Climbing: Kleiner & Großer Otter via Westgrat (II-) and descending via Sonnwendstein

Climb up the Kleiner Otter via its western ridge (UIAA II-) and then combine it with an scenic hike towards Großer Otter. The descend is done passing by the Kummerbauer restaurant and then ascending up to Sonnwendstein, allowing another promising view.

Climb up the Kleiner Otter via its western ridge (II-) and then hike towards Großer Otter and back to Sonnwendstein with their scenic views

The tour starts at the parking Göstritz / Maria Schutz and first passes by the Göstritz viewing platform. It then ascends up to the Schanzkapelle (little church) before turning into a slightly exposed but promising trail. The tour then finally leads into the western ridge (Westgrat) of Kleiner Otter, an easy but exposed climbing passage, mostly in UIAA I but with an exposed UIAA II- crux towards its end. After reaching the Kleiner Otter, the tour continues eastwards via the Mitterotter towards the Großer Otter which offers an impressive panorama view towards the Rax / Schneeberg group and the Bucklige Welt. After enjoying this amazing view, the tour descends southwestwards towards Kummerbauerstadl which is a perfect place for a well-deserved break. After proper refreshment, the tour continues via the Weinweg westwards and ascends to the Erzkogel and further to Sonnwendstein, allowing again an impressive panorama view towards Rax / Schneeberg. The tour finally descends via the Gebirgsjägersteig back to Maria Schutz and the parking.

Tour Description

00:00 Start at the parking Göstritz east of Maria Schutz (GPS: 47.637923, 15.881252) and first follow the street southwards for a few meters towards the Viewing platform above the tunnel construction yard.
00:02 Turn left into the small trail towards the Viewing platform. You might consider hiking up the platform to have a first scenic view.
00:10 Continue following the marked trail that led to the Viewing platform through the forest.
00:14 At the crossing, keep straight and follow the forest road for a few meters. At the next crossing, keep slightly right (follow marked trail!)
00:15 At the crossing, keep straight ahead and follow the trail towards Schanzkapelle (see signpost). Now follow the red-white-red marked trail upwards.
00:20 Do a U-turn and continue following the red-white-red marked trail towards Schanzkapelle.
00:35 At the Schanzkapelle (little church), turn right and follow the small white-blue-white marked trail. The trail becomes slightly exposed but offers promising views towards the area!
00:45 Keep left and continue following the white-blue-white marked trail.
01:15 At the corner, turn sharply left and follow the small, barely visible trail towards the rocks. This is the beginning of the Westgrat climbing route. The climbing route is very well marked with red dots, just follow the red dots and enjoy the climbing!
02:00 Well deserved break at the summit of Kleiner Otter. Best enjoyed with self-brought refreshments ().
02:15 Continue following the marked trail eastwards first towards Mitterotter.
02:30 Turn right at Mitterotter (with its very small iron cross) and follow the trail descending towards a mountain pasture.
02:40 At the mountain pasture, keep straight ahead and follow the trail on the right hand-side of the forest eastwards.
02:45 Turn left into the small trail and follow this trail up which leads towards Großer Otter.
02:58 Cross the mountain street and continue following the small trail straight ahead towards the summit of Großer Otter.
03:00 Enjoy the awesome scenic view from Großer Otter towards Schneeberg (north), Rax (northeast), and the Bucklige Welt (south). Obviously the view is best enjoyed with a self-brought refreshment ().
03:10 Descend from the summit cross southwards and then keep right and follow the forest road downwards. It will automatically bring you back to the mountain pasture from before.
03:20 This time, keep left and follow the forest road bypassing the hut on its right hand-side.
03:25 At the first crossing, stay straight ahead and continue following the forest road downwards.
03:35 At the crossing, keep slightly right and take the lower forest road downwards.
03:45 At the crossing, turn right into the street and follow the street upwards which directly leads towards the Kummerbauerstadl.
03:50 Well deserved break ( ) at Kummerbauerstadl (the Schnitzel is highly recommended!)
04:50 Continue following the white-yellow-white trail southeastwards towards Sonnwendstein (see signposts on the tree).
04:51 Turn right into the small white-yellow-white marked trail towards Feistritzsattel (see signpost).
05:00 Cross the forest street and stay straight ahead on the marked trail.
05:10 Follow the trail on the right hand-side up to Sonnwendstein & Feistritzsattel.
05:15 At the crossing, turn right and follow the forest road towards Sonnwendstein (see signpost).
05:20 Keep left and continue on the marked forest road.
05:25 Bypass the Joe Doppelreiter hut (mountain rescue hut) and keep straight ahead on the steep trail upwards towards Blickplatz Sonnwendstein (see signpost).
05:35 At the crossing, keep slightly left and follow the trail through the clearing steeply up towards the Erzkogel summit cross.
05:40 Enjoy the view from the Erzkogel summit and continue following the trail north downwards to Sonnwendstein.
05:55 Before the Pollereshütte, turn left and follow the trail up towards the summit of Sonnwendstein.
06:00 Enjoy the impressive scenic view from Sonnwendstein. Obviously best enjoyed with a self-brought or at the Pollereshütte consumed refreshment ().
06:10 Descent back towards Pollereshütte but turn left into the Gebirgsjägersteig towards Maria Schutz (see signpost) just before the hut. Follow the marked Gebirgsjägersteig down into the valley (towards Maria Schutz).
07:05 Cross the street and continue following the trail back to Maria Schutz.
07:15 In Maria Schutz, turn right and follow the main street back towards Göstritz.
07:35 After the U-turn, turn right and head back towards the parking. End of the tour.
Please note that the Westgrat is a climbing route and thus requires climbing skills (UIAA Level II-). Climbing passages can – however – being exited or bypassed many times (via steep forest terrain!)


General Tour Data

Area: Wiener Alpen, Lower Austria, Austria
Distance: 18km
Ascent: 1295m (3h 05min)
Descent: 1281m (2h 40min)
Highest Pt: 1523m
Lowest Pt: 715m
Duration: 6h 00min (without breaks)
7h 35min (with breaks)
Stop/Rest: Kummerbauerstadl (1080m)
Pollereshütte (1481m)
Equipment: Helmet
Solid hiking shoes with good grip (on rock)
Backpack with standard hiking equipment
Snacks and plenty of water
2-3x Gipfelbier (
Sun & Weather protection


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At a glance

Level  difficult 
–  UIAA Level (Climbing)  II- 
Shape / Fitness
Best time in the year  

Tour Diary

2021-11-20 09:00

Weather: Sunny, perfect
Participants: Stefan, Robert
Activity: Strava (Part 1 till Schanzkapelle)
Strava (Part 2 from Schanzkapelle)

2021-11-13 09:30

Weather: Sunny, perfect
Participants: Stefan
Activity: Strava (Part 1 till Kummerbauer)
Strava (Part 2 from Kummerbauer)

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