Ruderhofspitze (3474 m) is the fourth highest mountain in the Stubai Alps. The mountain is surrounded by glaciers and lower peaks, which make amazing the panoramic views from the peak. You can enjoy the incredible view of the Wilder Freiger, Wilder Pfaff and Zukerhült from the summit and the Schrankogel and Östliche Seepitze during the ascent. The route to Ruderhofspitze is very demanding and diverse, it starts in meadows and forest, after Franz Senn Hütte there is a long valley, then the route crosses the glacier Alpeiner Ferner and to finish there is an scramble on the ridge.
PD 45º I
We start the route in Oberissalm, where there is a paid parking area. To get there we take the road 183 and on Neustift im Stubaital we detour to Seduck / Bärenbad.
More than 3000m
We did the route in two days, spending the night in Franz Senn Hütte, a nice and big hut.The first part of the route, from Oberissalm to Franz Senn Hut is the same that going to Rinnenspitze. In the web of the hut they post photos weekly and they inform of the condition of the glaciers in the area.
The glacier has two parts that are more dangerous. At the begging, the glacier has a strong change in steepness which means a lot of crevasses, when there is no snow the crevasses are visible and they are not so dangerous but the steepness and the ice make the descend more difficult. It is important to go as much to the right as possible because it is less crevassed. Then, close to the end there is other steep part where we need to zigzag to avoid the main areas with crevasse (see in the map).
To ascend we decided to ascend the moraine on the right of the glacier to avoid the first steep and crevassed part. This took us a lot of time because the terrain is made by a lot of loose rocks. However, once we saw the glacier from the upper part, we saw other group crossing it without any problem and when we returned we went through it instead of by the moraine.
The times in this route are higher than usual, because at the descent a minor ankle injury forced us to slow down. If we exclude the time in the moraine and the ankle sprain we could have done it in around 10 or 11 hours as most of the guides indicate.
0:00 Start. We take the forest road that leaves Oberissalm towards the bottom of the valley (direction W) and crosses a meadow.
00:05 Forest. The ascent starts on the right of the waterfall through a forest and then a shrubland, where the path zigzags.
00:45 Alpein Alm. We passed by a hut located on a small plateau. The path continues direction west, crosses a river and ascends to Franz Senn Hütte.
01:10 Franz-Senn-Hütte. This big hut is located on another small plateau, we sleep there and make the hard part of the route on the next day. From the hut, we take the flat path that goes parallel to the stream Alpiner Bach to the end of the valley (direction W).
02:10 Hill. The path gets steep and zigzags to arrive to the plateau where the glacier starts.
02:50 Moraine. We arrive to the moraine of the glacier, that is in front of us. We go up the arête on the right, direction north, to avoid the lower part of the area that looks heavily crevassed.
03:05 Diagonal. From the top of the arête, we make a diagonal parallel to the glacier. At the beginning the path is very good, but then it disappears and it is a bit difficult to find your way through the rocks. When we are below the Nördliche Wildgratscharte, we go to the left to approach the glacier.
04:05 Alpeiner Ferner. We take a little break and put on all the glacier equipment. Then we get in the glacier. The first part has bare ice, is steep and there are some crevasses on the left.
05:05 Glacial circus. We arrive to the circus of the glacier, very flat and without crevasses, and go direction south.
05:25 Steep area. We turn a bit direction SE and there is another steep area with crevasses. Then it gets flat and we continue southeast until we reach the ridge of the Ruderhofspitze.
06:25 SW Ridge of the Ruderhofspitze. We take out the glacial equipment and scramble the ridge to the summit. The ridge is not difficult, but a bit exposed in some parts.
07:00 Ruderhofspitze. We reach the summit and enjoy the nice views. The descent route was at the beginning the same than the ascent. At 07:50 we leave the ridge and walk on the glacier. At the middle of it, we slow down because of an ankle sprain.
08:50 Detour. We arrive to the point where we entered to the glacier on the ascent, but this time we go through the glacier to the bottom to descent faster. The crevasses were at this time of the year easy to see.
09:15 End of the glacier. We leave the glacier almost at the moraine and go on direction north parallel to the stream.
10:00 Confluence. Here our path confluences with the path of ascent and it is the same till Oberisssalm. At 11:10 we reach Franz Senn Hütte and at 12:10 Oberissalm.