Alpine crossing Oberstdorf - Merano (E5)

7 days, 7 participants, the classic Alpine crossing
    Alpine crossing Oberstdorf - Merano (E5)
    Alpine crossing Oberstdorf - Merano (E5)
    Alpine crossing Oberstdorf - Merano (E5)

The most famous crossing of the Alps

The E5 from Oberstdorf to Merano is considered the most famous crossing of the Alps. The route offers no technical problems and mostly leads along good hiking trails and paths. With a walking time of up to 7 hours, the daily stages can also be completed by averagely trained mountaineers. On the way south, new views and perspectives open up to you day after day. You look back on peaks and landscapes that you have already hiked through and are excited about the new challenges that lie ahead. You can enjoy the E5 from Oberstdorf to Merano in small groups of 6 - 8 people per mountain guide. With our more than 30 years of experience, we also ensure an ideal route choice and perfect organization so that you can fully concentrate on your tour and your experiences. You can find lots more information and tips in our, as well as in our online training courses including mountain pros.

Program and schedule

Tour schedule
Cats recommendation
  • Mountain guide:in with the appropriate qualifications
  • 5 x overnight stays in AV huts
  • 1 x overnight stay in a double room in a hotel in Merano
  • 3 x taxi/bus transfer
  • 1 x cable car ride
  • 1 x return transfer to Oberstdorf by bus
  • 3 x backpack transport
  • Luggage transport to Merano
  • Sea to Summit Daypack
  • Free participation in our online training: Crossing the Alps - Preparation (1 h)

Additional costs

  • Snacks, drinks
  • Arrival, possibly parking fee

Day 1

From Oberstdorf, you first take the shuttle bus to Spielmannsau and then climb through the steep Sperrbachtobel to your destination for the day, the Kemptener Hütte (1,846 m). Ascent 850 m / walking time 3 h

Day 2

At the Mädelejoch (1,973 m) you cross the national border and descend through the Höhlenbachtal valley to Holzgau in the Lechtal valley. After a short cab transfer, you ascend to the Memminger Hütte (2,242 m). Ascent 950 m / descent 850 m / walking time 5.5 h

Day 3

The Seescharte is one of the key sections of the E5, from here the route is long and steep through the Lochbachtal valley to Zams in the Inntal valley. You can look forward to a spectacular overnight stay at the Venet summit hut (2,211 m) or the Zams ski hut (1,742 m). Ascent 450 m / descent 1,850 m / walking time 6 - 7 h

Day 4

From the Krahberg (2,208 m) via the Galflun Alm and the Larcher Alm you hike to Wenns in the Pitztal. Continue by bus to Mittelberg and from here via the panoramic trail along the Mittelbergferner to the Braunschweiger Hütte (2,760 m). Ascent 1,100 m / descent 1,100 m / walking time 6 h

Day 5

In the early morning you cross the Rettenbachjöchl (2,988 m) or the Pitztaler Jöchl (2,996 m), descend via the Rettenbach and Tiefenbachferner and wonderful hiking trails to Vent, the day's destination is the Martin Busch Hütte (2,501 m). Ascent 1,000 m / descent 1,100 m / walking time 6 h

Day 6

Over increasingly narrow paths, finally over scree, you reach the highest point of the E5 at the 3,019 m high Similaun hut. Once again you cross a national border and hike down to the South Tyrolean Vernagt reservoir, where a cab will take you to Merano. A hotel has already been reserved for you here and you can enjoy the end of your crossing of the Alps. Ascent 500 m / descent 1,200 m / walking time 5.5 h

Day 7

Return journey to Oberstdorf.


Note on program changes: 

All courses and guided tours are conscientiously organized and carried out in accordance with the safety standards of the Vivalpin Mountain and Ski School with qualified specialists (e.g. mountain and ski guides, mountain hiking guides, etc.). The provisional tour program may be adjusted for safety-related reasons, such as bad weather, dangerous conditions, unforeseen natural events or inadequate conditions of the participants. The final program will be decided by the guide on site.

On the daily stages you can expect up to 1,200 m and 5 h in the ascent as well as Up to 1,800 m in descent. Prerequisite for the alpine crossing Oberstdorf Meran are Sure-footedness and fitness for hikes of up to 7 hours (pure walking time) with approx. 8 kg of luggage. The route is technically easy and without climbing passages. There are easy and moderately difficult mountain paths to walk. In the company of your guide, the route is also manageable for sure-footed newcomers with the appropriate condition. Good preparation for hikes lasting several days is half the battle: Get used to your mountain boots and to carrying a backpack.
The best way to train this is on hikes with comparable altitude differences. For your specific preparation, we recommend our intensive training in surefootedness and head for heights.

"Less is often more. This is especially true for the more challenging Alpine crossings such as the E5, where you travel from hut to hut every day with your rucksack.
Of course, you shouldn't skimp on the essentials, such as optimal rainwear, but if you take a closer look, you will find some superfluous items. A good guide is a rucksack weight of approx. 8 kg. You can test this at home and then go on a few preparation tours with it.
For the preparation tours, however, more would be better than less."

Cat Juhran
Mountain hiking guide
Member of the VIVALPIN Competence Team

6 - 8 participants

7 days

Base AV huts and hotel

Public transport to Oberstdorf emfpepfehlenswert

Meeting point at 10:00 am at Oberstdorf station, main entrance south ("am Wilden Männle Brunnen")

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