The south face of the Großvenediger
Highest point
Elevation 3,657 m (11,998 ft)
Prominence 1,185 m (3,888 ft)
Coordinates 47°6′34″N 12°20′44″E / 47.10944°N 12.34556°E / 47.10944; 12.34556Coordinates: 47°6′34″N 12°20′44″E / 47.10944°N 12.34556°E / 47.10944; 12.34556
Translation Great Venetian (German)
Pronunciation German: [ˌɡʁoːsveˈneːdɪɡɐ]
Location Salzburg & East Tyrol, Austria
Parent range Hohe Tauern
Venediger Group
Topo map ÖK50 152
First ascent 1841

Großvenediger (German pronunciation: [ˈɡʀoːsveˌneːdɪɡɐ]) is the main peak of the Venediger Group within the Hohe Tauern mountain range, on the border of the Austrian state of Tyrol (East Tyrol) with Salzburg. It is generally considered to be Austria's fourth highest mountain (although it can be up to sixteenth if every subsidiary summit is counted). The summit, covered by glaciers, is part of the Hohe Tauern National Park.


Originally known as Stützerkopf, the name Großvenediger (English: Great Venetian) is first recorded from a 1797 border survey. The origin of this name is unclear, probably deriving from Venetian merchants on their way over the mountain passes. An alternative theory is that the view from the summit may reach as far as Venice, some 200 km (120 mi) away, however, this is not in accordance with the facts.

Johannishütte with Großvenediger, photochrom print, c. 1900

The author and mountaineer Ignaz von Kürsinger (1795–1861), one of the first climbers of the Großvenediger in 1840, coined the epithet weltalte Majestät (World-old Majesty).

Climbing history

Several attempts were made in the early 19th century to reach the Großvenediger summit, after the first ascent of the nearby Großglockner in 1800. On 9 August 1828, an expedition of 17 men, including the Habsburg archduke John of Austria, failed in their attempt to climb Großvenediger due to an avalanche.

It wasn't until 3 September 1841, forty years after the first ascent of the Großglockner, that a team led by Josef Schwab made the first successful attempt on the Großvenediger summit, starting at the northern foot in Neukirchen in the Salzach Valley, climbing up southwards along the Obersulzbach tributary valley and over the Stierlahnerwand. Other members of the team included Ignaz von Kürsinger, Paul Rohregger, Anton von Ruthner and Franz Spitaler. Of the 40 participants, only 26 finally reached the summit, the others having stayed back due to fatigue.

Today several mountain huts serve as basis for summit ascents, though mountaineering on nival level can be dangerous in view of numerous crevasses.

See also


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