The Alta Via Gunther Messner (literally "High route Gunther Messner") is a marvelous high-altitude itinerary that extends along the western ridge of the Odle di Eores. The route does not present technical difficulties and goes up Monte Tullen and Monte Rovina in a long itinerary that will give great satisfaction. Itinerary named in memory of Gunther Messner - brother of the famous Reinhold - who died during the historic climb to Nanga Parabat in 1970.
The starting point of the itinerary is in the road that from Chiusa (exit highway A22 of Brennero) goes up to Val di Funes towards Passo delle Erbe, province of Bolzano. You reach and cross the village of San Pietro and then arrive at a crossroads near a bend where on the left the Strada Provinciale 29 goes down with indications for Bressanone. Just before the junction, right after a bridge, we see on the right an open space where we park the car to undertake the long itinerary. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the parking we proceed backwards on the asphalt road towards San Pietro for about 100 meters going around a couple of bends until we find the directions of the beginning of the Alta Via and proceed going up into the woods. We reach a stretch of half-slope exposed on a detrital slope where we meet some simple aided sections. We continue along the path and reach a first source of water which will be followed by a second after a while. We continue in this stretch that in fact goes around Col Magrei until we reach the junction with the 32A path that goes up from Santa Maddalena. We continue keeping the left uphill to the Sella di Col Magrei (2160 m - 1h from the beginning) with the view that opens onto the Odle group to the south with Sass Rigais and the Furchetta in plain sight to us.
We continue until we reach the CAI 25 path which rises to the right from Rifugio Zannes. We remain on the Alta Via Gunther Messner which initially proceeds along the hillside on the southern slope of Col Magrei for then enter a valley in a isolated environment with no difficulties. Straight to us the summit of Monte Tullen emerges indistinctly - first destination of our itinerary - anticipated by some rocky spiers that characterize the Odles of Eores. We proceed halfway up towards one saddle (2527 m - 2h 15' total) from which it is possible (and recommended) to proceed to the summit of Monte Tullen passing also a short aided section. You reach the cross of Monte Tullen (2653 m - 15 'from the junction - 2h 30' total) after a ridge path heading north-west on the left with some exposed traits on detrital material not always stable. From the summit an excellent view of the continue the Alta Via which extends along a ridge area. To continue we shall return to the saddle back along the path (2h 45 'total).
We proceed along the hillside leaving the Tullen behind our shoulders in the direction of the ridge where the first aided section of the route begins. The first aided section is a steep gully where we go up an aided section that dleads us on the ridge. You then proceed on the ridge for a few minutes reaching Monte Rovina (2646 m - 30' from the Sella del Monte Tullen), then we turn north on the left side addressing a second stretch aided. from small summit cross with perfect view on Sass de Putia we go down from the ridge path losing altitude and starting a stretch of up and down hills on the south side of the ridge in some cases exposed. In this section we face a more difficult passage that requires us to climb an unprotected passage (grade I in free climbing). The passage is not difficult but it is necessary to pay attention to the exposure and to the bottom of sand giving the feeling of little stability. We continue along the hillside in this section where the ridge above is more impervious and we lose altitude reaching even a wooden walkway. We complete this section near a metal ladder about 15 meters in front of one Rocky wall (2500 m - 1h 30' from Monte Rovina - 4h 45' total),
Climbed the ladder, we continue on another short aided stretch and we pass on the north side along the high rocky walls until we reach a crossroads of paths: on the right, the path that leads to the valley goes down Genova mountain hut - clearly visible on our right during the half-hill section after Monte Rovina - while we will keep the left on the wide path 4 to go up to the Forcella de Putia (2357 m - 5h total) where the descent begins.
From the Forcella de Putia - point where you can take to the climb to Sass de Putia with the aided path (1h 30 'way - 2h 30' a / r) - the return path starts runs parallel to the hillside to the forward path on the northern side of the ridge of the Odle di Eores. We follow thewide path ignoring in rapid succession the paths 8A, 1 and 4 that lead to Passo delle Erbe and other points of support along the Alta Via. By descending in a slight slope, we continue on the path that leads us to the car park (2h from the Forcella de Putia - 7h total).
The Alta Via Gunther Messner is a very beautiful itinerary, pleasant and without excessive difficulties with a wonderful panorama. The technical difficulties are limited and likely to be restricted to a couple of unaided passages (last stretch before the Tullen and a chimney to climb). The trip is long and should be planned carefully especially regarding the stability of the weather.
The Gunther Messner Alta Via extends on the eastern part of the Odle di Eores. If you wanted to follow a multi-day itinerary, you could climb Sass de Putia with the Aided path accessible from the Genova Hut. Going down into Val Badia we meet other interesting ferratas including the Ferrata Sas dla Crusc and the Sass delle Dieci or in the direction of Corvara la Via Ferrata of Peace and Aided Path Tru Dolomieu.
Approach: 2:45 h
Ferrata: 2:15 h
Itinerary: 7:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 70 m
Route difference: 824 m
Max altitude: 2653 m
Length: 16 Km
Dolomites of Gardena