gepatschferner mit vernagl und langtauferer ferner fernerzunge darober langtauferer spitz
gepatschferner mit vernagl und langtauferer ferner fernerzunge darober langtauferer spitz

Hike along the Glacier Education Path

The Palla Bianca mountain (Weißkugel) is the second highest mountain in the Ötztal Alps and surrounded by glaciated peaks and valleys: The glacier education path in the Vallelunga valley leads us to this unique area.

Our starting point is the parking space in Melago where we take the path no. 5 towards the Malga di Melago mountain hut. There the “Sentiero didattico sul ghiacciaio di Vallelunga” (glacier education path) starts and proceeds towards east to the head of the valley. Soon we reach the first information boards which show, how far down the glacier snouts still were 150 years ago. We walk uphill, reach the timber line and the path proceeds now through a wild landscape. Across a ridge of scree we climb higher and higher, then we cross a bridge over the Rio Carlino stream and reach the open country where we have to pay attention to the markers at the stones.

Sturdy shoes are a must to manage this steep and quite demanding section up to the moraine landscape straight beneath the glacier snout of the Vedretta di Vallelunga glacier (Langtauferer Ferner). A side trip to the “perpetual ice” arises because the path now turns towards north-west to the Rifugio Pio XI alla Palla Bianca mountain hut (Weißkugelhütte), which is located on a terrace above the valley. At the sandy moraine slope we have to pay attention, the path is very narrow and slippery. Finally we reach the mountain hut and enjoy our deserved lunch break. For our way back we take the path no. 2 (later on no. 1A and 3 to “Melago”), which proceeds first at the northern slope of the Vallelunga valley and then across beautiful high alpine meadows down to Melago. An excellent opportunity to enjoy once again the view on the glaciers and the wild valley.

Author: AT

If you want to do this hike, please take information about the weather and the current conditions of the trail on site!

Starting point: Melago (Vallelunga/Langtaufers); parking space and bus stop
Signposts: 5, "Gletscherlehrpfad", 2, 1A, 3
Trail length: approx. 12 km (in total)
Walking time: about 4.5 hours (in total)
Altitude difference: approx. 745 m
Altitude level: between 1,920 and 2,560 m a.s.l.
Experienced in: July 2015

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