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Ski Mountaineering in the Ortler Alps

Ortler Alps | Italy
5.00
1 REVIEW
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to ski mountaineer in the Ortler Alps

  • Trip Highlight

    Incredible alpine terrain makes this area ideal for hardcore skiing

  • Trip Highlight

    Try the traditional Italian cuisine and get a true taste of Italy

  • Trip Highlight

    Rest in the charming huts dotted along the way

If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing Italy to the fullest while tearing down its snow-dusted mountains, the Ortler Alps are the way to go! Apart from being deeply steeped in history due to its strategic position in WWI, this Alpine region is a veritable dreamland for any ardent ski mountaineer. The area boasts fields of untracked snow with stunning lines to make turns on, diverse snow conditions and superb terrain simply waiting to be conquered—all amid jaw-dropping glaciated peaks and sweeping vistas along the way! On top of that, you can find an ideal pit stop or overnight refuge in many cozy huts the area is strewn with. Their inviting atmosphere is ideal to put your mind at ease and taste the authentic Italian cuisine, coffee, and gelato after shredding acres upon acres of quality snow and scaling and descending the region’s most breathtaking mountains and shimmering glaciers. Get ready for an adrenaline-fueled adventure with the help of an expert guide and experience Italy the right way!

Season

March and April

Nearest city

Innsbruck, Austria, is about 2.5 hours away

Duration

7 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

7-day Ski Mountaineering Trip

7 days

Delve into the world of this remarkable Alpine area and conquer numerous peaks just under the 4,000 m mark! Recharge your batteries and spend your nights in the cozy mountain huts scattered along the way after shredding top-tier snow and taste the authentic Italian cuisine. Join your knowledgeable guide and let them help you scale and descend the glaciated peaks. Don’t forget to marvel at the striking views while developing your ski mountaineering skills in this snowy Italian wonderland!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 0: Meet and greet in Sulden

Before embarking on this thrilling adventure, you’ll meet up with your guide at a hotel at 5 pm in the picturesque village of Sulden (Solda) situated at the foot of the Ortler, the highest mountain in the Eastern alps and the main peak of the Ortler Alps, standing at an elevation of 12,812 ft (3,905 m). You’ll have dinner and a briefing with the guide and he’ll carry out the gear check in order to make sure you’re ready for this epic ski mountaineering adventure.

The village of Solda, Italy

Day 1: Solda all’Ortles

To kick off this electrifying adventure, you’ll take a shuttle to the Solda all’Ortles Ski Resort and use the lifts to gain access to some off-piste ski touring! Explore a gorgeous glacial cirque and your guide will use this day to do some skill assessment and development. In the afternoon, you’ll have plenty of time to sort out any equipment issues you may chance upon during the day.

The Solda Ski Resort lift

Day 2: Passo del Madriccio – Zufallhütte – Marteller Hütte

You’ll ride the lifts of the Solda all’Ortles Ski Resort again and begin your exciting tour of the first of many cols and huts! Your first destination is Passo del Madriccio (3,123 m), followed by the Zufallhütte at 2,265 m, a charming hut in the Martell Valley where you can enjoy a cup of Italian espresso. After that, head towards the Marteller Hütte (2610 m). This rustic hut also offers some phenomenal food and aromas of Italy, and seeing as it is surrounded by various three-thousand-meter peaks, you can only imagine what the views are like!

Zufalhütte in the Ortler Alps

Day 3: Monte Cevedale – Vedretta di Cedec – Colle del Pasquale

The third day sees you skiing towards the breathtaking Monte Cevedale with its southern summit being the highest mountain of Trentino province at 3,769 m. You’ll possibly ascend its icy headwall all the way to the summit before descending down the shimmering Vedretta di Cedec glacier till the flats. You’ll then transition for another climb over the Colle del Pasquale which separates Monte Pasquale from the Cevedale! Once you reach this col, it’s all downhill to the Branca Hut at 2,487 m, a gorgeous mountain shelter surrounded by some phenomenal views.

Monte Cevedale in the Ortler Alps

Day 4: Ski mountaineering from the Branca Hut

The Branca Hut is a true paradise for any ski mountaineer and has plenty of glaciated peaks to ski! Some of the objectives include Pizzo Tresero (3,549 m), Punta San Matteo at 3,678 m, Cime di Pejo (3,576 m) and Monte Vioz standing at an elevation of 3,645 m. All of these objectives include around 1,000 m of skinning and skiing in colossal glaciated terrain.

Punta San Matteo in the Ortler Alps

Day 5: Branca Hut – Pizzini Hut

You’ll again kick the day off by skiing from the Branca Hut to the Pizzini Hut at 2,700 m at the foot of Gran Zebrù (or the Königspitze in German), the second highest peak in the Ortler Alps (3,851). Keep in mind that the weather will dictate if you’ll ski the valley approach or up and over another col to get a ski descent into the Pizzini Hut.

Ski mountaineering near Königspitze in the Ortler Alps

Day 6: Gran Zebrù – Pizzini Hut

Skiing out of the Pizzini Hut sets you up for a myriad of great options based on conditions, and the hidden gem is the descent of the east face of Gran Zebrù. The tour will finish in the Pizzini Hut.

Gran Zebrù, the Ortler Alps

Day 7: Cima di Solda – Solda all’Ortles

To cap off this fascinating ski mountaineering experience, you’ll ski up and over the Cima di Solda (3,376 m) via the Casati Hut (3,254 m) and drop back down to the Solda all’Ortles Ski Resort where you’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner that evening.

Reviews

Reviews (1)

Matt Tosi about Alpine Guides International on Alpine Guides International Website

Mark is an extremely competent and dynamic guide. The extent of his knowledge for systems is impressive and allows him to adapt to challenging situations that present themselves. His proficiency in the mountains ensures that clients will feel safe while still pushing themselves to achieve predetermined goals. Most importantly Mark has a profound respect for the mountains and understands that judgment can never be overshadowed by blind ambition or ego. He once said to me, “you never bag a peak, but rather the mountain decides whether or not it will be climbed”. This has stuck with me and will always be the view that I take. I have shared a rope with Mark many times and intend to many more.

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Ortler Alps

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Ortler Alps, Italy, please refer to Italy’s Ministry of Health Website and Italian National Tourist Board Website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Seven days of ski mountaineering
    • Lift transfers
    • Three nights in a hotel in Sulden (double bed occupation)
    • Five nights in mountain huts with breakfast/dinner
    • Office support

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Air transportation
    • Train and bus transfers
    • Food in town
    • Lunch in the hut
    • Drinks and treats at huts
    • Rescue insurance
    • Travel insurance (optional but highly recommended)
    • Delays due to unpredictable circumstances (e.g. bad weather, avalanche hazards, transportation problems including trams and trains, sickness, lost baggage, etc.)

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a very good level of fitness and backcountry skiing experience. You need to be a solid intermediate to advanced skier confident in variable snow conditions (powder, hardpack, breakable crust, corn and packed powder) across diverse terrain including glaciated avalanche terrain. You’ll be required to ski on tours for around 6-8 hours with a 25 lb pack covering up to 5,000 ft (1500 m) skinning and skiing and perform link turns for speed control. There are some steep sections that you’ll often boot up and side step or get lowered down on a rope. Most of the skiing consists of moderate angled glacier skiing and there isn’t much real steep skiing. There is a number of hard days interspersed with easy days. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging black-level resort runs.

What if I’ve never ski mountaineered before?

This adventure is suited for intermediate to advanced skiers with previous skiing and riding experience in the backcountry and confidence in variable snow conditions (powder, hardpack, breakable crust, corn and packed powder) across diverse terrain including glaciated avalanche terrain.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

    • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis with bindings and skins (can be rented)
    • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
    • Ski crampons and 12 point crampons (can be rented)
    • Ice axe (can be rented)
    • 2 locking pear shaped carabiners
    • 2 non-locking oval carabiners
    • 7 mm perlon cord for anchor material (5.5 meters/18’)
    • 6 mm perlon cord for prusik loops (1.5 meter/4’)
    • Long rubber ski straps (1 or 2)
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
    • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
    • Lightweight snow shovel
    • Avalanche probe
    • Harness for glacier travel (for advanced touring)

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses, glacier glasses or ski goggles
    • Gloves
    • 2 polar fleece or wool ski hats
    • Baseball hat or visor (dark underside of visor)
    • Buff or fleece neck warmer
    • Synthetic or wool t-shirt
    • Lightweight synthetic or wool long sleeve base layer
    • Expedition weight synthetic long sleeve shirt
    • Wind and waterproof soft shell jacket with hood or heavy weight fleece
    • Hard shell jacket (waterproof and breathable)
    • Lightweight hoodie
    • Synthetic or down insulating jacket/puffy
    • Lightweight gloves for ski touring
    • Insulating gloves with Shell and gauntlet
    • Puffy synthetic or wool mittens
    • Hand warmers
    • Light- or midweight synthetic long underwear bottoms
    • Soft shell pants
    • Lightweight shell pants (must have side zippers to at least knee high)
    • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
    • Thin cotton, silk or poly sleeping bag liner (mandatory in all mountain huts)
    • Two 1-liter water bottles (with insulation covers) or one thermos
    • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
    • Headlamp
    • Toiletry kit
    • First aid kit
    • Small stuff sacks to organize clothing and gear
    • Sunscreen and lip screen (min 30 SPF)
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
    • Camera — optional

Deposits and cancellation policy

A $500 deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies, and deposits are no longer refundable. The remaining amount is paid the latest 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. For “last minute” bookings (trips booked 60 or fewer days before departure), full cost is due at the time of booking.

In case you need to cancel the trip, the following cancellation costs would be incurred:
– 60 or more days prior to departure, A.G.I. will charge a $100.00 fee and refund the remaining amount
– Within 60 days of departure date, A.G.I. will give no refund for cancellations
– If you or your guide are able to resell your trip space, A.G.I. will refund all but $100.00 of the total amount.

If A.G.I. cancels the trip you can expect a full refund. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure.

 

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For this adventure, the client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
    • It takes a minimum of 4 guests for this tour to operate.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Ski touring in the Ortler Alps can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Ortler Alps, the closest airport is Innsbruck Airport in Austria, a 2.5-hour drive from the Ortler Alps. From there you can rent a car or take a train to Spondigna via Merano where you’ll get your last ticket to Spondinig and get a taxi for the 30 minute drive to Sulden.

Other bigger international airports include Milan Malpensa Airport, about 5 hours away, and Munich Airport in Germany, about 4.5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a train and bus to get to Sulden (Solda), Italy.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, you will meet your guide at a hotel in Sulden (Solda) at 5 pm. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding

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