One of the most scenic hiking trails in the Dolomites is the ‘Hirzelweg’ (Sentiero del Masaré): a scenic trail under the walls of the Rotwand (Roda di Vael) on the west side of the Dolomites.
The tour started from St. Zyprian near Tiers in the Dolomites, Italy.
We took the 9am bus up to the Passo di Costalunga (1752 m).
The bus was already filled with a lot of other hikers, so it seemed that everyone had the same idea. But everyone finally got squeezed into the bus, ‘italian style’. I’m still wondering how the bus was able to drive up with such a speed up to the summit.
Part 1: Paolina – Ciampaz – Rotwandhütte
The first part of the tour is going up to the Paolina, then hike to the Rotwandhütte and Ciampaz:
With the public bus we arrived at the parking lot for the lift up to the Paolina hut:
From there (1609 m), we would have the choice to hike up to the Rifugio Paolina (2125 m). We were lazy, so we used the lift :-).
The destination is the Paolina hut:
From the Paolina you have a beautiful view to the valley and Latemar group:
From Paolina we took the trail 539:
At 2349 m the first stop: Monumento a Cristomannos:
Theodor Christomannos (1854-1911) was an important person, developing the South Tyrol area.
After that we crossed the ‘Murmeltiertal’. Can you spot the Marmot in the image below?
💡 Hint: check the center of the image.
Then the first time the Ciampaz (2316 m) was visible around the corner:
Left from the Ciampaz is the Rotwandhütte (Rifugio Roda di Vael, 2280 m):
The Rotwandhütte is located behind the Rotwand at 2280 m. To me one of the most scenic huts:
No time for resting (yet): first we want to get up to the Ciampaz!
It takes us 20 minutes to go up there (some climbing needed!). But the view is really worth it!
The Rotwandhütte is an excellent starting point for many hiking and climbing tours in the area.
Part 2: Rosengartenhütte – Hirzelweg – Kölnerhütte
After a lunch break in the Rosengartenhütte, it was time to go back the same way we came from Paolina.
On the way back, yet another beautiful view to the Latemar peaks:
Shortly after the Christomannos monument, instead going down to the Paolina station, we took the way up to follow the Hirzelweg:
This scenic trail passes down under the Masare Spitze (2589 m), Teufelswand (Roda del Diavolo, 2727 m), Rotwand (2806 m), Tscheiner Spitze (2810 m) and Tschager Spitze (2781 m) with stunning views.
Passing big rocks, one so big there is an iron ladder to get on top of it:
With the Dolomite mountains on the right and above us, we have a beautiful view down to the valley were we came from:
The Kölnerhütte (Rifugio A. Fronza alle Coronelle, 2337 m) showed up as our next target:
But this time we did not visit the hut for a break.
Instead, we took the lift. They pause the lift for an hour (12:30 – 13:30). So we arrived right on time at 13:30 when it started running again.
The lift took us down to the Frommer Alm (1743 m):
While going down, we had a beautiful view to the Schlern on the right:
Then we arrived down at the Frommer Alm (1743 m).
The plan was to take the public bus back St. Zyprian. But because the lift had some problems (stop and go), we missed the bus. With the next bus in two hours, we decided to hike all the way back instead waiting:
We entered the ‘Perlenweg’ which is a nice hike to the Nigerpass (Rifugio Passo Nigra), going through a beautiful forest.
After 30 minutes, we arrived at the Rifugio Passo Nigra (1688 m):
After taking a rest and refreshing energies in the Restaurant, time to take the last part under our feet. We continued to follow the Perlenweg down to St. Zyprian:
That way goes down around 600 m to St. Zyprian (1070 m).
After one hour, we arrived back to our starting point again :-).
Time to have a beer, relax and plan for the tour on the next day 🙂
- Time: 7-8 hours (hiking time 5-6 hours, not using the lift: add 2 hours)
- Highest point: 2316
- Lowest point: 1070
Happy Dolomiting 🙂