Grossglockner is, at 3798 m above sea level, Austria's highest mountain and the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass. This makes it, after Mont Blanc, the second most prominent mountain in the Alps, when measured by relative height. See the list of Alpine peaks by prominence.
Grossglockner lies on the border between Carinthia and East Tyrol and is the highest peak in the Glockner group, a group of mountains along the main ridge of the Hohe Tauern. The summit itself lies on the Glockner ridge, which branches to the south off the main ridge. The Pasterze, Austria's biggest glacier lies at Großglockner's foot.
The characteristic pyramid-shaped peak actually consists of two pinnacles, the Großglockner and Kleinglockner (3700 m) (klein = "small" in German), separated by a saddle-like formation known as the Glocknerscharte.
The first assault on Großglockner in 1799 failed. In the summer of 1800 a second expedition was organized by Franz-Xaver Salm-Raifferscheid, Prince-Bishop of Gurk: 62 persons, among them 47 guides, took part. The old Salmhütte, at 2750 m, was specially built to furnish shelter for this undertaking. On 28 July 1800, brothers Martin and Sepp Klotz, along with two other carpenters, and even a clergyman from Dölsach named Horasch, challenged themselves to reach the summit by way of the Hohenwartscharte.
There is also a direct climbing route from the Pasterze glacier to the Glocknerscharte: the Pallavicini Trough. Alfred Markgraf Pallavicini undertook the first climb on this route in 1876 with three guides from Heiligenblut.
Also famous is the scenic highway Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße between Heiligenblut and Fusch, built between 1930 and 1935, which reaches a height of 2572 m.