Gondola ride up from Bolzano
Train around the mountain to Kolbenstein/Collalbo
The map tells us that, on Path Number 1, it is11.4 km (7.1 miles) to the peak, with a difference in elevation of 1100 meters (3600 feet, .7 miles), and should take about 4 hours. We think we'll do it faster and start on our way, initially crossing several fields separated by gates.
This way up Path 1 to Rittner Horn
Starting up the trail, through fields and gates
The next stage of the hike is on paths through the forest, still continuing up, with great views periodically appearing through the trees. We find piles of stacked rocks, but no time for us to add to the collection.
Through the woods
At one point, we wander aimlessly around a farmer's woodpile trying to find where the trail continues. It turns out that there are guard cows lying on the trail and we must step over the fence around their field and walk by them to continue on our way. We only figure this out when someone on a mountain bike comes the other way on the trail and confirms that the path does indeed continue through the cows.
Eventually, we reach Pemmern at 1538 meters (5045 feet, .95 miles). From here, the trail continues up more steeply and we have the option of taking a gondola up rather than walking. However, we walk, continuing through fields of cows, goats, and horses, all of them seeming curious about us.
The entire way, we're seeing incredible views of the surrounding mountains, as well as occasional glimpses of the summit to which we are headed.
The summit, our destination
Starting to see snow
We pass Gasthof Unterhorn, the last Gasthof (and opportunity for food, beer, wine, and toilet) before the top and start up the final steps to the summit.
Steps to the top
At the summit
We're tired and cold and soon ready to head back down (next blog). But, glad we're here, it's incredible!