The Hohe Geige (3395m) is a beautiful peak situated in the mountain ridge that separates the valleys Pitztal and Ötztal. It is the highest of the area so the views from the top are incredible. It is possible to see the Wildspitze massif and all the ridge that separates Pitztal and Kaunertal, full of spectacular peaks such as Watzespitze or Rostizkogel. There are two routes to ascend, one is through the west ridge (Westgrat) of the mountain, this route is more technical with many areas secured with metallic fix ropes. The other is technically easier but steeper. Because of the high elevation gain, this route is usually planned in two days spending the night in Rüsselsheimer Hütte, a small hut with nice dinner.
The parking is between Weisswald and Plangeross, on the side of the main road (L16) that crosses the valley. From the parking it is possible to see Rüsselsheimer Hütte.
More than 3000m
The route is very beautiful because of its views and physically demanding, but the terrain itself is not very nice. From the parking, we ascend close to a steam in a very steep and grassy area. After Rüsselsheimer Hütte everything is rocky, first a scree with loose stones and then rocky ground. We ascend through the normal route and descend through the Westgrat route, but we would recommend to do it the other way around. The Westgrat is a complex ridge full of stones equipped with fix ropes and some areas a bit exposed, that is why it is better to do it in the ascend when you are not tired.
00:00h Start. From the parking we can see Rüsselsheimer Hütte 700m higher than us, we just need to go to it following the path in front of us (direction East). The path ascends zigzagging close to a steam and gaining a lot of altitude very fast.
01:20h Rüsselsheimer Hütte. We reach the hut where we spend the night. We went up to the hut very fast because it was about to rain. The views from here are incredible specially during the sunset. In the morning we leave the hut keeping direction East.
1:45h Detour. After 25 min we reach the point where the two routes separate (there is a signal). Straight ahead the normal route, left Westgrat. We go to the normal route.
2:40h Rocky area. After almost one hour we leave the scree and change to a rocky area.
3:25h Top of the ridge. We reach the top of the ridge and we join the route that comes from the Westgrat.
4:15h Summit of the Hohe Geige. Before the summit there is an area with permanent snow (too small to be called Glacier) that we can cross over or under it. After enjoying the marvelous views, we start descending through the same path.
5:10h Detour. We reach the detour between the Westgrat and the normal route. We choose the Westgrat, which goes through the ridge and starts with a very exposed area equipped with a fixed rope. Then the path becomes easier and goes through an area full of big rocks.
06:35h Hiking trail. When the ridge is finished the route become a path among meadows.
7:10h Normal route. We join the normal route that we used on the ascent. On 7:25h we reach the Rüsselsheimer Hütte and on 9:00h the parking.