Berlin High Trail

Berlin High Trail

In the second half of the 19th century, as the scientific interest in making the Alps more accessible grew and the newly founded, primarily academically oriented alpine associations began to build shelters along with the necessary access paths, a wish also was born to interconnect these huts, many of which were located at very high elevations.  Often they exploited already existing pathways that had been used by hunters and smugglers. It was on such an ancient path that the ice man, "Ötzi", met his demise.

In the Zillertal Alps, the Berlin section of the German & Austrian Alpine Association (DOeAV) was especially active and constructed, amongst other things, the Berliner Hütte in 1879. 1889 saw completion of a high-alpine trail over the Schönbichler Horn (elev. 3,133 m) to the then new Furtschaglhaus. Those of us who today make our way across the granite slabs of this trail, many of which had to be worked by hand, are able to readily grasp the tough work the locals had to put into this project. This segment, which spans some 1060 vertical meters, is the nucleus of the Berlin High Trail ("Berliner Höhenweg") which came later.


Finkenberg (785 m) – Gamshütte (1916 m) Hikers make their way to the Gamshütte via the Hermann-Hecht-Weg. Ascent 1000 m; Time-on-Trail ca. 3.5 hours.

Gamshütte – Friesenberghaus (2498 m)
At 14 km, this stage is the longest and most challenging. The trail, which makes its way along at about 2000 m above sea level, has a south-west exposure, which equates to maximum sun exposure during mid summer. It is little traveled. Ascent 1130 m; Descent 561 m; Time-on-Trail ca. 9 hours

Friesenberghaus – Olpererhütte (2389 m)
Shortest stage; Ascent 150 m; Descent 250 m; Time-on-Trail ca. 1.5 hours

Olpererhütte – Furtschaglhaus (2295 m)
This stage of the trail takes us alongside the Schlegeis reservoir on a road that heads to the south-east and the Furtschaglboden. Descent 600 m; Ascent 500 m; Time-on-Trail ca. 4 hours

Furtschaglhaus – Berliner Hütte (2040 m)
At the Schönbichler Horn, we reach the highest point of the Berlin High Trail at 3133 m above sea level.  Close to the summit are fixed cables, which hikers can use to make the final ascent. This stage is occasionally very exposed and challenging. Ascent 900 m; Descent 1060 m; Time-on-Trail ca. 7 hours

Berliner Hütte – Greizer Hütte (2226 m)
Via the Mörchenscharte (fixed cable, short ladder) down to the Floitengrund and then up to the Greizer Hütte. Ascent 1200 m; Descent 1050 m; Time-on-Trail 7 hours

Greizer Hütte – Kasseler Hütte (2177 m)
Via the Lapenscharte, down to the Lapenkar, to Elsenklamm gorge (fixed cable) and then relatively flat to the Kasseler Hütte (the trail over the Schuhscharte, which is still shown on many hiking maps, can no longer be used due to a rock slide - very dangerous!). Ascent 500 m; Descent 550 m; Time-on-Trail 6 hours.

Kasseler Hütte – Edelhütte (2237 m)
Along the Siebenschneidenweg, which traverses 7 different ridges, 14 km to the Edelhütte, includes a short section with a fixed cable and iron stakes at an especially exposed point. Ascent 600 m; Descent 550 m; Time-on-Trail 9 hours

Descent to Mayrhofen
Either with the cable car (Ahornbahn) 300 m below the Edelhütte, or on foot via the Föllenbergalpe and Gasthaus Alpenrose to Mayrhofen, Descent 1600 m

Berlin High Trail - Friensenberghaus
Berlin High Trail - Kasseler Hütte
Kasseler Hütte
Berlin High Trail - Berliner Hütte
Berliner Hütte

Source: Wikipedia