Splitboarding Großglockner, has been on my list for a while now. In the last couple of years I’ve tried it several times with different people, but there was always something holding us back. Most of the times it was time or the weather. So this year I had to give it another try. Rens de Wild, Tim Vanhouteghem, Roy Mosterd and Phil Wilkinson were joining me.
The easiest approach is via the Stüdlhütte, starting at the parking lot of the Lucknerhaus. The winter hut is ideal. It has a wood stove, enough beds and in mid-winter often abandoned. We went up here on the first day. The approach is easy and without any big obstacles. The bigger challenge would be the day ahead of us.
We left early in the morning, around 6. Which meant we would start in the dark, but have a lot of time to go up, film and take pictures. The first part up to the glacier is a traverse on a bit steeper terrain. Especially this early it can be really icy, so splitboard crampons are a good thing to have with you. When we get to the Ködnitzkees it get’s a bit easier at first. The glacier slowly get’s steeper until we reach the Klettersteig on the top right. This path is secured with a steel cable and leads us to the Adlersruhe. At 3451m this gives you a beautiful view.
The final push
It can get quite busy on Austria’s highest peak. Normally in winter you can expect 10-50 people going up, but in summer there are hundreds of people trying to get up to the Großglockner. From the Adlersruhe we follow the ridge to the Glocknerleitl, the point where we had to start bootpacking. A steep couloir leads us to the ridge and from there we continue our way up to the Kleinglockner at 3770m. This is a good point to get the rope out if you don’t feel to confident. Climbing up here, you are pretty exposed. To get to the Großglockner you have to climb down a bit first and then follow the steep face up to the big cross.
Snowboarding down Großglockner
Splitboarding Großglockner, means that we get to ride it down as well! With good snow conditions, it is possible to ride down from Kleinglockner, but for most people it starts at the top of the couloir, a little below the Kleinglockner. The run down is actually really nice. First the steep couloir, although most of the times the snow up there is pretty bad. Then follow the Glocknerleitl and just before you reach the Erzherzog Johann Hütte, you find an entrance to the right which leads to the big snowfields of the Ködnitzkees. Stay on the left side of the glacier and it will lead down 1500m of elevation change, just before the Lucknerhütte. From it’s the same way down as you came up, all the way to the car park, with minimal hiking. Splitboarding Großglockner is really worth it!
So nice to finally get this one of my list…
There was also an article about our trip in the magazine of the Belgian Alpine Federation (KBF) in November 2017.