Tracking the Ice Man


15 km

Height difference:

1500 m



Similaun Hut and Tisa Yoke, the place where the mummy was found

Starting-point: Vernago/Vernagt (1711 mt)
At a glance: Vernago/Vernagt - Rifugio Similaun/Similaunhütte - Giogo di Tisa/Tisenjoch, the place where the mummy was found - Vernago/Vernagt
Highest point: Giogo di Tisa/Tisenjoch (3210 mt)
Altitude difference: 1500 m
Difficulty: five climbing-boots hike

Useful advice: although the introduction of a very good system of signs and the improving of some dangerous passages, this hike is strongly recommended to expert hikers. We recommend You to leave early in the morning. Equipment: warm mountain clothes and anti-slide boots.

Itinerary description: from Vernago/Vernagt (1711 mt.) we proceed towards Maso Tisa/Tisenhof (1814 mt.) located at the beginning of the homonymous valley. Besides we follow the pelting mountain river along footpath number 2. After a while we meet an icon of St. Martin, the herd's patron, and a couple of stone buildings, probably shepherds' settlement: the first has been nicknamed "Labirinth" because it has a spiral-shaped structure with a little room at its centre. In the near hollow some Silex has been found.
Our way goes on with a steep and gravelled fluting rock that takes us to Rifugio Similaun/Similaunhütte in Giogo Basso/Niederjöchl (3019 mt.). Here there is a beautiful view of the Similaun (3600 mt.) and its glaciers. After a short break and a snack we are ready to cover for about an hour a footpath protected by ropes located on a rocky ridge to arrive at the Giogo di Tisa/Tisenjoch with his high stone pyramids (3210 mt.). This place is very near to the one where the Similaun mummy was discovered.
Thanks to a letter dated 1859 we understand that the footpath (which once linked Madonna di Senales/Unser Frau in Senales to Vent in the Ötztal) originally passed right across the exact place where the Similaun mummy was found. Nowadays the footpath goes to the Giogo Basso/Niederjöchl. The return consists simply in going backwards on the footpath.

Maps: Freytag & Berndt, sheet S 2 (Val Vanosta/Vinschgau- Southern Ötztal Alps); Kompass, sheet 52 (Val Vanosta/Vinschgau).