Austria lies in heart of the Alps and as such is a very mountainous country with around 600 peaks over 3,000m high. The highest of these Austrian peaks is Grosslocker (Großglockner in German) at 3,797m high. These peaks offer numerous opportunities for alpine mountaineering, long multi-pitch rock climbing routes, sport climbing and bouldering.
The main rock climbing areas in Austria are around Salzburg and Innsbruck in the centre and west of the country. In these areas there are many rock climbing areas ranging from single pitch sport routes to long alpine multi-pitch rock routes, and bouldering areas. The long alpine rock routes generally have some fixed protection such as bolts or pegs, though some additional trad equipment such as cams and nuts will also be required.
Innsbruck is located in the Austrian state of Tyrol (Tirol in German) in the heart of the eastern Alps. This area is home to many 1000’s of single pitch sport routes and is regarded as Austria’s premier sport climbing area. There are routes to suite all styles across a wide range of grades on both granite and limestone rock. Classic limestone crags would include Dschungelbuch and Starkenbach near Innsbruck. Classic granite crags would include Ewige Jagdgründe in Zillertal, plus Niederthai and Nosslach in Otztal.
To the north of Innsbruck and west towards Switzerland there are many areas that offer great alpine style multi-pitch routes at places such as Ratikon, Silvretta, Rofan, and Wilder Kaiser.
To the south and east of Salzburg there are many areas that offer great alpine style multi-pitch routes, such as Chiemgauer Alpen, Berchtesgadener Alpen, and Hohe Tauern that includes the Grosslocker Mountain. Maltatal (Malta Valley) is a granite valley in the south of Austria near Villach. Here there is a mixture of sport climbing, Alpine climbing and bouldering in a beautiful and picturesque setting.
In the eastern Tyrol near the city of Lienz are a couple of extensive limestone sport climbing areas. These are Falkenstein and Dolomitenhutte where there are over 200 routes.
There are many bouldering areas in Austria, ranging from high Alpine meadows surrounded by mountainous peaks to areas at lower altitudes near the major cities such as Vienna. In the high Alpine meadows the bouldering tends to be on good quality granite rock, with Zillergrund, Sundergrund and Ginzling being the most extensive and popular areas. These are located in Zillertal, just to the southeast of Innsbruck. Other popular areas are Silvapark near Galtur, which is close to the border with Switzerland, and Schleierwasserfall in Maltatal (Malta Valley).
There are many selective guidebooks available describing the vast range of climbing available. The “Best of Genuss” series of guidebooks cover alpine multi-pitch rock climbing routes that are aim at the mid-grade climber. The German word genuss means enjoyment, and hence this range of guidebooks detail routes that are either well protected with bolts and pegs or able to be easily protected using traditional gear such as cams and nuts (often a combination of both). The Best of Genuss Band 1 covers an area to the south of Salzburg and east of Kitzbuhel. The Best of Genuss Band 2 covers an area to the west of Salzburg and north of Innsbruck, including some of Austria’s best known climbing areas of Ratikon, Silvretta, Karwendal and Kaisergebirge. The Maltatal guidebook covers single pitch and multi-pitch sport climbing, Alpine routes and bouldering in the Maltatal area (Malta Valley). Buy these guidebooks from our shop.
The Alpen en Bloc 2 bouldering guidebook covers 9 bouldering areas in Austria including Zillergrund, Sundergrund and Ginzling that are located to the east of Innsbruck. Buy this guidebook from our shop.
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