Kleine Kreuzspitze / Piccola Punta di Monte Croce above Übelsee
Kleine Kreuzspitze / Piccola Punta di Monte Croce (I hope the Italian name is correct) is one of the southernmost mountains of the Stubai Alps
. It is perched on the ridge, which runs westward from Jaufenpass / Passo Giovo and which turns northward at Große Kreuzspitze / Monte Altacroce, its direct neighbour to the west. Thus you can say that here you are at the south-western endpoint of the Stubai Alps, high above both the Passaiertal / Val Passira and Ratschingstal / Val Racines Valleys. Thus Kleine Kreuzspitze is a perfect lookout point for the neighbouring mountain ranges - the Ötztal Alps
to the west and the Sarntal Alps
to the south with faraway views of the Adamello
Groups at fine weather. However, though several paths lead to Kleine Kreuzspitze, none of them is short and - thanks to the final summit steps - certainly none of them is easy.
Generally Kleine Kreuzspitze is most often climbed in conjunction with a long ridge traverse, which starts at Jaufenpass / Passo Giovo and which climbs three summits before reaching the base of Kleine Kreuzspitze. These three summits are Fleckner (2331m), Saxner (2358m) and Glaitner Hochjoch (2338m) - sorry, no Italian names available here - and with respect to the pass the ridge is called Jaufenkamm or Cresta Giovo. At the base of the mountain you find a set of small lakes - Übelsee, Scheibelesee and Kühlacke, which are the preferred destinations of the people doing the Jaufenkamm traverse.
The mountain itself is made up from dark schist - in stark contrast to neighbouring Hohe Kreuzspitze, which is made up from bright white limestone. In consequence the slopes are brittle which constitutes the main problem of the ascent. While the eastern ridge is almost vertical in places both the southern and western ridges are climbed. The normal ascent leads to a col on the south ridge and then traverses the west slopes to the west ridge, where you can find some decent slabs. Alternatively you can scramble on up path-lessly from the col along the south ridge. However, even the ascent to the col is quite exposed so that many climbers stop here to take in the views and climb no further. The summit itself is a knife edge of some 40m length with its highpoint to the west crowned by a cross.
There are two alternative routes, one from Passeiertal / Val Passira and one from Ratschingstal / Val Racines. Both climb very steep valleys to attain the summit via the west ridge but both are less popular than the Jaufenkamm ridge traverse.
One last remark: Kleine Kreuzspitze is also a popular ski tour destination in winter. In that case the ascent starts at the end of the Ratschingstal Valley / Val Racines.
The summit views
360° Summit View from Kleine Kreuzspitze / Piccola Punta di Monte Croce. Hide / Show labels WildspitzeHohe KreuzspitzeZermaidspitzeRatschingser WeißenSonklarspitzeMoarer WeißenBotzerHochgewändKrapfenkarspitzeGleckspitzeFeuersteineRochollspitzeLorenzspitzeRidnauner Schneesp.Äuß. HocheckPflerscher TribulaunHohe FerseWetterspitzeSeeberspitzeTelfer WeißenHochspitzeOlpererHohe WandRollspitzeMareiter SteinHochfeilerWilde KreuzspitzeZinselerJaufenspitzeSarner WeißhornGeisler GroupHochwartAlpler SpitzeHirzerGroßer IfingerBrentaKolbenspitzeLodnerHohe WeißeHohe WildeSeelenkögelLiebener SpitzeHochfirstEssener SpitzeGranatenkogel
Zillertal Alps as seen from Kleine Kreuzspitze
The mountain can be easily reached from the Brenner Motorway A22. Take the exit Sterzing / Vipiteno and follow the signs for SS44 in direction Jaufenpass / Passo Giovo. Drive accross the pass and start at the first switchback curve (Römerkehre), where you can find a small parking lot a fem meters beside the road.
From Meran / Merano take Passeier Staatsstraße (also SS44) in direction Timmelsjoch / Passo del Rombo and Jaufenpass / Passo Giovo. At St Leonhard / San Leonardo turn east (staying on SS44) until you reach the curve "Römerkehre".
Sarntal Alps as seen from Kleine Kreuzspitze
There is no Red Tape here except for camping regulations. You are not allowed to camp anywhere but on the official campgrounds which you can find at the mouths of the valleys. Also gates are requested to be closed though you find but few on the Jaufenkamm Ridge.
Rooms and Apartments
Eisacktal / Valle Isarco
Passeiertal / Val Passiria
- The closest campgrounds are at Gasteig / Casateia in Ratschingstal / Valle di Racines and at St. Leonard / San Leonardo in Passeiertal / Val Passira. Both are located on SS44 to Jaufenpass / Passo del Giovo.
- There is one hut, Flecknerhütte close by but rather close to the trailhead near the Jaufenpass road. You can also use the hotels/restaurants at Jaufenpass / Passo Giovo, Jaufenhaus and Enzianhütte.
Maps & Books
- Digital Maps
- Regular Maps
- Sarntal/Val Sarentino
Kompass Map WK 056
- Sterzing / Vipiteno
Kompass Map WK 44
Kompass Guidebook WF951
- Rund um Sterzing
Henriette Klier / Walter Klier
- Rund um Meran