From the Vernagt/Vernago reservoir in Schnalstal/Val Senales to the Finailhof, one of the oldest mountain farmsteads in South Tyrol. The glaciers shine in the light of the sun, and sheep have always been driven across the high Niederjoch alpine pass into the neighbouring Ötztal valley during the so-called transhumance. This is also the place where the Iceman “Ötzi” was discovered. Our hike brings us into Schnalstal/Val Senales, up to the reservoir above the village of Unsere Frau in Schnals. An easy path leads us to the old mountain farmsteads which have always been occupied by the “Erben der Einsamkeit” (Heirs of Solitude) whose stories can still astound us.
We begin at the dam of the Vernagt/Vernago reservoir (1698 m) and climb to the Tisenhof (1822 m), then further into the valley to the Raffeinhof (1886 m). We ascend gradually along a secured ropeway to the historical Finailhof (1952 m). In the late 15th century the farmers here offered protection to Frederick IV, Duke of Further Austria (also known as Frederick of the Empty Pockets), on his escape. Here we take a delicious meal in a mountain farmstead known for its excellent cuisine.
On our descent, we follow the farm access road, then a path to the “Ötzi Rope Park”. We gain the orographic right side of the reservoir via a rope bridge, then follow the bank to the dam and cross this to reach our starting point.
Route rating/description: hike
Mountain range: Ötztaler Alpen/Alpi Venoste – Schnalstal/Val Senales
Length: approx. 8 km
Time: 3 hours
Highest point: 1952 m
Elevation gain: 250 m
Ideal time of year: June to October