I planned a weekend tour from Vent last year with the plan to ski from Vent to the Martin Busch Hütte, then over the Fineilspitze to the Schöne Aussicht and then over to the Hintereisferner and back down to Vent. The tour was initially supposed to have five people, but due to major trips being re-arranged due to being postponed, injuries and covid, it ended up just being me and Yasmin on the trip.

The first day was a simple ski up the valley from Vent into the hut, we left Munich in plenty of time so we were in no great rush on the ski in, as we had plenty of time and our only plan for the afternoon was Apfelstrudel at the hut, and then crevasse rescue practice. The ski in was very straightforward and we only had to briefly take our skis off a few times.

I have stayed at the Martin Busch Hütte a few times before, once as a child and once last year with Becky, and I remember the walk in going on with many “last corners”, and it certainly wasn’t different in Winter. The first half of the walk in had a bashed trail so was easy, the last half did not which resulted in a tired right leg due to the constant traversing!

Walking into the Martin Busch Hütte
Walking into the Martin Busch Hütte

After dinner in the hut we bumped into two other people from the International Mountaineering Group, a section of the München DAV, and it turned our we had the same objective for the next day. So after an enjoyable evening chatting we made plans to meet in the morning and do the peak together.

After a very poor nights sleep, we woke up to a beautiful morning with a stunning sunrise. After a typical hut breakfast we set off in good spirits, looking forward to being out of the cold and in the sun. Our route started in the same direction as the route for Similaun and we caught up another team who we then enjoyed chatting to until we got to the point we branched off to the right. Conditions were great for the ascent up to the Ötzi Fundstelle and we made good progress

Heading up from the hut in the morning
Ascending with Mutmalspitze, Hintere Schwärze and Similaun in the background

As we began to climb out of the valley, the views just got better and better and we soon warmed up. As the ascent became steeper the conversation died down, and we just focused on climbing and attempted to admire the view despite our lack of acclimatisation.

As we approached the Ötzi Fundstelle we were greeted to a wonderful view over into Italy with a fantastic cloud inversion, which was a wonderful surprise and is always a fantastic treat. Unfortunately the ascent up to Hauslabjoch was suffering from the lack of snowfall and we had to carry our skis, our friends did not as they were descending back to the Martin Busch Hütte, but as we were descending the other side of the mountain we had no choice. A multi day glacier travel bag is heavy enough, before skis are added!

Ascending with Schlafkogel, Mutmalspize and Hintere Schwärze in the background
Yasmin approaching Ötzi Fundstelle
Wonderful view into Italy from the Ötzi Fundstelle
Hard walking up to Hauslabjoch with the skis on the rucksack

Thankfully the ascent to the Hauslabjoch wasn’t too long and we were soon at the ski depot. Here we were definitely in the wind, and with the cold air temperature it was very very cold! From the ski depot we had a short scramble up to the summit, this was mixed with some snow and some rock. As the snow was so firm we made the climb in crampons, it was never too difficult but definitely had some scrambling and exposure on the ascent.

The view from the summit was brilliant, but unfortunately it was a small summit which was very cold in the wind and there were other teams close behind us, so we didn’t hang around to enjoy it for too long before making the descent back down to the ski depot.

Ascending the ridge to the Fineilspize with the Wildspize and Öztaler Alpen in the background
Ascending the ridge to the Fineilspize with the Hauslabkogel, Saykogel and Kreuzspitze in the foreground and the Stubaier Alpen in the background
Ascending the ridge to the Fineilspize with the Hauslabkogel, Saykogel and Kreuzspitze in the foreground and the Stubaier Alpen in the background
Wonderful ridge up to the Fineilspitze
Wonderful ridge up to the Fineilspitze
Looking towards the Weißkugel over the Italian cloud inversion
On the Fineilspize
Fineilspize summit selfie
Looking at the Hintere Schwärze and Similaun with the Italian cloud inversion

We were soon back at the skis and just had the descent down the Hochjochferner and skin back up to the Schöne Aussicht to do. The snow was definitely less than ideal on the descent, but also could have been much worse.

The start of the descent down the glacier was wonderful despite the snow, but at the point we had to navigate down to ensure we didn’t end up too low in the valley the cloud inversion which had been in Italy rose and engulfed the glacier and us. This resulted in a mixture of following other tracks and GPS which I really didn’t like, as I like to make my own decisions and I felt unable to as we couldn’t see! Despite the cloud we were soon down in the valley and had an unpleasant cold skin up the valley in the cloud and the wind, while running on reserve energy as we hadn’t eaten enough during the day.

Start of the ski descent down the Hochjochferner
Skiing down the Hochjochferner
Wonderful views of the Ötztaler Alpen from the Hochjochferner
A brief clearning in the cloud skinning back up to the Schöne Aussicht

The ascent wasn’t too long and eventually the Schöne Aussicht popped out of the cloud. The evening at the hut was very pleasant, I enjoyed some more Apfelstudel and a beer before making use of the sauna. At one point I was standing outside holding a towel which was freezing while cooling down after being in the sauna!

We discussed our plans for the next day over dinner and after some advise from a mountain guide ended up making the plan to ski down to a lift in the morning to reduce the ascent involved with getting to the Hintereisferner, which meant that we would also be able to squeeze in a summit on our final day.

After a wonderful four course Italian meal we headed to bed early as we were exhausted after our long day, and due to having to wait for the ski lift we didn’t need to get up until 7. Unfortunately despite the long duration of sleep it still didn’t feel great due to the altitude.

Total distance: 20.29 km
Max elevation: 3494 m
Min elevation: 1883 m
Total climbing: 1834 m
Total descent: -836 m
Download file: Finailspitze_reduced.gpx