Hike to the Ötzi site at the Hauslabjoch

This challenging hike leads us from Vernago in the Val Senales valley via the Similaun Mountain Hut to the discovery place of Ötzi, the famous Iceman.

To reach the place of discovery of the legendary Iceman, there are actually two starting points in the Val Senales valley: the locality of Vernago at 1,710 m a.s.l. (reachable by car or bus) or the Tisenhof farm at 1,815 m a.s.l. (only little parking).

Following the road and the marker no. 2, we walk uphill to the Tisenhof farm. There the path through the Valle di Tisa valley starts. Slightly above the timber line, at an altitude of 2,300 m a.s.l., approx. 100 m west of the trail, the “Schneckenhütte” or “Labyrinth”, an archaeological site is located. At about 2,700 m a.s.l. we reach the scree fields on the Tisenberg mountain. The trail winds through the rocky landscape, then along the cliffs up to the Niederjoch ridge (3,020 m a.s.l.), where our stage destination, the Similaun Mountain Hut, is located. From here we enjoy a gorgeous view on the 3,600 m high Similaun with its icy northern flank.

After a break, we continue on the path no. 2A towards the place of discovery of Ötzi. Most of the ascent we have already managed but now it becomes a bit more difficult. Easy climbing is in demand, rope safety devices help to master the trail through the stony landscape. On the mountain ridge the efforts are then rewarded with a wonderful view. After crossing a small snow field, we reach the obelisk near the site where the Ötzi mummy was found at more than 3,200 m a.s.l. It is exhibited in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano today. If you want, you can hike up another 80 metres to the Hauslabjoch ridge. For our way back we take the same route.

Author: AT

Please note: this hiking tour requires good physical shape, sure footedness and alpine experience as well as hiking boots and hiking poles! If you would like to do this mountain hike please take information about the current conditions on site!

Starting point: Vernago in the Val Senales valley (parking space at the dam)
Route: Vernago – Tisenhof farm – Valle di Tisa valley – Niederjoch ridge – Similaun Mountain Hut – Ötzi site
Markers: no. 2, 2A, Archaeological Walking Path A2
Distance: 7 km (each direction)
Walking time: approx. 4.5 hours ascent, 3.5 hours descent
Altitude difference: approx. 1,610 m
Altitude level: between 1,710 and 3,240 m a.s.l.
Experienced in: August 2018

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