Silvretta is one of the most beautiful bouldering crags in Europe, it worth a trip at least for the surroundings. Located in the Alps at a height of 2.000 meters at the foot of the panoramic Ballunspitze mountain. An ideal summer climbing place, when every other spot is hot. If you would like to escape the crowded summer places and climb in cool weather on great problems, Silvretta is the perfect destination.
The area was developed by boulder legend Bernd Zangerl around 2007. The sectors are laying on a slant of the skiing area, but the hillside is not so steep. The rock is gneiss from the very rough type, you can imagine the surface of it at this altitude. It means very good friction but you have to be very careful with your skin, restdays are necessary. If your plan is to climb several days here, make sure to have some restdays to recover your skin. The boulders are mostly technical and crimpy, the harder ones are usually overhanging. You can find here the famous boulders of the super crimpy and overhanging Anam Cara (8b+), Memento (8b+), Niviuk (8a), British Airways (7c+) and many others. In the easier grades you can try Odin (7b), Rubber Gun (7a) or Kobra (6c). The grades are friendly comparing to other crags – we can say kind of a holiday grading, but the crag is beautiful in the summer, so it is an ideal place for a climbing holiday!
First you have to get to Tyrol in Austria. If you are traveling by flight, the nearest airport is Innsbruck, which is 1,5 hours by car from the crag. By public transport you have to take a train to Landeck station, from where you can get the bus up to Galtür, the small village close to the crag. If you travel with car, take the highway until Landeck, from there it is 50 minutes drive, search in the GPS „Galtür” or „Ballunspitzbahn Talstation, Galtür”. Once you are in Galtür, you have two opportunities. The first is that you drive up to the ski resort and park the car at Ballunspitzbahn Talstation parking. From here you can reach the first sector (Sekten) in 10 minutes on foot. The second option is to take the Birkhanbahn lift from the center of Galtür. This option is better if you arrive with public transport. Note, that the last valley-ride on the lift is at latest 5 pm. Don’t miss it, otherwise you have to walk 45 minutes on the path down to the village.
Silvretta is one of the biggest skiing resorts in Austria at wintertime, so you can understand why we say it’s a summer crag. The bouldering season depends on the snow situation and it is generally from May until October. The best period is the summer months, because of the 2.000 meter height the sunny summer days are also good climbing times. The rock dries quickly, so some rain doesn’t mean a problem.
Where to stay
As in most parts of Tyrol, getting an accommodation is very easy, there are plenty of hotels and apartments, or you can take the campsite. Camping Galtür has a beautiful location on the shore of lake Zeinissee at an altitude of 1800 meters, where you can put up a tent or sleep at their B&B. If you would like to find an apartment online, you can check Airbnb or interchalet.de, which is a very popular accommodation site in the german-speaking countries, or just google „Galtür ferienwohnung”.
If you have a few days off climbing, getting a Silvretta Card is a smart choice. The Card provides a lot of advantages in the region: free access to all cable cars and lifts, free usage of swimming pools and discounts in restaurants and sights. Whole Tyrol is a big vacation-region in summer and winter too, so there are a lot of restaurants and supermarkets. As you are in the Alps, there are many hiking and klettersteig (via ferrata) opportunities. If you are looking for something special, try the summer fun park in Imst with Tyrol’s most spectacular summer toboggan run. The bike park in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is also close to Silvretta, where they have a lot of different biking programs including MTB-tours and professional downhill trails. If you would like to visit another crag, you can head up to Zillertal, which is one of the biggest climbing areas in Europe both with thousands of bouldering and lead climbing opportunities.