The Altissima is located on the border of North Tyrol in Austria and South Tyrol in Italy.
Image gallery: Altissima
On South Tyrolean terrain, between the Val Senales and Gurgler mountain range in the Oetztal Alps, there is the Altissima (3,480 m a.s.l. - Hohe Wilde, in German), which has two summits: the southern summit and the slightly lower northern summit (3,458 m a.s.l.). The Altissima is a popular viewpoint and destination for many mountaineers. From south, the tour is snow-free, it is one of the highest summits of the Eastern Alps which can be reached on a marked trail.
You can reach the summit of the Altissima via the Val di Fosse valley in Val Senales (1,693 m a.s.l.), at the edge of the Gruppo di Tessa Nature Park, including an altitude difference of 1,800 m and 4 hours of walking. From the Vorderkaser farmstead, you pass the Mitterkaser and finally the Eishof farm at 2,000 m a.s.l., once the highest-located permanent settlement of the Eastern Alps. The way stretches up to the famous Rifugio Petrarca (2,893 m a.s.l.), which is over-towered by the Cima Bianca Alta, another impressive mountain of the Tessa mountain group.
Before you reach the summit, usually you have to overcome a small snow field. Crampons are usually not necessary, but might facilitate the ascent. However, you need to be sure-footed, mountain-experienced and wear appropriate equipment. Be careful with firn and ice. The last passage is rather steep, but in the end you are rewarded with a fabulous view: the Oetztal Alps, the Similaun Glacier and the upper Val di Fosse show their bright side. By the way, this summit can also be scaled from Plan in Val Passiria.
Please note: the Rifugio Petrarca was partly destroyed by an avalanche in February 2014. In July 2014 the mountain hut has reopened again for daily visitors, since summer 2017 it offers again overnight accommodation!