Hiking on the Pfunders High Mountain trail
Here’s a foretaste
If you have a passion for trekking and mountaineering, the Pfunders High Mountain trail will steal your heart with its panoramic views and memorable experiences in close contact with nature. This trail challenges hikers with a total length of 71.7 kilometres and a punchy elevation gain of 6,000 metres, but it can be easily divided into five daily stages. The first stage leads from Sterzing to the Simile-Mahd Alp (overnight stay not possible this summer), the second over the Wilde Kreuzspitze mountain and to the Brixnerhütte hut, the third on to the Edelrauthütte hut, the fourth to the Tiefrastenhütte hut and the fifth to Sankt Georgen, near Bruneck. Here and there, there are some steep, grassy slopes to reckon with, as well as one rather lofty via ferrata, so surefootedness is essential for this adventure.
Soaring at jaw-dropping 3,132 metres, this is the highest peak in the Pfunders mountains and offers a unique vantage point. Fun fact: the highest point of this mountain is to the north of the summit cross and relatively easy to reach from there.
The Edelrauthütte hut is located at 2,545 metres on the Eisbrugg saddle. It was completely renovated in 2015, and is now a modern, energy self-sufficient hut with plenty of accommodation options and shared bathrooms on every floor.
The Tiefrastenhütte hut is located at 2,312 metres, right by the Tiefrastensee lake with its shimmering blue-green waters. It offers accommodation for 52 people and an authentic Alpine hut atmosphere.
The Pfunders High Mountain trail in detail
The stages of this trail, which leads through the Gitschberg Jochtal holiday area, will reward your efforts with spectacular views. The Wildesee lake, shimmering at 2,532 metres of altitude, heralds the highest mountain of the Pfunders mountain range: Mt. Wilde Kreuzspitze, a giant of 3,132 metres. Climb to its top, and the 360-degree panorama will take away whatever breath you have left after the trek. The way down will lead you to the Brixnerhütte hut, where you can spend the night and start off the following day with a generous breakfast to refill your energy tank. You will need it, because the next stretch leads you over the Steinkar col, the Keller col, the Dannel col and the Gais col all the way to the Edelrauthütte hut, at 2,545 metres.
This stage takes approximately nine hours to complete. If it is too long for you, you can add an overnight stay at the Walter Brenninger bivouac. From the Edelrauthütte hut the itinerary leads over the Kuh col, the Passenjoch saddle and the Hochsäge col to the Tiefrastenhütte hut (2,312 metres). Half of the Pfunders High Mountain trail is within the Gitschberg Jochtal holiday area.
How to get there
The starting point of the Pfunders High Mountain trail is near Sterzing. If you are travelling by train, you can start your hike directly outside the railway station, walking southwards first and then eastwards in the direction of a small village called Wiesen. If you are travelling by car you can park in the parking area opposite the church in Wiesen. At the end of your tour, you can go back from St. Georgen to Sterzing using public transport (it takes approximately 2 hours by train).