Ortler Ski Tour: Northeast Couloir of the Gran Zebru from the Pizzini Hut

Sulden am Ortler - Solda al Ortles

Trentino-Alto Adige

Sulden

Day 7: A fine summit with a very steep couloir descent. The icing on the cake of your Ortler extravaganza.

Also in Bozen, Italy

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
6.1 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
1.4 km
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
3.8 km
Gradient
45˚
Ortler Ski Tour: Northeast Couloir of the Gran Zebru from the Pizzini Hut Map

This peak has dominated your horizon all week- now it is time to conquer it! The descent is not to be underestimated and will not be accessible to all.

Description

From the Pizzini Hut head N and slightly W, skirting the top of a steep rocky island in the glacier, to reach the obvious couloir descending from the top of the Gran Zebru. You may have to carry skis up this couloir to the shoulder, but from there it is normally possible to continue skinning, albeit steeply, to the top of the Gran Zebru. The route normally breaks out to the R near the top, past some rocks, before heading along the ridge. Revel in the amazing view- only the nearby Ortler is bigger than you for a long way in any direction.

In descent, retrace your steps and ski down past the shoulder. Any doubt about conditions or ski ability you should redescend this couloir as the NE Couloir is much steeper. Don't go straight down, but traverse hard left ignoring the inviting slope below, which cliffs out. Enter a subsidiary couloir, which now goes straight down a long way! Follow this all the way down. There are various narrowings, which, in a lean year, may involve a small amount of easy downclimbing and various subsidiary couloirs lower down too. Easy slopes below lead down onto the pistes of Sulden. Congratulations!

For those who want to complete this ski tour without such a steep and potentially serious last day, you can do this day as an out and back to the hut if you want to take in this peak, or miss it out altogether. In this you would take the well established route up past the Casati Hut and then out to Sulden to the North on a number of well established and easier routes.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Extreme Exposure (E4)

4 out of 4

In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

March, April

Features

  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area