Alpine Tour: “Rax Heukuppe Challenge”

Climb twice the Heukuppe (highest peak of Rax) via different climbing routes and via ferratas. This long and demanding tour allows promising views and combines different routes at the western side (Styria) of Rax.

Climb up twice Rax (Heukuppe) via different climbing routes and via ferratas

The tour starts at the parking Preiner Gscheid (GPS: 47.675986, 15.723112) and first follows the white-yellow-white marked Reißtalersteig trail upwards, passing the Reißtalerhütte (private hut), and continues on the trail till the crossing towards Fuchslochsteig. Follow then the white-red-white marked Fuchslochsteig, which becomes a climbing route (II-) and ends at the Heukuppe (highest peak of Rax). The tour then descends via the white-green-white marked Gretchensteig (Via Ferrata Cat. A/B), follows then the Murmeltiersteig west-wards back to the Reißtalersteig, and ascends again towards the Heukuppe via the white-yellow-white marked Reißtalersteig (Via Ferrata Cat. B).
After a short break at the Heukuppe, the tour descends towards Karl-Ludwig Haus (recommended hut for lunch break) and then continues towards Predigtstuhl (cliff). Instead of traversing via the peak, the tour traverses via the Bismarcksteig (Via Ferrata Cat. B) and then descends via the Waxriegelsteig back to the Preiner Gscheid.

Tour Description

00:00 Start at the parking lot Preiner Gscheid (GPS: 47.675986, 15.723112) and follow the white-yellow-white marked trail (Reißtalersteig) westwards above the parking.
00:25 At the crossing, turn left and follow the Reißtalersteig towards Reißtalerhütte.
00:35 At the crossing, turn right and follow the white-yellow-white marked trail upwards towards Reißtalerhütte (NOT GH. Moasser).
00:40 At the crossing, stay on the white-yellow-white marked Reißtalersteig towards Reißtalerhütte (see signpost).
00:45 Short break (5 min) at the Reißtalerhütte (not serviced), enjoy the beautiful view and some refreshment.
00:50 Directly after the Reißtalerhütte, follow the small trail upwards (Reißtalersteig).
01:00 At the crossing, turn into the white-red-white marked Fuchslochsteig first turn slightly right and then stay straight).
01:40 At the crossing, turn right (around the rock wall) into the Fuchslochsteig (follow the red markings!).
01:50 Climb up the crux of the Fuchslochsteig (UIAA II-).
02:05 After managing the crux, follow the red markings through remaining trail (I-/I).
02:15 At the exit of the steep part, you might take the direct route (through the meadows) towards Heukuppe upwards to the peak.
02:30 Enjoy the view and first victory over Heukuppe (highest peak of Rax plateau), best done with a self-brought “Gipfelbier” .
02:45 Descent eastwards (direction Karl-Ludwig-Haus, following the route closest to the ridge.
02:50 At the crossing Fuchslochsteig/Reißtalersteig, stay straight and continue the route closest to the ridge.
03:00 Turn right into the Gretchensteig (marked white-green-white) and follow the via ferrata (Cat. A) downwards.
03:25 At the crossing, turn right into the Murmeltiersteig (blue marked trail).
03:35 At the crossing, turn right into the white-yellow-white marked Reißtalersteig trail.
03:50 Short break at the start of the Reißtalersteig via ferrata (Cat. A/B). (A good place to put on your via ferrata set here)
04:00 Climb up the first rock at the Reißtalersteig, defining the entrance of the via ferrata.
04:20 The crossing towards Heukuppe marks the end of the (rather short) via ferrata. Turn left here to hike up to the Heukuppe for the second time.
04:30 At the crossing Reißtalersteig/Fuchslochsteig, follow the trail upwards to the Heukuppe (same route as the descent before).
04:50 Well deserved break at the Heukuppe, a perfect place to enjoy your self-brought “Gipfelbier” ().
05:15 Go back the trail downwards towards Karl-Ludwig-Haus. This time stay on the trail leftwards directly to the hut.
05:30 Well deserved lunch break at the Karl-Ludwig-Haus ( ).
06:30 After a break, follow the red-white-red marked trail northwards towards Toerl and Predigtstuhl (visible cliff).
06:35 At the Toerl crossing, take the slight right trail upwards to the peak Predigtstuhl.
06:40 Turn right downards to the entrance of Bismarcksteig (Cat. B). For this ferrata (mainly a partly steep traverse), a ferrata set (harness) is strongly recommended.
07:25 Keep straigt and stay the first few meters on the prolonged Bismarcksteig.
07:30 At the crossing towards Waxriegelsteig, you can put off the ferrata set and then turn right and follow the white-red-white marked Waxriegelsteig downwards.
08:15 Pass by the Entenhügel, a climbing park with an iron ladder and a flag on the top.
08:20 Break at the Waxriegelhaus. Enjoy the beautiful view, best with a .
08:50 Take the shortcut southwards through the forest back to the parking.
09:00 First follow the forest road and then the ski slope downwards to the parking.
09:15 Back at the parking, end of the tour.


Please note that a full “Klettersteigset” (via ferrata set) is recommended for this tour (Bismarcksteig)!


General Tour Data

Area: Rax/Schneeberg Group, Lower Austria, Austria
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1408m (3h 50min)
Descent: 1392m (3h 00min)
Highest Pt: 2006m
Lowest Pt: 1074m
Duration: 7h 45min (without breaks)
9h 15min (with breaks)
Stop/Rest: Karl-Ludwig Haus (1804m)
Waxriegelhaus (1361m)
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: Gretchensteig (A)
Reißtalersteig (A/B)
Bismarcksteig (B)

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At a glance

Level easy – alpine
–  UIAA Level (Climbing)  II- 
–  Via Ferrata Category  B 
Shape / Fitness
Best time in the year  

Tour Diary

2020-07-15 08:15

Weather: sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon, thunderstorms at the evening
Participants: Stefan
Activity: Suunto
Comment: Due to unstable weather conditions, I did the tour in a different order namely first the Gretchensteig and then the Fuchslochsteig (slightly longer).

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