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Climbing in Osttirol

Osttirol, “ein Augenweide” not only for the soul

It sounded real easy:

Cross the bridge, pass by the cows and ascend in 10 mins to the visible crag.”

And we did just that, just to find ourselves in the midst of a field of  thorny, raspberry bushes. Not a bad thing when they were all full of fruits, ripe and shouting out “eat me”!  But not good when the chest high bushes cuts you off from the shining bolts and the only way is to go through them – in shorts.

Until today, I thought there was nothing worse than finding a crag under a whole field of nettle bushes. But. Raspberry bushes are far off worse. Ouch!


  1. Your modeling career ends with plenty of tiny scratches on your legs
  2. Your climbing day is ruined because you’re allergied to those scratches and zillions of funny insects flying on to you
  3. Your climbing day is also ruined after clearing the way from those chest high bushes
  4. You sprain your ankle on loose rocks on the path and damn, where was the path?!
  5.  You find blisters on your fingers after cleaning off the path

After this ordeal there were hundreds of little invisible thorns pricked in your legs. It felt a little like an acupuncture session at the wrong time, wrong place.

See those greenies on the right? They are chest high, prickly and full of thorns with ripe raspberries!

Putting the complains aside, the beauty of the routes at “Weißer Narr”  covered the pain and itch. Any other person would’ve turned back and driven to another place. Its a small area. Not much traffic here, not many routes. But whats there is a jewel.


I’ve not climbed a more beautiful Gneis route than the newly bolted “Sensenmann” in my life. The wall is cool, shady, breezy and perfectly bolted. The summer spot with views to your favourite 4 legged milk producer and Bretterwaldspitze on the other side. “Hosnfetza” a 6c+ with a notorius crux in the middle  and “How can we climb… when your arms are burning” just a 7b  or the new “Tauerntal Connection” and a few more awaits being picked up upon our return.

How can we climb ...
Gneis in it’s finest!

Not only is Osttirol famed for it’s areas around the “Dolomiten Hütte” or for it’s fantastic walls in the “Großer und Kleiner Falkenstein“. Herbert Ranggetiner, a down-to earth austrian extreme climber, is very much at home here and has bolted together with a few others  many routes in the area.

Many. Lovely. Routes. Enough to last you a long, long time.

It’s a little quieter than the usual trendy areas. Yet it is definately worth a visit especially in the cooler days of the year, when sizzling in the sun is comfortable.

What else is nearby? See for yourself:

Part of the Großvenediger glacier, and whats left.
Work in progress, and alpine
Is this possibly Eden? Probably not, but it felt like it
Dolomiten Hütte in Lienz
Dolomiten Hütte in Lienz
The Alpenraute Hütte.
The Alpenraute Hütte. I would move in here immediately!
Looking down to Matrei
Looking down to Matrei
Gailtaler Alpen
Views from the Dolomiten Hütte. To the right, the high towers of the Roter Turm.


Best time of year: 

Autumn, dry, sunny Winter – and recently discovered in summer too! 

Falkenstein is great on cooler days / winter,
Dolomitenhütte, Weisser Narr, etc for Summer. 


There’s a few camp grounds in the area:

Matrei: Camping Edengarten
Virgental: Campingplatz Habererhof, Gästehaus und Camping BERGKRISTALL
Lienz: Amlacherhof.at , Camping Seewiese -Tristachersee

There’s also plenty of Rental apartments in the area. If you’re looking for an exclusive accommodation in a luxury ambient, the well visited Dolomiten Hütte might be something for you.

Chill, if you can’t find the crag


  • “Tirol” from Vertical Life (I. Edition 2014) ISBN 978-88-98495-07-8
  • “Austria Vertical” from Tmms Verlag ( 4th Edition 06/07) ISBN-10: 3930650193 ISBN-13: 978-3930650194

Bring along:

70 m Rope, 14 Quickdraws for Sportsclimbing. To climb 2 pitches in a route, 80m would be the better bet. But these climbs are officially 2 pitches where you can abseil at the anchor halfway down.

Rock and Style:

Gneis, Limestone (Falkenstein), Granite.


Interspar /M-Preis in Matrei, and some smaller markets in town


Rest Days:

  • Take a walk through the end of Virgental. Not only does this stand below the famous Großglockner massive, but it has landscapes you’ll think it’s Eden on earth.
  • Open air swimming pool in Matrei
  • Summit Großvenediger 3657 m  from Hinterbichl (!!)
  • Interesting Events: the “Glaubauf” is a time to take heed and not get beaten up. 😉

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