Hiking Tour to Finail summit
Hiking Tour to Finail summitPhoto: Peter Santer, Schnals
Finailspitze (often spelt Fineilspitze) is a fascinating tour in the Schnalstal Valley offering landscape and archaeological treasures. There is a spectacular view from the summit to the glacier world of the Ötztal Alps: in the east to the Niederjoch glacier with Similaun, Marzellspitze, and to the Hintere Schwärze, in the south towards the Tisental Valley, Schnalstal Valley with the Schlandrauner Mountains opposite, to the Hochjochferner glacier with a view of the Weißkugel. We are following in the footsteps of Ötzi, the Iceman.
Track typesShow elevation profile
At the dam wall at Vernagt reservoir, we follow the signpost for refuge Similaun north-westwards as far as Tisenhof farm (1,814 m a.s.l), a place for a light snack. From the Farmstead Tisenhof, the signposted trail (A2) leads through meadows near Leiterbach stream, then through a sparse larch forest and after that over rocky terrain, entering the valley northwards through the Tisental Valley. At the end of the valley, you will soon see the imposing Finailspitze with its large summit cross that sparkles in the sun. Shortly after passing a wayside shrine devoted to St. Martin, the highly regarded patron Saint of livestock, we arrive at a hill with a stela. This is the remains of a building referred to as the “labyrinth” or simply “snail”. The building was built of stone and has a diameter of about 4 metres and a passageway winds in a spiral to a small cell at the centre, where you can see a recess. In the hollow beside it, where silica was found, there is another circular and totally derelict stone building: possibly once a shelter for herdsmen. We then pass along a few steep and stony bends with a crossing to a prominent ledge and after a few more bends the Niederjoch glacier, behind which is the refuge Similaun (3,019 m a.s.l). The ascent to the hut (over 1,000 m elevation gain) justifies a break at this point. Directly behind the refuge Similaun, we continue on a marked rocky path (A2), at times using a fixed rope, across the somewhat lengthy crest of the ridge. Soon after this, on a widening ridge, rising and falling, we arrive at the Ötzi discovery site at Tisenjoch (3,210 m a.s.l). There is an impressive stone pyramid there with an information board that reminds us of the discovery of the glacier mummy by the Simons in 1991. A letter from 1859 tells us that the trail that used to connect Madonna di Senales/Unser Frau with Vent in the Ötztal Valley (A) runs right along here where the glacier mummy was found. We continuing unmarked tracks that are initially on the level and then become increasingly steeper and more challenging (Climb grading I-II, also exposed in parts), along the North-East ridge as far as the secondary summit of the Finailspitze. We arrive at the large summit cross on the main summit, having crossed a narrow connecting ridge. The descent is along the same route, over Giogo Basso/Niederjoch and through the Tisental Valley to the Vernagt reservoir.
with the SAD bus line no. 261 to Vernago/Vernagt
Naturno/Naturns - Schnalstal Valley - Vernago/Vernagt
parking places at the lake in front of the church, free, unguarded
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