The nice view over Merano and environments
On top of the Via Ferrata
The way up
Start of the Via Ferrata
Try moving the polaroids by dragging the bottom!
Welcome to South Tyrol, a small paradise in the middle of the Alps! It seems small, but it offers beautiful landscapes, a variety of climates, and plenty of spots to explore. Its steep peaks make it the perfect place for alpine climbing and the via ferrata. Particularly, the via ferrata Heini Holzer, which is located on Merano Mountain, is a perfect example of that. Imagine venturing out on a climbing tour secured with a 1ooom long steel cable! It makes the ascent easier and is perfect for all those who are not that experienced in mountain climbing. Fun, action and a beautiful panorama are GUARANTEED!
Heini Holzer was one of the greatest alpinists of his time! Holzer, with his 153 cm height was a pretty small guy but left many of the “big ones” behind. He climbed with the best alpinists of his time and opened new, extremely difficult rock routes together with top mountain climbers. A coincidence put Heini Holzer into an alpine edge discipline of mountaineering, which in the 1970s only very few alpinists practiced. Today we can call Holzer the father of steep-walling, a form of extreme skiing.
The Ifinger SW flank was one of his toughest steep wall projects. For nearly 10 years, he had been waiting for the right time to ski down the 55-degree steep rocky wall. Today, the new Heini – Holzer via ferrata runs along the edge right next to this flank.
In 1977, Holzer had a fatal accident at the Piz Roseg (3937 m) in the Bernina group, Grisons, Switzerland. After almost 40 years, the tourism association Schenna put a small monument to the exceptional alpinist Holzer, who will remember for a long time the (real mountain) pioneer in the discipline of steep wall climbing.
How it all started:
Not so long ago, this kind of climbing (via ferrata) was just a privilege of the Dolomites Mountains in the east of South Tyrol, here and there an iron path but not much more. In 2008 a project was initiated, as a route in the SW flank of the Ifinger Mountain was located, right next to the wall where Heini Holzer already skied down.
Finally, in 2015 the project was born. The tourist association, alpine club and forest inspectorate were ready to push the project forward. In 2016 the work of a magnificent route with a breath-taking view of Merano and environments began. In 2016 they finally finished the work on the route, also if they had to struggle with bad weather conditions during the summer.
What do you need:
Complete via ferrata equipment (climbing gear, helmet and via ferrata set), light mountain or good trekking shoes, adequate mountain clothing and rain cover, enough to drink and something to eat.
Meran – Naif valley. Take the big cable car Meran 2000. The trail starts at the Piffinger Köpfl, the mountain station of the cable car Meran 2000, also accessible from the parking spot Falzeben, Hafling. After a few minutes of walking you get to the sign Via ferrata where you turn left to the path no. 18 (Schartlweg – partially secured). This path will lead to the starting point of the route.
Altitude 2480 m-1950 m
Highest point (2480 m)
Lowest point Einstieg (1950 m)
Approach 130 m, 1:00 h
Wall height 500 m
Climbing length 1000 m, 3:30 h
Descent 500 m, 1:00 h
The 500-meter high ascent is perfectly secured with 1000 meters of steel cable and has medium difficulties, which means its suitable for beginners or also families with sporty children from 12 years but it can be a nice tour for experienced mountaineers as well. I recommend an early departure, a bit of alpine experience and a good fitness level, as on the way to the top there are no escape routes. There is just one way to go and that’s up!
As I mentioned, the ascent is secured the whole way with a steel cable, so there are no passages which have to be mastered with free climbing or on unsecured terrain. Also, a few very steep parts were defused by stepping aids. Nevertheless, action and a very beautiful view are guaranteed.
The via ferrata is orientated to the southwest, which means that the perfect time to climb is in the summer and warm autumn months. For experienced mountaineers, it’s possible also to climb in the winter months if there is not too much snow.
At the exit of the route, you can decide either to climb the last part of the mountain or to take the normal way down, and return to the starting point.