Wildspitze as seen from the northeast, with the south summit left and the snowy north summit right.
|Elevation||3,770 m (12,370 ft)|
|Prominence||2,261 m (7,418 ft) 
Ranked 4th in the Alps
|Isolation||48.5 kilometres (30.1 mi)|
|Parent peak||Ortler (Finsteraarhorn)|
|Location||North Tyrol, Austria|
|Parent range||Ötztal Alps|
|First ascent||1848 by Leander Klotz and a fellow local farmer|
|Easiest route||basic snow climb|
Wildspitze (German pronunciation: [ˈvɪltˌʃpɪʦə] ( listen)) is the highest mountain in the Ötztal Alps and in North Tyrol, as well as the second highest mountain in Austria after the Großglockner. The nearest higher mountain is the Ortler, 48.5 kilometres (30 mi) away in South Tyrol.
Wildspitze is on a ridge called Weißkamm ("white ridge") that joins the main chain of the Alps at the Weißkugel. Its north and west flanks form the end of the Pitz valley, while the south and east flanks rise above the upper ends of the Ötztal. The mountain has twin peaks, with a rocky south summit (3768 m or by most other sources 3770 m) and a firn-covered north summit that is ca 3,765 m. The mountain is surrounded by glaciers on three sides, of which with 8 km² the Taschachferner is the largest. The 50° north face is popular with ice climbers.
The first recorded attempt at the Wildspitze was made in 1847 by Hermann and Adolf Schlagintweit, who probably reached a point at 3,552 m on the north east ridge. The first successful ascent was in 1848 by Leander Klotz, a guide and farmer in the Rofen valley at the foot of the mountain (now part of Sölden), and another, unnamed local farmer. In August 1857, the brothers Nikodem, Leander and Hans Klotz guided Joseph Anton Specht, a merchant from Vienna, to the summit for the second ascent. The northern summit was somewhat higher, at the time measured to be 11,947 Viennese feet or 3,776 m, but the south summit was a better viewpoint and the first two parties had climbed it instead. On August 29, 1861, Nikodem and Leander Klotz guided Anthon von Ruthner and Friedrich R. von Enderes, both from Vienna, to the south summit again. During their hour-long stay on top, Leander traversed to the north peak, which subsequently was considered the first ascent of the main summit of the Wildspitze. However, by the end of the 20th century, snow melt had lowered the northern summit to about 3,765 m, rendering the south summit the highest point and 1848 the year of first ascent.
The most common route to the top is from the Breslauer Hut, which is approached from the village Vent (1900 m a.s.l.). Most climbers sleep at the hut or in a tent and continue to the summit the next day (about 4 hours from the Breslauerhütte).
An alternative route goes from the Braunschweiger Hut in the Pitztaler glacier area. From the hut the route crosses the glaciers to the Mittelbergjoch, and then traverses a crevasse-filled area of the Tasachferner glacier to the summit of the Wildspitze. The average time used for this tour is 6.5 hours.
In popular culture
- The key col is the Reschen Pass.
- Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen, Austrian Map online
- The Austrian Alpine Club's Alpine Club map of the Ötztal Alps
- Walter Klier, Ötztaler Alpen: ein Führer für Täler, Hütten und Berge, Rother, Munich, 14th print, 2006.
- Bergsteiger, January 2001, page 25.
Richard Goedeke: 3000er in den Nordalpen., Bruckmann Verlag, Munich, 2004, ISBN 978-3-7654-4746-4, page 93.
- Anthon von Ruthner, Ersteigung der hohen Wildspitze im Oetzthale, Mittheilungen der Kaiserlichen=Königlichen Geographischen Gesellschaft, pp. 216–243.