The Kuehtaisattel is a large climb close to Innsbruck. It starts in the lowest valley around, the Inntal, and reaches above 2000 meters. Its parallel course to the Inn valley means relatively little truck or non tourist traffic. But the top is a heavily commercialized area with ski lifts and hotels, and also water power generation facilities from two reservoirs. All these things are also a cause for traffic. Many cyclists use this road on weekends. Motorcycle traffic is present, but its not quite the overwhelming mass as the more touristy passes.

01.(00.0km,698m) START-END WEST: Oetztal Bahnhof
02.(07.0km,792m) route turns up towards Kuehtail away from Oetztal Bundesstrasse.
03.(16.9km,1538m) Ochsengarten
04.(24.8kim,2017m) TOP: Kuehtaisattel
05.(32.0km,1528m) Sankt Sigmund
06.(50.4km,597m) START-END EAST: jct Inntal bike path - Sellrainer Strasse, just north of Kermaten


From West.  Starting at the river Inn and its magnificent bike path (Innradwanderweg), you make your way to the town of Oetz. Despite of where some maps show the turnoff to Kuhtaisattel, it is south (upvalley) of the town at a rondell. (My Falk Altas shows the turnoff on the north side). The road engages in several switchbacks and rises to great viewing point of the Oetz and Inn valleys. During my summer ride over this road, the clouds building over these valleys were the most memorable view along the entire route. Then the road turns to follow a mountain stream (Stockacher Bach) in the forest and the views are lost. This climb continuous fairly steeply for quite a while to a ski town. Exiting it, the road grade increases to 18 percent. Finally the treeline comes into sight, as well as a damn of some sort. This turns out to be a water reservoir. Its grassy shores are shared by free roaming cows, wandering tourists, power lines, parking lots and power generation equipment. Its one more short climb to the summit, where a whole other village of multi star businesses lie in wait to do business. Ski lifts abound, and looking up you can see a mighty second damn, collecting more mountain water.

From East. (described downwards) The weather must be harsher on this side. The trees start at a substantially lower altitude. The road goes straight down the bottom of this stark valley. There are hardly any curves and its not too steep to just let the bike roll on its own. The road traverses two long open gallery style tunnels. At the town of Sankt Sigmund in the Sellraintal the ski lifts already seem a world away. This seems like more like a hiking paradise, gathered around a picturesque church. Even more promising are the views from the next town, Marendabach, up the Luesenertal, at the end of which a triangular horn waits for climbers. The road  down the Kuehtaisattel continues to descend, now through a narrow valley with another short gallery tunnel, soom emerging in Kermaten, near Zirl. You can pick up the bike path (Innradwanderweg) again near the river. It is paved, except for a few, very short sections.



Dayrides. A loop ride with a few additional kms to approach was: Roppen (near Oetz) - Oetz - Kuehtaisattel - Kermaten - Zirl - returning to the starting point on the bike path (Innradwanderweg) measured 62 miles with 5300ft of climbing in 5:4 hours. (m3:9.7.5).

pictures: pics 1 and 2 show the morning view up and down the Oetz valley, promising afternoon storms; taken during the initial climb on the western side. Pic 3 just east of the summit. pic 4 shows the overdeveloped summit.


Highest Point:
Western Approach:

from Oetztal Bahnhof (698m)
from Oetz (792m)
1225m 17.8km
Eastern Approach

from Inntal Radweg, north of Kematen (597m) 1420m 25.6km


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