Nockspitze North-east Face

Axamer Lizum

Innsbruck

Muttereralm – Mutters/Götzens

An exciting ski line which is visible from virtually all of Innsbruck city centre.

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
3 km
Ascent
444 m
Descent
689 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
2.4 km
Gradient
44˚
Nockspitze North-east Face Map

Although relatively quick to access, this is a serious line which requires good stable snow. Provided it is safe, you are in for a treat with this one.

Description

Ride the Birgitzköpfl chairlift and put skins on at the top. Skin eastwards and then swing around to the south and head up a wide, 35 degree runnel. In good conditions you can skin all the way up this to a col at the top but if the runnel is icy, it might be advisable to bootpack the last 50 vertical metres or so.

From the col at the top of the runnel there are brilliant views to the south of the Stubai mountains, and there is a fantastic view of the nearby Ampferstein too.

Carry on climbing by turning east and following a series of little bowls that lead lead easily onto the summit of the Nockspitze. Savour the summit because it's a pretty special place and it's wonderful to stand on top of a peak that looks so impressive from Innsbruck city centre.

Rip your skins off and ski due north, just to the right of an often-corniced ridge, to reach a hanging col. From here make a very exposed sidestep up to the north summit of the Nockspitze. If the sidestep up didn't get your heart racing, the north summit will - it's exposed and incredibly dramatic.

Drop east off the summit and ski a steep hanging runnel, crossing to the left into a second runnel as the first one peters out. These runnels are steep and right above a cliff band so a fall or an avalanche should be unthinkable. If there is any danger of either of those things, do not ski here.

The runnels lead down to a col which in turn leads onto the north-east face proper. The col is hidden from above but it's pretty obvious once you get close to it.

Having gone over it you are on the main north-east face and what a great ski line it is. It's wide open but steep enough that it feels exciting, fun and fast. Best of all, you have the buzz of knowing that you're now skiing the face you'll likely have studied many times when sipping a coffee in Innsbruck.

All too soon the face begins to mellow out and narrow, at which point you need to hang a left and ski some fun trees to the top of the Götzenerbahn cable car. Provided you hold a high enough traverse line you can get to this with very minimal effort, other than a tiny bit of sidestepping and poling. Once at the cable car, cruise down the quiet pistes of the Götzens ski area.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April

Features

  • Face
  • Cliffs
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area