly leads into the AV-Steig. Turn right and climb up the long iron ladder towards the trail book (at the end of the ladder). Follow the via ferrata.
04:00 The AV-Steig ends at the Höllentalaussicht. Enjoy this very impressive surrounding view during a small break (best enjoyed with a self-brought ).
04:50 Follow the hiking trail through the plateau towards Otto-Haus.
05:10* If the time allows, follow the trail towards the Ottohaus for lunch ().
05:10 Follow the Törlweg descending via the Törl (tunnel).
05:15 Turn left and start climbing up to the Törlkopf via the Kronich Eisenweg via ferrata.
Please note: Various climbing routes lead up to the Törlkopf. Make sure you take the correct route (via ferrata, last trail coming from Otto-Haus).
06:15 Enjoy the view and celebrate at the Törlkopf ().
06:30 Descend by continuing the route towards the plateau (cross the ditch) and follow the small trail (leads into a mountain street) towards the Rax Cable Car mountain station.
06:50 Buy a ticket and descend using the cable car.

*: Because of timing, we decided to skip Ottohaus and went directly to the Kronich Eisenweg.

General Tour Data

Area: Rax/Schneeberg Group, Lower Austria, Austria
Distance: 9km
Ascent: 1179m (3h 45min)
Descent: 195m (0h 30min)
Highest Pt: 1634m
Lowest Pt: 563m
Duration: 6h 15min (without breaks)
6h 50min (with breaks)
Stop/Rest: Ottohaus (1644m)
Berggasthof Rax (1545m)
Equipment: Via ferrata set incl. helmet
Hiking shoes with good grip (on rock)
Backpack with standard hiking equipment
Snacks and plenty of water
2x “Gipfelbier” ()
Sun & Weather protection
Topo/Map: Gaislochsteig (B)
Gustav-Jahn-Steig (B)
Alpenvereinssteig (AV-Steig) (B)
Kronich-Eisenweg (C/D)

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Tour Diary

Tour Date: 2018-10-12 10:00
  Weather: Sunny, excellent
  Participants: Stefan, Hannes, Herbert
  Activity: Suunto

At a glance

Level moderate-difficult
–  Via Ferrata Category  C 
Shape / Fitness
Best time in the year  

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