Kaiser-Max-Klettersteig: At the gates of Innsbruck/Zirl
The Kaiser-Max-Klettersteig is a very popular Via Ferrata right at the gates of Innsbruck, more exact at the gates of the little town Zirl and one of the most difficult Ferratas in the Eastern Alps. It leads up the Martinswand, an almost vertical, sometimes overhanging wall at the southern side of the “Kleiner Wandkopf”mountain and a popular climbing spot.
After Pidinger Klettersteig, we wanted to try our strength in a shorter, but more difficult Ferrata. The Kaiser-Max is only 280 hight meters of climbing, but it goes up to difficulty level E. The approach from the parking spot (right next to the street B171, next to the stone quarry) to the access point for the Ferrata is only an easy 10 minute forest walk, which is really comfortable. 🙂
We stayed in Zirl the night before, more precisely in the lovely traditional Hotel Tyrolis, which – with it’s proximity of less than five minutes driving time to the parking lot – was the perfect place for our day at Martinswand.
In the morning it was still really foggy and misty outside, but once we started climbing, the weather got better and better. 🙂
Steep from the beginning!
The Kaiser-Max is one of the hardest Ferratas in the Alps not for no reason. It is divided in two sections: The lower one is rated up to D and already kind of not so easy, but the upper one is an almost 100m vertical climb up to diffculty E. In the middle after the D-part there is an exit possibility to a hidden grotto, the “Kaiser-Max-Grotte”, from where it is possible to descend back down.
The first section right after entering the Ferrata is already quite challenging, but offers great views of the Inntal and the souther mountains already! 🙂
Arm and will power at Martinswand!
Even in the lower part, the Kaiser-Max Ferrata is somehow challenging. It’s not the total difficulty rather than the slippery and footworn stone that makes it hard to find grip on the almost vertical wall.
The Grotto is quite popular and sees many hikers and “regular climbers”. From here the Ferrata continues to a traverse section and from here the E part starts.
The upper section than demands a lot of arm and will power! It is steep and very slippery and there’s A LOT of air underneath and between your feet. 😉
All in all, th Kaiser-Max-Klettersteig is on the list of sustained, strong and experienced climbers with a lot of arm power and strength. When we climbed there in late October, we were lucky and almost any other people were there. Due to it’s close proximity to the valley – actually it starts in the valley, almost right next to the river 🙂 – it is accessible almost year-round when other Ferratas are deeply covered in snow.
We had a great day “over Innsbruck” and can definitely recommend this to late sleeper as well! 😉
HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE!
We also took a short video which you can find on our YOUTUBE-Channel, have fun watching: