Hochhorn / Corno Alto seen from the east during the traverse from Gaishörndl / Cornetto Fana
It has already been mentioned elsewhere that the Villgraten Group
of Hohe Tauern
is among the most panoramic ranges in this eastern part of the Eastern Alps. In particular the Riepenspitze Group
, a long ridge running south from its namesake summit, is famous for its lookout peaks, mainly the ones along its southern outskirts, around Toblacher Pfannhorn / Corno Fana
, it's principal summit. The most popular mountains lie to the east of the Pfannhorn, thanks to their easy access from the northern, Austrian side. Here, on a fine day in summer you can witness a veritable hikers' stampede.
To the east of the main summit, however, several side ridges leave the Riepenspitze Group Main Ridge
. They are on Italian ground as the Austrian-Italian border follows the ridge for its entirety. The southernmost of these side ridges, which turns off the main ridge at , Gaishörndl / Cornetto di Fana
rivals its eastern counterpart but is much less crowded. Main reason is the long access from the South Tyrolean valleys - you have to scale 1500m of altitude - and the even longer ascent (in terms of distance, not elevation) from Innervillgraten
in Austria. The highest of the summits on this ridge is Hochhorn / Corno Alto
Hochhorn / Corno Alto
is a grass covered mountain, with few rock outcroppings close to the summit. At 2623m it is only 50m short of Toblacher Pfannhorn / Corno Fana
and thus as excellent a lookout peak. The Vista includes the whole Hohe Tauern Group
as well as all the northern Dolomites
plus the Carnic Alps Main Ridge
. Most spectacular are the views towards the Sexten / Sesto
and Prags / Braies Dolomites
in the south. However, you need a very early start for good lighting conditions. Also a summer sunset must be gorgeous.
Sexten / Sesto Dolomites Shadowscape seen from Hocchorn / Corno Alto
The mountain is usually climbed by either of two routes. Both start at Kandellen
near Toblach / Dobbiaco
but use different ridges to reach the top. The eastern one of these routes follows the ascent to Toblacher Pfannhorn / Corno Fana
, before passing the mountain as well as Gaishörndl / Cornetto Fana
on their western sides. The western approach follows the Roßzogel / Monte Cavallo - Golfen / Monte Calvo - Hochhorn / Corno Alto Ridge
. Both routes are easy hiking routes and can as easily done in winter as ski tours.
The town of Toblach / Dobbiaco
in recent years has established a hiking / trekking trail: Toblacher Höhenweg
. All of the abovementioned mountains are touched by the trail, among them Hochhorn / Corno Alto
. For a full hike of Toblacher Höhenweg
you will need two days with an overnight stay at Bonner Hütte
, also called Pfannhornhütte / Rifugio Corno Fana
. In any case you should never climb the mountains without visiting its closest neighbours. With some stamina you'll be able to stand on five summits during a long day!
360° Summit Panorama
360° summit panorama as seen from Hocchorn / Corno Alto
Central part of the Riepenspitze Group, seen from Rotes Ginggele (by Matthias Zehring)
The best starting points for an ascent of Hochhorn / Corno Alto
are at Toblach / Dobbiaco
in its south or Innervillgraten to its north-east.
From the West (Brenner Motorway A22)
From the North
There are two possible roads:
- Leave the Brenner Motorway near Brixen / Bressanone and follow SS49 to the east through Pustertal / Val Pusteria.
- At Toblach / Dobbiaco turn northwards for Silverstertal Valley / Valle San Silvestro
- Park your car at the bridge across Silvesterbach Creek
- For Innervillgraten pass Toblach / Dobbiaco and Innichen / San Candido
- Cross the Austrian border on B100
- At Sillian turn north in towards Außervillgraten, Innervillgraten and Kalkstein.
- From Kitzbühel over B108 through the Felbertauern Tunnel to Lienz
- Then southeast to Oberdrauburg (B110)
- Turn on to B100 west into Pustertal.
- Go through the city of Lienz until you get to Sillian.
- There turn north to Außervillgraten, Innervillgraten and Kalkstein.
- For Toblach / Dobbiaco stay on B100 / SS49. Later turn right for Silvestertal.
- From Salzburg along motorway A10 to Spittal.
- Turn west on B100 to Oberdrauburg, Lienz and Sillian (and Toblach / Dobbiaco).
Hochhorn / Corno Alto, Gaishörndl / Cornetto Fana and Toblacher Pfannhorn / Corno Fana
No red tape here. However, remember that you are in the border region between two countries. Carrying an ID is not a bad idea.
Golfen / Monte Calvo and Hochhorn / Corno Alto
Maps & Books
- Sextener Dolomiten / Dolomiti di Sesto
Kompass Map WK58
- Bruneck - Toblach / Brunico - Dobbiaco
Kompass Map WK57
- Osttirol Süd / Tirolo Orientale Sud
ISBN: 3-7633-4307-5 (Italian)
E. Hülsler, M. Kostner
- Rother-Skifuehrer "Pustertal"
Rudolf and Sigrun Weiss
Rother Verlag, 2004