The 3,739 m high Palla Bianca is the highest mountain of the Oetztal Alps, second only to the Wildspitze. It can be scaled from Maso Corto, Valle di Mazia or Vallunga.
Image gallery: Ski tour to the Palla Bianca
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Early in the morning, or more precisely still at nighttime, we drive to Maso Corto in the Val Senales valley, where our ski tour to the Palla Bianca starts at the parking space of the Senales skiing area (2,011 m asl). Due to the relatively mild temperatures, we abandon the option to climb the mountain via the Valle delle Frane valley and walk up along the slopes of the skiing area, until we reach the mountain station Teufelsegg (3,034 m asl). From here we follow the crest westwards, then we ski down about 140 m of altitude difference to reach the glacier Hintereisferner. Then we proceed towards the Hintereisjoch, where the summit seems within our grasp, but it is not.
Via a flat section and a short steep passage, we reach the ridge Hintereisjoch (3,469 m asl), providing a fabulous view on numerous peaks of the Oetztal Alps. Slowly we can also feel the considerable altitude. In front of us, there is a steep slope. After having overcome this slope, only a short walk to the winter summit is left. When the ski depot is reached, you can walk to the summit on foot, depending on the conditions. The panorama of king Ortles, the Similaun, Orecchia di Lepre, Wildspitze, Monte Cevedale and numerous other peaks is breathtaking.
We ski down along the route of the ascent. Underneath the Teufelsegg we need to scale the 140 m of altitude difference in order to get back on the slopes again.
> Ascent from Maso Corto via the Valle delle Frane valley
> Ascent from Maso Corto via the Rif. Bellavista mountain hut (2,842 m asl.)
> Ascent by ski lift until the Teufelsegg mountain (opened in spring from 8 am for ski tourers)
> Ascent from Melag in Vallelunga, base Rif. Palla Bianca (2,544 m asl.)
> Ascent from Mazia, starting point is the Glieshof Restaurant (1,824 m asl.)
> descent via the Mazia Glacier towards Maso Corto
Notice: this is a glacier tour and requires appropriate equipment, conditions and planning. Great view from the summit, numerous variants for ascent and descent. Crest dangerous in case of glaciation.
Important: if you want to do this ski tour please take information about the current conditions (snow and weather situation, avalanche risk) on site!
Starting point: parking space Maso Corto (2,011 m asl)
Character: glacier tour, only for experienced ski mountaineers
Walking time: 6 - 6.5 hours
Orientation of the slopes: S, SW, W, SE
Distance: approx. 9.2 km (ascent)
Altitude difference: (with counter ascent) 1,950 m
Rest point: Teufelsegg mountain hut (2,444 m asl)
Experienced in: April 2011
Further information: Val Senales Glacier lift facilities, phone: +39 0473 662171