The mountains of the Hohe Tauern are seen at their highest and grandest in the Glockner group. Here, within a relatively small area, is a great world of wild glaciers and mighty peaks of overwhelming splendor. The largest glacier in the eastern Alps, the Pasterze (10km/6.5mi long), lies in a great circle below the sheer walls of the Grossglockner (3,797m/12,458ft), flanked by fissured ice slopes - a scene of grandeur scarcely equaled anywhere else in the whole world of the Alps.
From the Franz-Josefs-Höhe it is no great distance, by way of the much fissured Hoffmann Glacier, to the last accommodation for climbers, the Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte on the imposing Adlersruhe (3,454m/11,333ft), the highest mountain hut in the Austrian Alps. The Oberwalder Hütte (2,793m/9,754ft), on an island of rock in the upper reaches of the Pasterze glacier, can also be quickly reached from the Grossglockner Road.
Salm-Hütte and Stüdl-Hütte
For those who want to get to know the gentler southern side, the Grossglockner can be reached from Heiligenblut by way of the Salm-Hütte (2,638m/8,655ft) or from Kals by way of the Stüdl-Hütte (2,802m/9,193ft).
The Tauernhöhenweg (Tauern Ridgeway) runs from the valley of the Krimmler Ache past the Grossvenediger and Grossglockner, then by way of the Franz-Josefs-Höhe and Heiligenblut and through the Ankogel group to the Tauern pass (see Gasteiner Tal).