Have you ever walked a via ferrata in winter? In St. Anton am Arlberg there is the possibility to do so. This is where the Rendl area is home to Tyrol’s only winter climbing route.
Last Sunday perfect weather was forecasted, so we decided the evening before, to do the Arlberg winter climbing trail at Rendl in St. Anton am Arlberg.
Early in the morning we took the ski bus from Lech to Zürs. With the lift connection we landed in the ski area of St. Anton am Arlberg in no time. Then we headed towards Rendl and finally took the Riffelbahn II to the start of the via ferrata at 2,650 meters. There we put on the climbing equipment with the via ferrata set, buckled the skis on our backpacks. Then we checked everything once again. Afterwards we hooked our carabiners into the steel rope and then we started.
Right at the beginning of the climbing trail it was quite steep uphill. And you noticed immediately that the ascent requires strength as well as fitness and experience. After the first meters in the vertical, we already reached the first ridge. The sun smiled into our faces and we were looking forward to the further meters of the Arlberg winter climbing route. The ascent of the next ridges and peaks was also accompanied by a fantastic view towards the Verwall Group and the Lechtal Alps.
In this almost perfect Sunday weather, we were of course not the only ones on the via ferrata. A few climbers were already on the way ahead of us. And we followed them along the Riffelgrat, which was partly uphill and partly downhill, to the highest point of the climbing trail, the Vordere Rendlspitze at 2,816 meters. Now the exit, the Rossfallscharte at 2,732 meters was already visible. For the last time we went downhill on a relatively narrow ridge, before we finally reached the Rossfallscharte after a short ascent.
Arriving at the top, we enjoyed the moment and took a “summit photo” together. Because of course this cannot be missed. The via ferrata equipment was then put back into the backpack and we made ourselves comfortable with a small snack. We soaked up the rays of the sun once more, before we skied through the Malfontal to Pettneu. When we arrived in Pettneu, we took the ski bus back to St. Anton and from there we skied back to Zürs. Of course via the new Schindlergratbahn, which has been an ultra-modern 10-person gondola since the 2019/20 winter season. Back in Lech, we let the sunny Sunday afternoon come to an end and looked back on a perfect day at the Arlberg winter climbing trail.
Good to know
In addition to skis or snowboard for the run down to the valley, which are strapped onto your backpack during the demanding, approximately two-hour climbing tour, via ferrata equipment with harness and via ferrata set as well as touring shoes are absolutely necessary. Furthermore, guided tours by our mountain- and ski guides are recommended.