South Tyrol: Salewa Grande Circolo Stage 2: Maiern – Müllerhütte

Lago di Malavalle. By Anton Brey

Looking back at our 6-day trekking adventure along the borders of South Tyrol, day two was certainly my favorite. Not because the entire hike was uphill, but because of the variation in the terrain, the glacier crossing and the absurdly beautiful location of our destination, the Müllerhütte. Another great thing about this hike, is that is also an amazing venture to do as an overnight hike without doing the whole 6-day trek. Please have in mind though, that you will need appropriate equipment to cross the glacier in order to reach the Müllerhütte, and, in the event you are not a group qualified to cross the glacier on your own, you will need a mountain guide (for which I can highly recommend Egon Resch).

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Considering the long hike, you should make sure to get an early start from Maiern. We started our hike from Hotel Schneeberg. If you wish to do the hike as part of a multi-day-hike, you may consider adding Dolomites: Salewa Grande Circolo Stage 1: Gossensass – Maiern the day before.

The first part of the hike is zig-zagging through the forest, most of the time accompanied by a beautiful river and some waterfalls calling for your camera.

Video by Andrea Capello/@dolomistici

And what a day this should be! A short lunch at the Teplitzerhütte turned long as we tried to wait out the rainstorm. In the end we covered up and faced the challenge head on, equipped to connect to the fixed ropes provided at the most exposed sections of the hike. I enjoyed this wet part, moving confidently in the equipment and for the first time with poles, when not using the ropes to pull myself up. Suddenly the rain stopped and the fog lifted just in time for us to enjoy the most amazing view of the turquoise Lago di Malavalle. Fuelled by these amazing views we made it to the glacier and our last leg before reaching the Müller hut. Müller hut was my definite favorite, surrounded by glacier and mountains on 3145 meters, and with a welcoming Danish hostess securing a steady flow of biers and kaiserschmarren in the afternoon sun.

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If you are not doing a hut-to-hut-hike, return the same way as you came up, with all the amazing views you turned your back to the day before. And don’t sleep in in the morning. The sunrise from the Müller hütte is not to be missed!

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Distance: 15K Elevation gain: 2045m (highest point 3145 m.a.s.)

Strava for details: https://www.strava.com/activities/2596266391

Müllerhütte. By Anton Brey
Kaiserschmarren. By Anton Brey

Accommodation: https://www.muellerhuette.eu/

I recommend you book your stay in advance.

Dolomites: Salewa Grande Circolo Stage 1: Gossensass – Maiern

Ridge addict (photo: Samu Hurskainen)

In August last year I was invited by the Italian mountaineering brand, Salewa, to participate in a 6-day trekking experience in the Dolomites. This was the third event of their project, Grande Circolo, an ode to the region of South Tyrol in the form of an alpine tour along the borders of the region.

I had just returned from a week in the Dolomites, determined to spend more time at the high altitude rifugios (mountain huts), and was already planing to return next summer, when I received the invitation, and could not believe my luck!

While I spend most of my time in the mountains with a super-light backpack and running shoes, this event would expose me to a much heavier backpack, glacier equipment, mountain shoes, and adapting my speed to the group. I am sure our guide would say I was not always successful at the latter, yet I enjoyed every second of it.

Fly high
Flying high (photo: Andrea Cappello for Dolomistici)

Day 1: Gossensass – Maiern

We started out adventure from the village of Gossensass (Colle Isarco in Italian), which is accessible by train. According to our guide, Egon, the first day was just a kind warm up for what to come on day two and three. This warm up still included 1692 meters of elevation and 19.7 kilometers on foot, and the introduction to the region’s apfelstrudel and speck, which should turn out to be our favorite go-to-fuels this week, as well as a wide variety of “schorle” (juice and sparkling water blends).

Egon Linda
Endless green (photo: Andrea Cappello for Dolomistici)
Glacier view (photo: Andrea Cappello for Dolomistici)

The first part of the hike took us uphill through the forest, before the landscape opened up just as we reached our first mountain refueling hut. I can still remember the taste and texture of the apfel strudel, which eventually turned out to be my lunch this day. Breaking up from the hut, we still had to overcome some uphill before reaching the first pass of the day at 2147 meter a.s.l. after 7.5 km. Looking to our left from the pass a velvet green ridge showed off and made our cameras click. After a short descent we more or less kept the height for 5-6 km turning corners with stunning views, including view of the glacier, which was to be our destination for the second day. After about 14.5 km we finally reached a refueling opportunity and loaded up on speck and bread before our knee-killing steep descent to Maiern.

Strava for details: https://www.strava.com/activities/2593871325

Accommodation: https://www.schneeberg.it/

To be continued.

Glacier view
More glacier views (photo: Andrea Cappello for Dolomistici)

Planning your own multi-day hike?

The transport system in South Tyrol allows you to plan your own multi-day destination to destination hike. The starting point for our trekking experience, Gossensass (Colle Isarco), is just off the Brenner highway, about one hour by train from Innsbruck.