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The Ötztal Alps are one of the most popular areas of the Austrian Tyrol, on the Italian border to the west of the Stubai mountains.  The peaks are mostly between 3000 and 3500m, the highest being the Wildspitze at 3772m.  The routes are mostly of the easy to medium grades and the area contains large snowfields and glaciers.  The Ötztal mountains lend themselves to hut to hut glacier traverses and tours, and most of the highest summits can be climbed by straightforward glacier routes, usually well tracked during the season.

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Often approaches lead from two or more huts to the same mountain and this factor allows ascents of peaks to be combined with hut to hut tours.  But these are high mountains and it should of course be remembered that weather conditions can change dramatically in a few hours.  A simple snow route can then become a serious undertaking - even the mighty Hermann Buhl once nearly lost his life on the Taschach glacier.  While the easy snow routes enjoy the greatest popularity there are nevertheless a considerable number of hard climbs for the more experienced.

Most of these images, plus a few others not shown here, are available from Alamy

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