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Otztal Ski Tour: Martin Busch Hut to Hochjoch Hospice via Similaun Summit


Trentino-Alto Adige

Day 3: Similaun summit and Otzis memorial visit, before descent to the Hochjoch Hospice

Ski Touring Difficult

17 km
1.6 km
1.7 km
1 day +
Low Point
2.3 km
High Point
3.6 km
Otztal Ski Tour: Martin Busch Hut to Hochjoch Hospice via Similaun Summit Map

This is a big day which can be shortened by missing out the summit, or even by doing the summit instead of the circular tour the day before. But in good weather and good fitness this is great day.


Skin up the valley floor from the hut, curving slowly up to the L onto and up the Niederjoch Glacier, which leads you to the foot of the NW ridge of Similaun. This is normally booted up for the final section, to the fine summit at 3606m.

Descend on the glacier past the Similaun Hut to the W, then below it to about 2920m, putting on skins for the climb up to the Otzi Iceman memorial cairn. Imagine how hard it would have been for him to get there 5000 years ago!

It is a short distance from here to the Hauslabjoch at 3279m. From here you are rewarded with a long N facing descent down to the Hochjoch Hospice at 2412m, down the glacier initially then bending to the L down the fall line and making sure you cross to the opposite side of the streambed for the final descent to the Hospice, above a gorge.



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.


3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

between March and April


  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area