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TouringTip | Ankogel

THE freeride tour between Salzburger Land and Carinthia

by Tobias Hipp • 11/13/2018
450 vertical meters ascent for 1,800 vertical meters descent! The Kleine Ankogel is the freeride tour par excellence in the border region between Salzburger Land and Carinthia. It really has it all: a relaxed approach, an exciting short ridge ascent and a never-ending 1,200-metre north-facing slope.

The tour starts in Böckstein on the north side of the Hohe Tauern; leave your car here and take the train through the so-called "Tauernschleuse" to Mallnitz (10 minutes). The ski bus then takes you directly to the valley station of the Ankogel cable car. The real start is from the mountain station (or from Hannoverhaus, if the hut is being used as a base for a freeride weekend).

Ascent

From the mountain station, we ski a few meters down the piste towards Hannover Haus, skinning up at the hairpin bend. At the same altitude or with little elevation gain, cross the south-facing slopes below the Grauleitnspitz to the east. Always aim for the end of a rocky ridge - the so-called Gauleitnwand, which you bypass at the lower end.

When visibility is good, the imposing north face of the Hochalmspitze constantly catches your eye.

After the traverse, the real altitude gain comes and you ascent over an even slope to the northeast over the former Lessacher Kees. At the end of this you reach the large Radegg-Scharte. From here, a ridge runs down from the Kleiner Ankogel, which can initially be climbed with skins for about 100 meters. Soon, however, the ridge steepens noticeably and the skis are put on the backpack (crampons are helpful here in hard conditions). The remaining 150 vertical meters can be followed on foot along the ridge, which is hardly exposed and generally easy to walk up to the summit.

Alpinist encore: the main summit of the Ankogel

For those motivated by mountaineering, the further ridge ascent to the main summit of the Ankogel is worthwhile. However, the skis remain on the Kleiner Ankogel and the rest of the ascent is on foot. This ridge is much more challenging, requires a few small climbing passages and is spiced up with exposed sections. Crampons are usually not just a luxury here. The reward from the Ankogel is a magnificent view of the Glockner, the Dolomites, the Julian Alps and (if you're lucky) the Adriatic Sea.

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Descent

From the Kl. Ankogel, you can usually enter the gigantic north-west slope without any problems: 1,200 continuous meters of descent on a shady north-facing slope are the reward for the ascent. The entrance and the first 300 vertical meters are around 35° steep, the slope then descends at 30° to the valley floor of the Anlauftal valley.

On arrival in the valley, you ski the gently sloping alpine pastures out of the valley to the Radeggalm. Shortly below, a bridge leads over the stream and you can trudge to the summer trail in just a few minutes. Follow this to the Radeggalm, from where you continue along the forest trail to Böckstein and the train station.

The exit from the Anlauftal valley is usually very smooth; only 2-3 skating sections and stream crossings stop the ride.

Tip: An ideal base for a freeride weekend is the Hannover-Haus: it is located just 100 meters below the top station of the gondola. From here, you can reach the freeride tour to Knallkar, the larger freeride tour to Ankogel and a bunch of easy runs in the ski resort. The absolute bonus: while everyone else is queuing for the lift ticket down below, you're already on your way or just entering the first run directly from the hut's terrace. And the whole thing is even well-fed after a relaxed hut breakfast.

Further information about the area in the TouringTip Knallkar and in the SpotCheck Freeride Ankogel.

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Summary

Difficulty: ***(****) when climbing the main summit)

Starting point: Böckstein train station or Hannover Haus

Altitude difference ascent | descent: 450 m | 1.800 m

Maximum gradient: 35°, 30° throughout on the north-western slope into the Anlauftal

Requirements: A little surefootedness is required for the ridge to the Kl. Ankogel, crampons may be useful. However, the ridge is never particularly steep or exposed. The descent from the Kl. Ankogel does not present any major difficulties, the entrance to the north-west slope is usually easy. However, the gigantic north-west slope is steep throughout (30 - 35°). Pay attention to the avalanche report; assess the local avalanche situation well.

Base:Hannover Haus of the German Alpine Club (2,566 m). The hut is ideally located just below the mountain station of the Ankogel cable car. It is a good idea to use this hut as a freeride base for a freeride weekend. You'll always be the first: for short runs in the ski resort or the freeride tour through the Knallkar.

Logistics: The tour to the Ankogel requires some planning, as the starting point and end point of the tour are not the same. Coming from the north, leave the car at Böckstein train station and take the train through the "Tauernschleuse". In 10 minutes you reach Mallnitz on the other side of the main Alpine ridge; a ski bus takes you directly to the valley station of the gondola in another 10 minutes. If you want to return to Hannover Haus for another day of freeriding, you'll have to adjust your departure to the train times, as it only runs every hour.

Maps: Alpenvereinskarte 44 / Hochalmspitze-Ankogel, 1:25,000, Freeride Map Hohe Tauern

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This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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