7 ‘Törls’ (mountain crossings), 4 summits and 3 alpine lodges in 4-5 days
Climb up to hut Kerschbaumer Alm. Starting from the Luggauer Bridge (between Leisach and Thal, on the road from Lienz in direction of Sillian) follow the marked path above the quarry to get to Leisacher Almbach River. Now the trail leads up to the Dapra Cross, and from there across more flat terrain inbound by the right mountainside. After about two hours, the valley bends to the left. Follow the path to a large moraine, which opens up access to the Kühbodentörl gap. From there follow the trail, keeping to the right, in direction of Hallebachtörl. Then continue across ridges and troughs down to the Kerschbaumer Alm. Climbers with good fitness can additionally tackle the ascent up to the Lienz local mountain, the Spitzkofel.
Across the Kerschbaumer Törl gap to the hut Karlsbader Hütte. From the Kerschbaumer Alm, it's up to the Kerschbaumer Törl gap. Shortly before reaching the gap, a path branches off which leads up to the summit of the Grosse Gamswiesenspitze in switchbacks. Descend along the same route. Now it's a short climb up to the Kerschbaumer Törl gap, from where you can also see the destination for the day – the Karlsbader Hütte.
Panoramic via ferrata – Grosse Sandspitze. Day 3 is for negotiating the longest via ferrata in the Lienz Dolomites, which leads up to the highest point of the mountain group, the Grosse Sandspitze. From the Karlsbader Hütte, the route first leads uphill in direction of Laserzwand Mountain. Below the overhanging south face of the Roter Turm (red tower) you'll get to the starting point of the panoramic via ferrata – an up and down across six summits with wonderful views across and down the mountains begins. Here, experience negotiating via ferratas and good fitness are called for. The downhill routes "Ari-Schübel-Weg" or "Gebirgsjägersteig" can also, if you only want to scale the Grosse Sandspitze, be walked during the ascent.
Along Dreitörlweg (three-gap-path) up to hut Hochstadel. The stage begins with the climb up to the Laserztörl gap. From there, the route leads downhill to the Lavanter Alm covering some 400 m difference in altitude. Then a short climb first leads up to Kuhleitentörl gap. After a short descent and ascent past bizarre rock formations, you will get to the Baumgartnertörl. The climb now continues on to the Leitentörl gap. After a descent and the hike, the stage finishes in a south-facing semi-circle around the Hochstadel at the hut Hochstadel. With adequate fitness, a side trip from the Dreitörlweg path up to the Hochstadel provides a further highlight.
After a night in the hut Hochstadel, it's down to Pirkach, from where it's another 4 km to the Oberdrauburg railway station. Alternatively to the long descent, you can also order a Hüttentaxi in advance.