Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hiking up Rittner Horn/Corno del Renon

Rittner Horn (Corno del Renon in Italian) is 2260 meters (7415 feet, 1.4 miles) high and the peak is 2000 meters (1.25 miles) above Bolzano.  We're hiking to the peak, but not from Bolzano at the bottom.  We start with a ride in the Rittner Seilbahn (Funivia del Renon) cable car up to Oberbozen (Sobrabolzano) at 1220 meters (.76 miles) and take the Rittner Bahn (Treno del Renon) train along the side of the mountain to Klobenstein (Collalbo) at 1160 meters (.72 miles), where we start up Path Number 1 to the top.

 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

Rock stacking

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.

Guard cows, trail continues over the fence and 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.

 Continuing up


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.

 Surrounding peaks

The summit, our destination

 And, we're starting to walk through the snow, which will get deeper as we approach the top.

 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.

 Gasthof Unterhorn

Steps to the top

We arrive and quickly admire the views.  It's beautiful, but very windy and cold.

 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!

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