The Stubaital is a broad side valley of the Wipptal, flanked by steep hillsides and rocky mountain peaks and watered by the Ruetzbach. Branching off the Brenner Road at Schönberg, it extends southwestward into the glacier region of the Stubai Alps. The beautiful villages in the valley are popular summer and winter sports resorts. Here and there are larch forests. The Ruetzbach power station stands near Schönberg.
The first place in the Stubaital is Mieders (982m/3,223ft; pop. 950), a picturesque village with leisure facilities of all kinds, e.g. swimming pool, tennis court and ski school, as well as folklore presentations (Tirolean evenings). There is a chairlift up the Kopeneck (1,630m/5,348ft).
Fulpmes and Telfes, Austria
Fulpmes (960m/3,151ft; pop. 3,000), surrounded by high mountain chains, is the chief place in the valley and a well-known health and skiing resort, with the finely formed Serles massif (2,719m/8,921ft) to the south. The village has a considerable hardware industry (ice axes, climbing irons, etc.; ironworking museum, open only in summer). The parish church (1747) has an interior richly decorated with Roccoco stucco work. Fulpmes also has a Peasant Theater and "alternative music" concerts are given. There is a mineral spring in the Medraz quarter. 2km/1.25mi above Fulpmes lies Telfes (1,002m/3,288ft), the oldest parish in the valley, first recorded in 1344.
Fulpmes - Surroundings
From Fulpmes a chairlift runs up to Froneben (1,351m/4,433ft) and the Kreuzjoch (2,108m/6,916ft). It is an hour's climb from the Froneben Inn to the Schlicker Alm (1,616m/5,302ft; chapel by Clemens Holzmeister, 1959), a good starting point for climbs in the Kalkkögel southwest of Innsbruck; chairlift to the Sennjoch (upper station 2,240m/7,350ft). The Hoher Burgstall (2,613m/8,573ft) can also be climbed from Froneben by way of the Starkenburger Hütte (2,229m/7,313ft).
Neustift (993m/3,258ft), the tourist center of the Stubai valley, is popular as a health and winter sports resort and as a base for walks and climbs. The handsome parish church, rebuilt in 1768-74, has some fine ceiling paintings; in the churchyard will be found the grave of Franz Senn (1831-84), one of the founders of the Austrian Alpine Club. There is a ski training school in the town.
A chairlift ascends the Elferkamm (1,800m/5,900ft), with a great expanse of good walking and skiing country (toboggan run). The climb from Neustift to the Starkenburger Hütte takes three and a half hours, and from there it is another one and a quarter hours to the summit of the Hoher Burgstall. At Neustift the Stubaital divides into the Oberbergtal (also known as the Alpeinertal) and the Unterbergtal.
The road up the Oberbergtal from Neustift to the northwest comes in 12km/7.5mi to the Bärenbad (1,252m/4,108ft). From here it is a two hours' climb (jeep transport available in summer) to the Oberrisshütte (1,745m/5,725ft), from where it is another one and a half hours to the Franz-Senn-Hütte (2,147m/7,044ft; inn; accommodation), a good climbing and skiing base. The Ruderhofspitze (3,473m/11,395ft) can be climbed in five to six hours, the Hinterer Brunnenkogel (3,325m/10,909ft) also in five to six hours, the Lisener Fernerkogel (3,229m/10,824ft) in 4.5 hours; however, these climbs should be undertaken only by experienced climbers, preferably with a guide.