Mountains shape the landscape of South Tyrol, reason enough for Sabine to launch her new blog series of “mountain portraits”. Here she introduces the imposing and equally famous peak of the Ortler, located in the Vinschgau Valley!
Anyone who has reached the summit of this 3,905-metre giant of stone knows exactly what it is like to have the world of mountains and valleys at your feet – not to mention the feelings that this arouses of awe, relief and a fair amount of pride to have actually made it to the top. This is at least how I felt some three years ago. :-)
And so, dear readers, we begin our new series of mountain portraits – with the fascinating peak of the Ortler!
THE best-known of South Tyrol's mountains
The Ortler is located in the westernmost part of South Tyrol, in the upper Vinschgau Valley and is the tallest mountain in the land! It forms the highest point of the Ortler Alps and was first climbed on 27 September 1804 by Josef Pichler from the Passeier Valley, at the behest of Archduke John of Austria. Since then, “King Ortler” (as it is also known), with its three distinctive ridges, is now one of Italy’s best-known summit destinations: each year it attracts and entrances mountaineers and summiteers alike. The massif largely consists of main dolomite, a shallow-water sedimentary rock from the Upper Triassic series.
The various routes to the summit are very demanding and count as high-Alpine glacier tours on account of their icy, steep and exposed sections – the north face is in fact the largest ice wall in the Eastern Alps! The retreat of the glaciers means that conditions on the ground are constantly changing: appropriate equipment, good weather conditions and above all adequate mountaineering experience are all vital prerequisites – and, ideally, so is an experienced mountain guide. The most popular route starts from the Payer hut, situated at 3,209 metres, then leads over the north ridge to the summit.
The world from above
Once at the top, you are rewarded with incomparably breathtaking views – the Ötztal Alps, the Silvretta and Bernina groups and of course the Dolomites: a full 360 degrees of amazement. And, according to the Ortler saga, you are also standing on the head of a petrified giant. :-)
If you want to spend a holiday beneath South Tyrol’s glaciated giants, take a look at our private landlords in the Vinschgau Valley – especially those in Sulden – and come and hear all about exciting mountaineering adventures! ;-)
Yours from the heart, Sabine
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