A classic ski tour in Maurertal
The Malhamspitze, as the mighty ‘four summit massif’ is the ice-topped end of the Virgental. The Mittlere Malham is, with its ‘Böse Wand Kees’, which is like a white fitted sheet when there are perfect snow conditions, can be seen from Matrei and sets the heart of every ski tourer racing. Starting point for this ski tour is Essener-Rostocker Hütte (2208 m, open from March) high up in Maurertal. It can be reached in 2 – 2 ½ hours from the car park in Ströden. The Maurertal is a V-shaped valley which is threatened by avalanches, which means the tour can only be undertaken when conditions are safe. From the inn, the climb proceeds in a southerly direction at the same altitude, around Rostock Eck into sandy soil. The ski track here swings west and proceeds via moderately steep terrain to a gully which comes out of Malhamkees (river). It cuts through the smooth glacier area at around 2500 m and proceeds up to a lovely altitude plateau. On the left side (south) proceed then via a mostly windswept moraine ridge to the „Böse Wand Kees“. At the glacier (crevasses!) the route which continues to the summit is clear. After around 3-4 hours you reach the wind gap between the Südliche and Mittlere Malham. Via easy boulder terrain we take 15 minutes to climb to the highest point. (Take care when there is mist and snow cornices). Descent along the ascent track and depending on the conditions to the north-west side, with a short counter climb to the Reggentörl. Since this tour is in glaciated high mountains the relevant safety precautions should be taken!
Additional ski tour tips can be obtained in the ski tour guides by Thomas Mariacher. These are available here: http://www.grafikzloebl.at/verlag/buecher/