South slope and north face - the typical form of Maurerkopf / Monte Muro
To the north the Prags / Braies Dolomites
are bounded by the wide Pustertal Valley / Val Pusteria
. While the north-eastern part of the mountain group is remarkably insignificant, the north-western part forms a solid barrier towards the valley. Here six characteristic mountains rise in a single line: the Olanger Köpfe
. Named after the village of Olang / Valdaora
ath their northern bases, the six mountains all show impressive, if somewhat crumbling, north faces. Named from west to east they are Piz de la Perez / Pizzo delle Pietre
(2507m), Dreifingerspitze / Punta Tre Dita
(2479m), Flatschkofel / Col Vallaccia
(2416m), Maurerkopf / Monte Muro
(2567m), Hochalpenkopf / Cima dei Colli Alti
(2542m) and Kaserkopf / Punta Casera
Among these Maurerkopf / Monte Muro
takes a special place. Not only is it the highest of the five mountains, it also is the central one and since it is twin-peaked Maurerkopf / Monte Muro
also is the most impressive one. Still, it sees less ascents than its direct neighbours, Hochalpenkopf
, mainly because the regular hiking trail across Olanger Köpfe
leaves it out. In order to get to the summit you either need to go the long way through Lapaduresjoch
, a saddle to the far west of the summit or you have to climb Hochalpenkopf first, and then traverse a brittle but very steep ridge. The final ascent to the mountain is easy from either side, since it traverses the grass-covered south slopes of the mountain. Both routes can be combined in a large loop trail, which covers 1500m in elevation when started from Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies
These slopes are most likely the main attraction for climbing Olanger Köpfe
in the summer. Here a big variety of halfway domesticated animals graze freely, making the area, Hochalpe / Colli Alti
one of the largest mountain pastures in the Alps. It is famous for the many horses, which live there in summer and which can be anything between trusting, curious and outright intrusive. In spring and early summer the pasture turns into a giant bed of wildflowers, another reason for its popularity.
Maurerkopf / Monte Muro
, as well as his neighbours, commands good views across Pustertal / Val Pusteria
towards the glaciated mountains of Hohe Tauern
, especially the nearby Rieserferner Group / Vedrette di Ries
. To the south, right across the Grünwaldtal
are the impressive north faces of the Monte Sella di Sennes - Seekofel Group
, lined up on an east-west ridge.
Panorama Prags / Braies Dolomites
The Prags / Braies Dolomites in Heavy Weather as seen from Hochalpe
Olanger Köpfe as seen from Ratsberg across Pustertal / Val Pusteria
The best trailhead for Maurerkopf / Monte Muro
is at Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies
in the east of the mountain. It can be easily reached from Toblach / Dobbiaco
From The North
From Austria (East)
- Take A22 Brenner Motorway to exit Brixen / Bressanone
- Turn off onto SS49 east to Bruneck / Brunico or Toblach / Dobbiaco
- Take A12 Inntalautobahn to exit Kufstein.
- Turn onto B178, later B161 south in direction Kitzbühel.
- At Mittersill B161 turns into B108 which heads through Felbertauern Tunnel.
- Take B108 until Lienz were you turn right (west) onto E66 which on the border crossing turns into SS49 to Toblach / Dobbiaco and Bruneck / Brunico.
- Take A23 north to exit Carnia.
- Turn off onto SS52 which leads through several detours to Innichen / San Candido
- Turn east on SS49 to Toblach / Dobbiaco and Bruneck / Brunico.
- Take motorway S27 north towards its end near Belluno.
- Turn onto SS51 towards Cortina d’Ampezzo and on to Toblach / Dobbiaco.
Maurerkopf / Monte Muro west slopes as seen from Flatschkofelscharte
In 1980 an area of 25680ha has been set aside for the natural Park Fanes Sennes - Prags. You are required to treat the Natural Park with care: leave animals and plants in their place, use trails (especially when mountain biking), and take the official open roads with your car.
For more information you can look at the parks official website
Be prepared to pay small fees (3€) for the parking lot at the trailhead.
For hotels and apartments have a look at the websites of the towns and cities of the area:
Kaserkopf, Hochalpenkopf and Maurerkopf
Maps & Books
The Prags Dolomites / Dolomiti de Braies are not as well covered in terms of Guidebooks. The list below offers the German books I know of dealing with the area but there certainly are more, especially Italian ones.
- Dolomiten 5 - Sexten - Toblach - Prags
ISBN: 3 7633 4199 4
ISBN: 3 8705 1409 4
Sextener Dolomiten extrem - Alpenvereinsführer
ISBN: 3 7633 1255 2
The most commonly used maps are the ones by Kompass and by Tabacco. The Kompass one is good as an overview map while the Tabacco one offers more details.
- Bruneck - Toblach / Brunico Dobbiaco
Kompass Map WK 57
ISBN: 3 85491 064 9
- Dolomiti di Braies / Pragser Dolomiten / Marebbe / Enneberg / Plan de Corones / Kronplatz
Tabacco Map 031