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Hochkoenig (2941m)


Hochkönig via Teufelslöcher (Salzburg)

Approach: Highway A10 Knoten Bischofshofen, Highway B311 Exit Bischofshofen. On small roads to Mühlbach and Dienten. Before Dienten turn right to Hinterthal. Drive into the center of Hinterthal. Parking lot at the end of the road.
Altitude Difference:
900m (1 to 2 day tour)
Difficulty: medium, via ferrata to the Teufelslöchern partly very exposed and not always secured by steel ropes!


   Equipment:  Profile:




 - Via ferrata climbing set
Glacier equipment not necessary!
Snow goggles

Large drinking water reserves
 - Helmet - large danger of falling stones at Tefelslöcher


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Because of the small glacier at Mt. Hochkönig ("High King"), this limestone mountain can be also designated as the "white roof" of the Steinernes Meer Mountain Range ("Stony Sea"). The glacier (called "Übergossene Alm", which means "Doused Alp") is very flat and has no dangerous crevasses, so you can let you glacier equipment at home. Like at every limestone plateau, you will find a quiet flat summit plateau and very steep side walls. Because of this characteristic, most of the trails up to Hochkönig are quiet difficult. The easiest ascent leads you without any difficulties from Arthurhaus (parking lot) (1500m) trough the Ochsenkar up to the plateau.

But we wanted to ascent the plateau from the other side, near the famous skiing resort village of Dienten. On the way up we wanted to climb also the summit of Hochseiler (2793m). The planned route was Hinterthal (1016m) - Torscharte (2246m) - Hochseiler (2793m) - down to Übergossene Alm-Glacier (~2700m) - Hochkönig (2941m) and on the next day back via Übergossene Alm and Teufelslöcher (devil holes) (ca. 2750m) directly down to Hinterthal. Because of the snow situation and an even "survived" influenza, we didn't make the Mooshammersteig-Trail up to Hochseiler and went directly from Torscharte (saddle) to Übergossene Alm (Herzogsteig-Trail).

The route Hinterthal - Torscharte - Hochkönig has no large technical difficulties. The section Torscharte - Übergossene Alm (Herzogsteig) is sometimes a little bit exposed and there are some easy climbing parts. On the difficult parts, the trail is secured by steel ropes.

The descent down from Teufelslöcher (natural bridges) to Schneekar (snow cirque) and Hinterthal Schneekar has some difficulties for not very experienced hikers. The path is often very exposed and there are not often secured (steel ropes and iron bolts). The trail leads you often trough loose gravel slopes and there is often a high danger of rock falls! Because of this I strongly recommend to wear a helmet. The trail has no really difficult climbing parts but the difficulties are in the exposed sections and at the steep gravel traverses.

If you don't want to sleep in the uncomfortable Matrashaus (hut of the Austrian Tourist Club at the top of the mountain), can make this tour also as day trip. You would have to do it without the summit of Hochkönig, but the section Teufelslöcher-Hochkönig is anyway the most uninteresting part of the route. For the day trip you have to start very early at Hinterthal and I would recommend to take first the trail up to Teufelslöcher. From Teufelslöcher you climb Mt. Hochseiler. Via Mooshammersteig (Trail) and Torscharte you hike back to Hinterthal. As soon I made this round, I can tell you more about the difficulties of Hochseiler. As far as I know is the ascent to Hochseiler a climb in the second grade (UIAA).


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The start of the tour is the small village of Hinterthal, between maria Alm and Dienten.

The Enzen-Alp at the way to Torscharte (saddle).

View to Hinterthal with the snow covered Hohe Tauern (mountain range) in the backgound.


At Niedere Torscharte.




(c) stefan eisenbach | | stefan [at]