In the Alps there is many a so-called sundial, a ring of mountains, grouped around a village in a way that the sun indicates the time of day, when it hovers above the summits. The best known of these sundials can be found at Sexten / Sesto, where five mountains tell the time between 9 o'clock in the morning and 1 o'clock in the afternoon. A smaller and less significant sundial is located west of the Reschensee reservoir: Zehnerkopf, Elferspitz and Zwölferkopf (Cima Dieci, Cima Undici and Cima Dodeci), the sundial of the hamlet of Rojen.
While less significant than the Sexten sundial, the one in question here nevertheless is not unimportant. Elferspitz is the highest mountain of the Seböden Subgroup of the Sesvenna Group while Zehnerkopf arguably is the most difficult mountain of the same. Moreover, the mountains are very popular at almost all times of the year. Two chair lifts lead to their bases and the Schöneben / Bellpiano Ski runs are stretched to their north. And the huge reservoir of Reschensee / Lago di Resia draws lots of visitors anyway and serves as a nice backdrop for summit views.
Zehnerkopf most likely is the most interesting of the mountains. It is a rugged summit, made up from broken granite. The normal route is a ferrata-like scramble up the east face, where a lot of scree deters all but the stout-hearted. The real show, however, is the south ridge of the mountain, which connects it to the higher Elferspitz. Here a sign saying "Nur für Geübte / Solo par Esperti" tries to discourage anyone with little experience. While usually these kind of signs don't mean too much, this one should be taken seriously. The ridge is gained easily and the first half is easy enough but then the slope drop back on both sides to reveal a blocky knife-edge ridge. Exposure is only part of the problem. The main challenge are the gymnastic moves high above the ground, which you need to reach the summit cross. The ridge is short but certainly very challenging.
Zehnerkopf is also a ski tour destination in winter. Most skiers will head for the higher Elferspitz but the normal route is a challenging alternative.
Zehnerkopf / Cima Dieci is easy to reach. Just head for Reschenpass / Passo di Resia and in the village of Reschen / Resia follow the signs to the Schöneben / Bellpiano ski area.In winter you can use the chair lift to get to the base of Zehnerkopf, in summer you need to drive to the village of Rojen or (technically not allowed) to the top station of the chair lift. There is ample parking space though it might be crowded anyway, depending on the season.
There is no red tape to speak of. As indicated in the Getting There section, the road to the top station of the Schöneben chairlift is closed, though the gates are open for most times of the year. The lower part of the ascent runs across the Schöneben ski runs which are used for cattle (and lama) grazing in summer.
- Nauders Accommodation
- Vinschgau / Val Venosta Accommodation
- Reschenpass / Passo di Resia Accommodation
Maps & Books
- Vinschgau / Val Venosta
Kompass Map WK52
- Alta Val Venosta / Vinschgauer Oberland
Tabacco Map 43
- Vinschgau / Ortlergruppe
Kompass Wanderbuch 950