Croda delle Cornacchie, Finale Lake and Maso Finali: landscapes and mountains of Val Senales
Starting-point: Maso Corto/Kurzas
At a glance: Maso Corto/Kurzas - Croda delle Cornacchie/Grawand - Lago di Finale/Finailsee - Maso Finali/Maso Finail/Finailhof - Maso Ravina/Raffeinhof - Maso Tisa/Tisenhof - Vernago/Vernagt
Highest point: Croda delle Cornacchie/Grawand (3251 mt)
Difference in altitude: 1540 m
Difficulty: five climbing-boots hike
Useful advice: alpine tour for expert hikers. Crossing the ironway with bad weather (snow, ice, rain) can be difficult or even dangerous.
Itinerary description: from Maso Corto/Kurzas (2011 mt.) we take the cableway of Val Senales/Schnalstal to reach the upper station, where there is a magnificent view of the giants Ortles/Ortler, Adamello, Palla Bianca/Weisskugel and many others. We briefly climb the grawland until the cross located on the top of the mountain (3251 mt.). Below us there is the Lago di Finale/Finailsee, our next destination. The footpath takes us over the ridge towards the Forcella di Finale/Finailjoch (3084 mt.); the pass is very steep and icy until spring or even summer! Nearby the Lago di Finale/Finailsee (2079 mt.), where often chamois are sighted, there are some ruins.
The descent continues and we meet some wall ruins of an ancient "Schapferchs" at the side of the abandoned Malga Finale/Finailalm (Finailgrub) and two Schalesteinen (decoratives stones). Besides we go down to the late Middle Ages-style Maso Finali/Maso Finail/Finailhof (1952 mt.) still inhabited all over the year.
Still around 1950 at this height wheat was tilled. Maso Finali/Maso Finail/Finailhof offers an exquisite traditional cooking: its most special plates are roasted mutton and famous "Senaleser Nudeln" (pasta Senales, available only if booked), a plate made with butter and wheat. From here we go on to the Maso Raffein/Raffeinhof (1822 mt.), to proceed afterwards through a sunlit larches wood towards another Schalenstein, in the so-called Huettenboden.
Afterwards we go down to the Maso Tisa/Tisenhof (1814 mt.) at the beginning of the homonymous valley. Here too we can take some refreshment; now below us there is the Vernago/Vernagt dam on whose bottom once lived eight families in eight huts. Those huts have been rebuilt after dam's construction on the contiguous slope. At Vernago/Vernagt (1711 mt.) our hike finishes.
Maps: Freytag & Berndt, sheet S 2 (Val Vanosta/Vinschgau-Southern Ötztal Alps); Kompass, sheet 52 (Val Vanosta/Vinschgau).