Peaks & Mountains in South Tyrol
Alto Adige. A small mountain region in the heart of Europe. An area of 740,000 hectares, of which 60% is at 1,600 m. above sea level. Only a small part of it can be built on and cultivated in this huge rugged area of mountains, forests, and rock. A considerable part of this alpine landscape is covered by peaks that give the mountains their distinctive outline.
In Alto Adige there are 350 famous peaks which are more than 3,000 m high, the highest being the legendary Ortles. Reaching an altitude of 3,905 m it is formed mainly by Dolomites and immense glaciers. Josef Pichler, a deer hunter and alpine guide climbed the mountain for the first time on 17 September 1804. It was one of the most important events of the century.
In the middle of the 19th century there was a rush to climb the most famous peaks in Alto Adige, including the Dolomites, to take accurate measurements and prepare maps.
Mainly English climbers explored the mountains of Alto Adige and attempted the first ascents of the Dolomites. The most famous ascents of the Dolomites are certainly the Peak of Antermoia and the Rosengarten. From 1865 to 1868, Julius Payer, an Austrian Officer, accompanied by Johann Pinggera, an alpine guide from Solda, climbed at least 60 peaks in the Ortles group. Around 1870 all the highest peaks in Alto Adige had been climbed and some alpine associations were founded. Alpine guide activities also started.
These days, specialist clothing and equipment enable mountaineers to climb the most dangerous peaks. The real victory for a mountaineer today is not to reach the peak but to experience the freedom to enjoy endless landscapes and to get away from the noise of urban daily life.