The Heini Holzer Ferrata at the Ivigna Peak is dedicated to the famous Scena mountaineer - a place above which this mountain extends. The itinerary is of medium difficulty and does not have technically difficult stretches although it needs a good preparation given the type of rock that, often, will force us to pull on the cable due to the lack of holds. The trip is completed going up to the Piccolo and Grande Picco Ivigna a few minutes after the end of the via ferrata.
The starting point of the itinerary is the mountain station of the Merano 2000 cable car. Although it is possible to climb also with the Falzeben systems, it is advisable to use the Merano 2000 cable car which can be easily reached from the Merano Sud exit on the highway that connects Bolzano to Merano. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the mountain station of the Merano 2000 cable car (1900 m) we follow the signs of the signs just outside the plant. We should follow signposts 18 which also indicate the route to reach the Ivigna Hut. We continue on the path 18 which at times is aided and exposed but not difficult (we recommend the harness but not necessary). We initially ignored the junction for path 3 and then for path 41. After about half an hour from the top station of the cable car we follow the clear signs that show us on the right a pitch above which starts the Heini Holzer Ferrata (30 'from the top station of the Merano 2000 cable car).
From the small wooden terrace we start on a rocky wall with some leaps of modest difficulty. We continue by going around an edge and after having climbed a short, smooth diagonal slab where it will be necessary to use the cable we end the first part along a stretch of aided path. The sections of path that join the various sections of the route are present in many parts of the itinerary. In this first case, let us first take a uphill stretch of path then a ledge under a rocky roof. Now we begin the section called "Erta". This section is particularly vertical and the first passage extends on a smooth and vertical wall that we can easily climb up thanks to some brackets present. We bend to the left and then start again vertically until we finish this section where it will be difficult to climb without using the cable. We follow an uphill connection path and we are ready to take the third stretch called "Via delle Guide".
This part of the climb initially starts quite supported with medium difficulty passages where you can proceed without abusing the cable. After a traverse to the left however we come under a vertical passage in which the beginning at least is without holds and will force us to pull on the cable. We continue uphill to end this stretch of the route after a couple of steps to the left and we are preparing for a new transfer. After the transfer we arrive under a slanted slab to go up in adherence with the boots without particular problems and we proceed to a new transfer this time more gradonato of the precedents.
After the transfer we are in one of the most beautiful passages of the trip: the Cresta dei Spiriti. Let's start going up a few meters on solid rock to then take us to the edge of the ridge along it without any particular worries but with exciting and very rewarding landscape passages. At the end of the ridge we travel along the connecting path, passing next to a bench on which it is possible to rest and enjoy the panorama over the valley ("Pascolo delle Capre"). The next section begins with an interesting left upward traverse beyond which we continue on some vertical leaps not difficult coming to the book of signatures. We continue going up some sometimes aided rocky leaps when verticality and smooth rock require it.
Let's start then a new stretch named "Angel's Flight" characterized by some rocks and an edge beyond which we go out into a grassy ledge that rises to the right. We are now in the final stretch of the via ferrata. We climb two smooth, vertical and certainly difficult slabs if these were not abundantly aided with metal brackets to support the progression. We reach a sign with the word exit which in fact indicates the beginning of the route section that will lead us to the end of the via ferrata. This trait is a supported path with some more vertical leaps but no substantial difficulties. We end the via Ferrata Heini Holzer with one specific license slab (2480 m - 2h from the start - 2h 30 'total) and with the two peaks (Piccolo Picco Ivigna and Grande Picco Ivigna) in front of us.
We continue along the lawn towards the two peaks and soon we reach a crossroads:
From the Grande Picco dell'Ivigna we go down the backward path going down to the junction between the two Picchio Ivigna. From that stretch goes down along a steep and landslide path (19) up to Kulheiten (2362 m) where we have two options to return to Merano 2000:
At this point we follow the wide path 3 that leads us to Merano (1h 15 'from the end of the via ferrata - 5h 30' total).
The Heini Holzer Ferrata in Ivigna is divided into many sectors (16 to be precise) and each has a slab that presents it. The equipment is in excellent condition and the cable has a much larger diameter than the average and this helps in cases where traction needs to be done on it. The rock on which it extends is particularly solid and at times smooth so we will find ourselves pulling on the cable in some passages otherwise of a decidedly high degree.
The trip definitely deserves the climb to the two peaks for a total of 1 h to add to the itinerary.
The Heini Holzer Ferrata includes a nice loop ride with climb to the Ivigna Peak that will probably fill us most of our day. If we wanted to continue on other aided routes, the Val Senales offers us the following options in order of increasing difficulty: the easy Ferrata Knott in Naturns next to the most difficult Ferrata Hoachwool while Solda we can travel the difficult Ferrata Croda of Cengles or the extremely difficult one Ferrata Tabaretta all'Ortles.
Going down towards the south, there are two other interesting via ferratas, not particularly difficult: the Ferrata di Favogna and the Ferrata Mendola. If we instead drive to the Val Passiria, we can reach the recent Ferrata of Stuller Falls.
Approach: 0:30 h
Ferrata: 2:30 h
Itinerary: 5:30 h
Via Ferrata gap: 550 m
Route difference: 670 m
Max altitude: 2581 m
Length: 6 Km
Mountain Group: Ötztal Alps