One of my absolute favorite winter activities is snowshoeing. It is always a unique experience to walk through untouched snowy landscapes and to perceive nature in its originality.
This time I was for you in a side valley of the Valsertal, which in turn is a side valley of the Wipptal. From there we go to a high plateau, to Padaun, where our starting point for the snowshoe hike is: It goes to the Padaunerkogel!
The Valsertal or the starting point in Sankt Jodok can be reached very well by public transport. With the S3 train from Innsbruck main station you are directly connected here. From Sankt Jodok there is a winter transfer by cab to Padaun or you can take the bus 4144 from Steinach am Brenner to the junction Vals-Padaunerstraße. From there you have to add the ascent to Padaun. By the way, with the Welcome Card you can use the public transport in the area of the association for free - in this case up to the stop Stefansbrücke, so you save a part of the fare to Steinach. By car, you can get directly to Padaun, although in winter, when there is snow and ice, you can only drive on the road with chains. Once you arrive in Padaun, park your car at the parking lot near the Steckholzer mountain inn.
FROM PADAUN TO THE PADAUNERKOGEL
Padaun is a small high plateau between the Valsertal and the Wipptal. A few beautiful farms can be found here and in winter also the classic motifs for great photos. For our snowshoe tour to the Padauner Kogel we continue from the houses along the road to the west, which here again leads a little downhill. At the last farm, the Larcherhof, we find a signpost that tells us the way to the Padaunerkogel. Here it is time to strap on the snowshoes, because we are now heading into the terrain.
Between two fences the path leads up to the forest. In the forest you now go west, relatively steeply up. If there is no trail, then always follow the good and abundant markings. Here you make quite quickly many meters of altitude, because the path remains very steep and then goes up in some switchbacks to a clearing. A wooden sign with the inscription Padaun shows you that you are right. A few meters further on you will find a material ropeway. Follow the ropes of the ropeway through the thinning forest until you come to a small wooden hut. The path now leads north and we are already on the ridge that leads to the summit.
From the hut you now continue along the wooden fence over the broad ridge towards the summit cross. The terrain is very flat and therefore very safe. More and more the view opens up to the east and south and especially to the majestic Olperer in the Tux Alps. On the other side of the valley you can see the Vennspitze, which is very popular with tourers.
After we have arrived above the tree line, the fence that served as a signpost also disappears. But now we can already see the summit cross in the distance. Almost level it goes to the beautiful summit cross, however, the path drags a bit, but this is not tragic in this landscape.
Shortly before reaching the destination, we come to a place from which we have a good view of the houses of Padaun and the head of the Valsertal valley.
At the summit cross of the Padaunerkogel at 2,066 meters you have a sensational view. Despite the low altitude, the summit in this location offers distant views that could not be more beautiful. To the north you can see as far as the Innsbruck Nordkette. To the south towards the Tux Alps and Olperer. To the west, the Stubai Alps with Obernberger and Gschnitzer Tribulaun.
DESCENT BACK TO PADAUN
For the descent I recommend to go back the same way. There is also a shortcut directly down to Padaun, but this is not avalanche-safe and requires extensive knowledge in this area.
In the setting sun, it's now leisurely downhill again. The snow glitters beautifully in the deepening evening light. Reason enough to get the camera out of the backpack even more often.
Arriving down in the valley, the sun is just setting and once again bathes the landscape in a beautiful light. The beautiful farms make good motifs.
A beautiful and very lonely snowshoe tour. You will hardly find any ski tourers here, because they prefer the Vennspitze on the other side of the valley. In the first section very steep through the forest and strenuous, the second part of the tour leisurely over the broad ridge to the summit cross. The tour is practically not avalanche endangered, nevertheless I ask you to heed the messages of the avalanche warning service and to carry appropriate equipment and to stay on the wide ridge as described. Despite its lower altitude, the Padaunerkogel is a wonderful panoramic peak due to its solitary location.
A tour, which has inspired me as a photographer, completely. I hope I could convey to you the joy I had.
Starting point: Padaun - Berggasthof Steckholzer 1,570 meters or Valsertal 1,265 meters
Destination: Padaunerkogel 2,066 meters
Altitude difference: about 700 meters
Length: 7.8 kilometers (total)
Walking time: with breaks and photos: about 4 hours (total)
Dangers: hardly avalanche endangered, information from the avalanche warning service nevertheless always heed! Carry equipment!
More of my articles on the subject
- With the snowshoes to the Karwendel
- Towards the setting sun
- Snowshoeing and tobogganing fun
- Winter adventures on the Feldringer Böden
- Winter hiking in the Karwendel
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Professional photographer from Innsbruck, nature enthusiast and animal lover.