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Sweet spring Zuckerhütl skitouring

Between Austria and Italy, between the Stubai Alps and Ötztal Alps, there is a rocky pyramid rising up from the glacier. The typical shape of sugar loaf which can be seen from Stubai valley gave the mountain its name. This valley is also the most frequently used starting point, especially in winter, because the ascent can be simplified by the ski center facility.

04/ 2022, Lucka

Zuckerhütl (3507 m) is the highest peak of the Stubai Alps and due to its beauty and relative reachability also one of the most visited peaks all around. There is another option to hike from Sölden via Hildesheimer Hütte (about the summer ascent here (in czech)).

Due to the heavy snowfall on Saturday, we decided to move our weekend one day further and enjoy the powder Sunday in the Stubai ski resort. Sunny cloudless Monday is a Zuckerhütl skitour summit day. We are not afraid to feel lonely on this mountain.

It is of course possible to start hiking with skins on from the Stubai parking. My friends prefer the easier version and have more votes than me. So we go through all the ski transport means possible including standing in line before even departing from the lower station. A gondola is followed by a chairlift, short downhill and a T-bar lift. Finally a short freeride to the lowest point comes. Sun got very high in the meantime and we put some layers off and sunscreen on.

Now we need to climb to the Pfaffenjoch pass (3207 m) which is about 450 metres of altitude easily gained. Wind blows the snow over the line of rocks which marks the pass. There is still a narrow line of snow to walk through with skis on. After a short snack and dressing up again we continue in a slight climb bellow the Zuckerhütl Northface. There are two guys with skis on their bags at the foot of a 55-degree icy slope which reflects the sun like a mirror. .

Another famous mountain appears in front of us - Wilder Pfaf. After a short hesitating at the place where ski tracks split, we continue as planned. Not even necessary to reach Pfaffensattel pass ve climb under the summit rocky hat. We put our skis to the line of others and change to crampons and ice axe. There are other climbers in a steep snowy slope in the rocks, moving with various skills and speed.

While climbing up we meet those two climbers who made it through the northaface anf now they just go down the easier way. After the very steep beginning it becomes easier and soon we get to the summit cross at 3507 m. This significant masterpiece with a steel sphere in the middle was made by a tyrolean artist ni 2003 as an replacement of the previous damaged cross. In a short calm moment we can enjoy the views of snowcapped peaks of two countries. Far from the ski resort wa can see the majestic Wildspitze and other peaks of beautiful Ötztal Alps. The rocky peak of Habicht stands out on the other side.

We descend the same way, but a bit slower and more carefully. The late start has one advantage. We are already the only ones on the mountain. Our skis remained lonely and our chance to catch a lift on the way back melted under the afternoon sun. We ski down to the pass and to the valley in a wet heavy snow. Then we need to climb to the Fernaujoch pass, back to the skiresort.

With a recommendation of which slopes to avoid, we ski down the freeride skiroute. As we get lower, we hit some hidden stones. Below the Dresdner Hütte it is a struggle with lack of snow on the road, so we are glad to get back to the parking.


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