Analysing terrain data
4 - 5
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Park up at the Maria Waldrast monastery (which, whilst still a monastery, is also an excellent mountain restaurant these days) then hike 500 metres south (initially on a road and then on a jeep track) to reach the lovely Ochsenalm hut, which is nestled at the edge of some rolling meadows beneath the imposing south-east face of Serles.
Hike south-west along the floor of the Matreier Grube valley, which is initially flat and then climbs increasingly steeply to reach the Kalbenjoch Col, a wide and wild space which feels far removed from civilisation and the bustle of the nearby villages.
Head north off the col and make a spectacular traverse beneath the Lämpermahdspitze, heading for the Serlesjöchl Col.
From the col there is an excellent view north down into the Stubai valley and across to the famous Kalkogel mountains and south to the nearby peak of Blaser. From the col climb up the south-east ridge of Serles.
The ridge features some scrambling and there are some sections of fixed cables which can be used both as a handrail and, at times, as handholds to pull on.
Higher up the angle of the path eases off but the terrain underfoot is still somewhat precarious and takes you up some sections of scree.
The ridge is perched high up on Serles (which towers over every other peak in the immediate vicinity) and feels very “out there” despite not being difficult or overly exposed.
Just below the summit is a rocky buttress which is easily negotiated but requires some very easy scrambling.
Once through this, you are on the summit of one of Tirol’s greatest mountains - enjoy it! The view is all you would have hoped for so savour it and take plenty of photos. Descend the ridge back to the Serlesjöchl Col and then drop steeply south-east and follow a good path as it loops around north-east to the Maria Waldrast.
The last hour or so of the descent is through trees and can feel slightly tedious but the prospect of a cold beer and a great feed in the monastery should keep you going!