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.

It felt very strange getting up for breakfast at 7:30 with a plan of doing a 3500m peak, however our start time was dictated by the late breakfast and the hut, combined with the plan to ski down from the hut and catch the ski lift up to just below Teufelsjoch.

The ski down to the lift in the morning was wonderful as it was down a freshly groomed piste, however touring skis are not ideal for a carving descent! Unfortunately the lift opened 30mins later than we thought it would, which led to a very cold 30mins watching the chairs being slowly put on the lift and the count down to the final chair.

Thankfully we were soon in the sun as we set off on the lift, and warmed up quickly on our ascent to the Teufelsjoch. The snow made for easy progress up to the joch, however we had to walk along along the ridge over the Teufelsegg. From here we had wonderful views up to the Weißkugel, the Langtauferer Spitze (our objective) and down the Hintereisferner which looked full of snow.

Skinning up to Teufelsjoch in the morning
Panorama over Weißkugel, the Langtauferer Spize and the Ötztaler Alpen above the Hintereisferner
On the ridge from Teufelsegg above the Hintereisferner with the Wildspize in the background

The descent down to the glacier from the ridge was interesting, as along with everyone else we left our skins on which made the icy traversing interesting! We were soon down on the glacier, and feeling suitably small surrounded by the big peaks on the wide snowy glacier.

Descending down to the Hintereisferner in front of the Wildspize
Descending down to the Hintereisferner in front of the Langtauferer Spize
Admiring the view on the Hintereisferner

As we made made good time down to the glacier we decided to carry on with the climb up to the Langtauferer Spitze, which was straightforward on good snow and only a few slightly icy kick turns as we approached the ski depot. As we climbed up the steep slope our bodies certainly knew about the lack of acclimatisation, but this was offset by the view which just kept getting better and better.

As we arrived at the ski depot we were treated to the view over to the other side of the mountain, and to say it was spectacular would be an understatement.

Ascending to the Langtauferer Spitze
Ascending to the Langtauferer Spitze
Ascending to the Langtauferer Spitze with the Finialspzie and Hintere Schwärze in the background
Arriving at the ski depot

From the ski depot a short walk and then scramble led us to the summit. The Langtauferer Spitze gets a lot less traffic than the nearby Weißkugel, but it is certainly worth the ascent as the summit panorama was truly magnificent. After briefly enjoying the view we made our way back down to the skis and the start of the long descent. From the point the snow deteriorated on the glacier, the descent was long, tiring and at times felt endless, but it did not detract from the overall day as the peak was so good.

Wonderful view down the Langtauferer Tal and over the Austrian/Swiss mountains
Looking over the Gepatschferner into the Kaunertal and over the Ötzaler Alpen
Panorama looking down the Langtauferer Tal, into the Austrian/Swiss mountains, over the Weißseesspize and down the Kaunertal
Panorama over the Ötztaler Alpen, down the Hintereisferner, towards the Stubaier Alpen and into Italy
View towards the Stubaier Alpen over the nose of the Hintereisferner
Summit selfie on Langtauferer Spitze

The descent was initially on hard snow, but it soon became softer and it turned into a really enjoyable descent back down to the main part of the Hintereisferner. All too soon we were at the main section of the glacier, but thankfully this was really enjoyable until we approached the nose of the glacier.

Descending back down to the Hintereisferner
Descending back down to the Hintereisferner
Descending back down to the Hintereisferner
Descending the Hintereisferner with the Weißkugel in the background
Descending the Hintereisferner
Descending the Hintereisferner

The lack of snow had really impacted the descent on the final section of the glacier, and it involved lots of skiing over gritty snow, avoiding rocks (not always successfully) and a lot flat terrain. Thankfully we were soon off the glacier and heading down the gorge below the Hochjoch Hospiz, however this was also hard work with a mixture of snow snow, icy lumps and hidden rocks. We skinned up for the traverse below the hut, before starting the 8km descent back to Vent. I had thought this would drag a bit, but I wasn’t prepared for the constant changing between skiing and carrying skis, and the gorge which was protected with a cable which was often burried was certainly a surprise!

We finally emerged from the gorge at the Materialseilbahn for the Vernagthütte, from here it was an easy glide down the icy groomed trail back Rofen and then over the suspension bridge before the final ski back down to Vent and the car.

Total distance: 22.21 km
Max elevation: 3544 m
Min elevation: 1883 m
Total climbing: 825 m
Total descent: -1975 m
Download file: Langtauferer_Spitze_reduced.gpx