The famous Three Peaks
Surrounded by a unique mountain landscape, the Three Peaks are located in the heart of the eponymous Nature Park. They are more than 200 million years old and the border of the provinces South Tyrol and Belluno today implying “ownership rights” on both sides. The north faces, where history was made from the very start of alpinism, is located on the South Tyrolean side.
Hikes to the Three Peaks
All trails lead to the Three Peaks! In fact, there are several possibilities to reach these impressive rock formations. The shortest variant leads along Auronzo hut, that can be reached via a toll road. From there, hikers continue on foot on an easy hiking trail.
The access via Rienztal Valley starting near Schluderbach is a bit longer. Another longer, but scenically impressive hike starts in Fischleintal Valley in Sexten.
Truly the beset view of the north faces of the Three Peaks is from Mt. Paternkofel. The ascent to this neighbouring peak goes through tunnels and galleries built during World War I as well as via a short fixed-rope route. Looking through holes in the galleries and from the peak, the Three Peaks can be seen in all their beauty. Even from the valley, you can catch a glimpse of the mighty rock giants, at the “Three Peaks viewpoint” in Landro in Höhlensteintal Valley.
Famous summit destination
The Three Peaks rise on loose scree slopes. The Große Zinne (“big peak”) in the middle is 2,999 m high, the Westliche Zinne (“western peak”) 2,973 m and the Kleine Zinne (“small peak”) 2,857 m. Simple hikers and nature lovers frequently just watch the Three Peaks from below. Alpinists love to climb them ever since.
The first ascent of the Große Zinne was made by Paul Grohmann, Franz Innerkofler and Peter Salcher in 1869 via the normal route. Emilio Comici succeeded in the first climb of the north face in 1933. In 2008, Thomas Huber climbed all three north faces within 24 hours.
Until today, these three summits are some of the most wanted destinations in the Dolomites and the north faces continue to be a real challenge for expert climbers. Countless climbing routes with different degrees of difficulty lead to the summits – from the normal route on the south side, to the Direttissima and the steep, overhanging north faces.