The first part involves a climb up to the Lafatscher Joch
. The track leads into a rubble-strewn cirque that becomes ever steeper and narrower. On the Lafatscher Joch
follow signs to the Pfeishütte
. Take the "Wilde-Bande-Steig
" through fields of mountain pines and gullies up to the entrance to the cirque beneath the Stempeljoch
. After that it's downhill to the Pfeishütte
. The signposted "Goethe-Weg
" starts at the Pfeishütte
. Head up to the Mandlscharte
via a scree slope. After another "down and up", cross to “the Inn valley side” to reach the Hafelekar mountain station and the Nordkette Cable Car.
The passage between the Stempel and Lafatscher Joch using climbing aids that date from the 14th century is an exciting stage in this walk. During that era, miners needed timber supports for the salt mine galleries. The German word for these supports is "Stempel", hence the Stempeljoch. A cut known as the "Durchschlag" was hewn out of the rock to make it easier for the mules to pass. The Goetheweg links the isolated, but inviting Pfeishütte with the Gleierschjöchl. This route was created in 1932 and is one of the finest high-altitude walks in the Innsbruck area.
With the wide Inn valley down below, plus the Kitzbühel Alps and the main Alpine ridge, including the Grossglockner, a fabulous panoramic view appears to the east. The tour ends at the Hafelekar mountain station at an altitude of 2,256m. The majestic view over the city of Innsbruck some 1,600m below explains why scenes from a number of famous films were shot here.