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Südtirol: The Ortler Group





Just south of the Austrian border, after crossing the Reschenpass, the Vinschgau valley lies in front of you. The valley itself is characterized by its wide shape, the lakes embedded in the valley, the green hills enframing it and the numerous beautiful villages, like Prad or Mals. As the Vinschgau is part of Südtirol resp. Alto Adige, it is bilingual: German and Italian are understood by almost everyone. To sum it up, the Vinschgau valley is an ideal area to kick back from daily life and to enjoy an almost mediterranean lifestyle.
But there's more to this area than just relaxation: the Ortler Group in the south of the Vinschgau, in the valley of Sulden/Solda. Sulden used to be the "Zermatt of Tyrol", as many of the most famous mountaineers of the early 20th century came from there. North and South of Sulden you'll find some of the highest mountains of the East Alps, like the mighty Ortler (3.905m), the impressive Königsspitze (3.851m), Monte Zebru (3.735m) and numerous other peaks higher than 3.000m.


General Information
Weather
Maps
 
Travel Information
How to get there
Travelling in the area
Accommodation
Activities
Hiking
High Alpine Tours
 
Specials
Things you shouldn't miss...
Things you shouldn't do...
 

General Information
- Sulden Tourist Information
- South Tyrol Online (hallo.com)

Weather
- South Tyrol Online Weather by the Hydrografisches Amt (German and Italian only, but excellent)
- Yahoo! Weather for Merano
- Weather forecast for South Tyrol by alpin.de (including Ortler and some huts, German only)

Maps
Unfortunately, the Ortler Group is not covered by the high quality maps of Switzerland or the Alpenverein. Consequently you will have to rely upon the maps of the Kompass Verlag or Freytag & Berndt at the 1:50.000 scale or the Tabacco Map for this region. Kompass Map Nr. 72 "Ortler/Ortles Cevedale" will do the job for a rough orientation in the area, but only if you intend to use trails which are already well marked.
- Area Map from National Geographic
- Map of the Ortler Region by Alan Ingram
- Map of Streets around Sulden/Solda by multimap
- Map (1:25.000) (69k) of the tour to the Tschenglser Hochwand
- Map (1:25.000) (71k) of the tour to the Hoher Angelus

Travel Information

How to get there
The Ortler Group is accessed best from North via the Reschenpass if you are coming from Austria and via the Stilfser Joch if you are coming from Switzerland or Italy. Train connections are only existing from Meran to Schluderns in the Vinschagu valley, from there you will have to get a bus to Sulden.
- more general info for all of South Tyrol by hallo.com
- Information by Sulden.com (Car, Train)


Travelling in the area
If you didn't come by car, travelling in the area will be stressful and annoying, as public transport is not developed very well. Local bus companies will bring you at least to the most important tourist areas. But once you arrived at your destination, you will like the easy access to many mountain groups and huts by cable cars and/or well marked trails - the infrastructure for the hiker and alpinist itself around Sulden is developed pretty well. If you want to get to the Düsseldorfer Hütte (Rifugio Serristori), the Kanzellift (Pulpito) will save you almost 400m ascent, from there you simply follow the well marked trail No.12 for 1,5h. The Schaubachhütte , starting point for climbing Königsspitze, Sulden Spitze and Eissee Spitze, is even the ending point of a cable car and also the access to the Hintergrathütte or the Payerhütte for climbing the Ortler is made easier by another cable car, the Langensteinlift.

- Skilifts by Sulden.com

Accommodation
Of course Sulden will offer you a wide range of hotels and guest rooms. More important to the alpinist, the numerous huts in the area will provide excellent "base camps" for climbing the surrounding mountains: Düsseldorfer Hütte (++39 0473 613115) for Vertainsspitze, Hoher Angelus and Tschenglser Hochwand, Schaubachhütte (++39 0473 611752) for e.g. Königsspitze or Payerhütte (++39 0473 666372) for the Ortler. Call the Verkehrsverein Sulden for more information: ++39 0473 613 015.
- Accommodation Info by Sulden.com
- for more info on the huts in Italy, try the CAI database (Sec. Lugo di Romagna)
- Düsseldorfer Hütte (Zaytalhütte, Rif. Serristori), 2.721m
- Overview of the Huts in the Ortler Area/South Tyrol


Activities
The Ortler Group itself is not a very big mountain group, but nonetheless a very attractive one for the ambitioned mountaineer: almost nowhere else in the East Alps are so many high peaks accessed as easily as here. Consequently, the small valley of Sulden offers a huge range of outdoor activities.

Hiking
Although huge glaciers characterize most of the area, glacier free hiking is possible in this high alpine region. Especially the area of the Düsseldorfer Hütte offers - depending on season and actual weather - numerous well marked hikes to 3.000m peaks. These hikes are due to the height never easy or without any objective danger, but will usually not mean any obstacle to the experienced hiker. A hike in the area will almost always combine walking, moderate climbing and crossing snow fields, so be prepared in order to enjoy the impressive views you will gain on the surrounding alpine world.
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Tour: From the Düsseldorfer Hütte (2.721m) to the Tschenglser Hochwand / Croda di Cengles (3.378m) via the Erich-Otto-Steig

High Alpine Tours
If you brought crampons, ice axe and a rope, probably nothing can stop you from doing tours on the more challenging mountains in the area. Because of the height, most of the peaks can only be climbed via glaciers and the trails are usually crossing steep ice and snow fields. A good preparation for the more serious targets, e.g. Ortler or Königsspitze, is certainly the Hoher Angelus accessed from the Düsseldorfer Hütte, which combines easy climbs, 40° ice and/or snow fields and glacier contact if you wish.
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Tour: From the Düsseldorfer Hütte (2.721m) to the Hoher Angelus / Angelo Grande (3.521m) via the Reinstadlerweg


Specials

...things you shouldn't miss!
Maybe you just came to the area to do a little hiking and to enjoy the easy life in the Vinschgau valley. And all of the sudden you realize how much more could be done here if you just would've brought the necessary gear. Or you feel the urge to do some more advanced climbs. In these cases, don't miss the chance and hire a mountain guide at the Ortler Alpinschule. For the tours described here you usually won't need one, but climbing the Ortler for example might require some professional help. The Alpinschule organizes regular trips to the Vertainspitze, Suldenspitze or Cevedale and individual trips to Ortler, Königsspitze and the like: ++39 0473 613004 (alpinschule.ortler@gmx.net).

...things you shouldn't do!
Well, simply don't underestimate the hikes and tours you can do here. The height and local weather conditions will require decent preparation for every trip you make and you should certainly take some time to acclimatize before you attempt to climb the more serious peaks here. The tours introduced here are excellent "warm-ups" and in parts serious tours in themselves. And as usual, don't expect to be on your own especially when climbing the famous peaks like Ortler or Königsspitze. As the former is the highest peak in the East Alps, almost every alpinist "has to" climb it, consequently the huts and normal route will be overcrowded during peak season. Look for the mountains instead, which are maybe just a couple of meters lower or which don't have famous names and you will probably be a lot more satisfied with your trip.

last revision: Monday, August 11, 2003 copyright www.therucksack.net