Monte Popèra / Hochbrunnerschneid

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Bolzano/Belluno, Italy, Europe
Bolzano Alto Adige/Veneto
Hiking, Mountaineering
9993 ft / 3046 m
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Monte Popèra / Hochbrunnerschneid
Created On: Oct 25, 2012
Last Edited On: Feb 15, 2018


Geographical classification: Eastern Alps > Dolomites > Dolomiti di Sesto > Monte Popèra

Monte Popèra 3046 m

What's New on this Page?

* Jul 28, 2017 - Ownership switched by andrea
* Jul 31, 2017 - Page under review
* Aug 22, 2017 - Started the overhaul of the page (added chapters, added map and restored the links to the huts)
* Sep 27, 2017 - End of the overhaul

The Popèra group is a broad and articulated complex of summits formed by a succession of toothed ridges, spires, bell-towers, massive and rounded backbones, separated by deep and steep valleys, named "le buse".
Monte Popèra 3046 m - Hochbrunnerschneid in German - is a mountain belonging to this sector of the Dolomiti di Sesto (Eastern Dolomites), located South to Cima Undici, just on the Veneto/Bolzano Alto-Adige border ridge, between Val Popera on the Eastern side (Veneto) and Val Fiscalina on the Western side (Bolzano-Alto Adige). It's the second summit in order of height of the group, after Cima Undici, and shows very different aspects depending from the various sides.

Popèra annotated summit view

Monte Popèra annotated summit view - ph. Silvia Mazzani

On the side of Val Fiscalina it offers an interesting route which is the most accessible for the less skilled climbers. The Normal route is situated on the West side and begins a hundred meters below "Forcella Giralba" 2431m, which is located exactly on the border.
On the east side it's situated the Refuge "Berti", at the foot of the mountain, useful for rock climb routes or the Via Ferrata "Aldo Roghel".
Popèra, a “belvedere“, which offers a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains: this is what the guide called "Hochturist" wrote in the 1929, also describing the normal climb to the summit. At that time, the “Busa di Dentro” probably hosted a glacier which remains today in shape of a small snowfield, as evidenced by the presence of moraine debris along the itinerary. The summit consists of a long and rounded ridge North-South oriented. Its continuation to the North is joined to the "Cima
by a long rocky ridge furrowed on the east side by a deep rift and is known as "Cresta Zsigmondy".

Monte Popera is bordered to the north by the "Cima Undici", on southwest to the "Monte Giralba" and southeast to the "Cima Bagni". Secondary peak is the "Cima Popera" 2964 m bristling of spires and pinnacles above Vallon Popera. Popèra doesn't stand out amongst the other mountains for grandeur or size, but anyway it has an impressive rock wall dropping down the East side above the "Vallon Popera" and a scree basin on the West side, the Busa di Dentro, where it runs the Normal route.

Along the South East ridge,specifically on the "Forcella fra le guglie", passes a Via Ferrata named "Aldo Rogel" that connects two important sides of the mountain.Popèra is the meeting point of several ridges of the massif: Zsigmondy and Giralba to the south and southwest, Cima Bagni to the southeast and Croda Rossa and Cima Undici to the north and northeast. The whole massive was the scene of harsh fights during the First World War, especially the Cima Undici.

Monte Popera
Monte Popera from Vallon Popera
Summit of Monte Popèra
Summit of Monte Popera
A phenomenon of broad karstiness on the summit of Popera
A phenomenon of broad karstiness on the summit of Popera


The first summiters were M. Holzmann and Santo Siorpaes in the year 1874.
The first ascent through the North glacier (wrongly called "east wall") was performed by Oscar Schuster with H. Moser in July 8th 1893, while the North-East wall by G.M. Mayer, Angelo Dibona, Luigi Rizzi and Ignaz Schranzhofer in August 26th 1911.

Getting There

Monte Popera is situated in the Eastern sector of the Dolomiti di Sesto, a group of mountains on the border between Alto-Adige (West) and Veneto (East) counties. The road approach can be done from both sides.

From Alto Adige:
Sesto - Val Fiscalina - Refuge Comici

From Veneto:
Giralba - Val Giralba - Refuge Carducci - Forcella Giralba
Padola - Val Risena - Refuge Berti - Ferrata "Aldo Roghel"/Passo della Sentinella
The village of Sesto is located along the Valle di Sesto, a branch of the larger Val Pusteria. From Autobrennero motorway exit Bressanone and take the Val Pusteria, following the indication "Val Pusteria/Dobbiaco". Pass Dobbiaco and after the village of S.Candido/Innichen turn to right towards Sesto/Sexten, reaching Sesto, then Moso. In Moso turn to right to Bagni di Moso and Val Fiscalina.
For who comes from the Veneto side, motorway A4 from Milano or Venice, motorway A27 to Belluno, SP 52 to Auronzo di Cadore and indications to Giralba or Padola.

Access to the Refuge Zsigmondy-Comici
Start of the trail to Ref. Zsigmondy-Comici
Start of the trail to Ref. Zsigmondy-Comici
From the parking lot in Val Fiscalina 1454 m (paying parking) take the flat gravel road, closed to private cars, to the Capanna di Fondo Valle 1526 m, where the road ends. Here take to the right of the valley a well worn mule-track.
After a bit ignore the trail to the Refuge Locatelli-Innerkofler on the right and continue on the main path, crossing the Sassovecchio river on a wooden bridge and getting the base of the walls of the Cima Una. With bends and some horizontal stretches the path climbs up on the right of the valley (orographic left) with magnificent views to the surrounding mountains. With a last series of steep hairpins it reaches the Refuge Zsigmondy-Comici 2224 m, situated in an attractive position facing a circle of imposing mountains, including the magnificent North wall of the Croda dei Toni.
La Lista and Croda dei Toni from the trail to Ref. Zsigmondy - Comici
La Lista and Croda dei Toni from the trail to Ref. Zsigmondy - Comici
The shadow of Piccolissima Croda dei Toni and Dame Vicentine on Forcella Giralba
The shadow of Piccolissima Croda dei Toni and Dame Vicentine

Normal route across the Busa di Dentro

Monte Popera Normal Route across the Busa di Dentro

Summit: 3046 m
Difficulty: Alpine F
Exposure: West, then NW
Difference in level: 820 m. from Refuge Zsigmondy-Comici
Starting point: Refuge Zsigmondy-Comici 2224 m

The beginning of the Busa di Dentro
The beginning of the Busa di Dentro
Route report

From the hut follow the indication to the saddle called Forcella Giralba on a path crossing a broad scree and skirting the foot of the impressive North wall of Croda dei Toni 3094 m. Without reach the saddle, leave the main path thereabout the “Lago Ghiacciato” 2326 m - often dried - and turn left following the signposts "Monte Popèra" and "Strada degli Alpini". The itinerary passes near the tiny lake and quickly reaches a second signposted junction. Ignoring the left branch leading to the "Strada degli Alpini", the route keeps on along the right branch, entering onto the Busa di Dentro, a broad valley located between Monte Giralba and Cresta Zsigmondy and closed by the West wall of Popèra.
Croda dei Toni with Busa di Dentro and Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Croda dei Toni with Busa di Dentro and Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Croda dei Toni from the Busa di Dentro
Croda dei Toni from the Busa di Dentro
The trail climbs up the Busa di Dentro (cairns), reaching a small snowfield at the head of the  valley: what remains of a biggest ancient glacier which in the past occupied the amphitheater, as evidenced by the clear morainic remains. Here the valley, blocked by the high rocky wall, is turning sharply to the left. The route climb up steadily on the wide gully, which is often snow-covered until late summer and descends from a high rocky notch on the crest between Popèra and Forcella Alta di Popèra. In the upper part, the itinerary exits the gully to the right and climbs up a slope formed by ledges, steep scree and easy rocky steps (I UIAA, cairns) leading to the broad North West ridge of the mountain. Follow it rightwards getting quickly the wide summit (cross and book). A second summit covered by various cairns is situated 200 meters to the South.

For people coming from the refuge Carducci, just crossed the Forcella Giralba, the itinerary keeps the right side. After few meters it joins the previous route. Difficult EE/I
Same way for the ski route.

Descent - reverse the same route

Other routes

Cima Undici seen from Monte Popèra
Cima Undici seen from the summit
Monte Popèra summit benchmark depicting the tridentine eagle
Popera summit benchmark depicting the tridentine eagle
Popèra is not a frequently climbed mountain and its few visits have been made mostly by the Normal route. We mention here the mainly climbing routes thoroughly with the warning that they are all little or nothing attended.

North-East gully - Oscar Schuster with H. Moser, July 8th 1893

East wall - Angelo Dibona with Guido and Max Mayer, Luigi Rizzi and J. Schranzhofer 1911

Hanging Glacier - Celso Gilberti, R. Spinotti e L. Chiussi, 1927

West wall - G. Del Vecchio e M. Mauri, 1947
Summit of Monte Popera
Summit of Monte Popera

Red Tape

Croda dei Toni from Ref. Zsigmondy-Comici
Croda dei Toni from Ref. Zsigmondy-Comici
No fees no permits required.
The road to Rifugio Fondo Valle is not allowed to private cars.
Together with the adjacent mountains, Popèra is located in the Tre Cime Natural Park established in the year 1980, with an area of 11,000 hectares. The park is bordered to the north by the Val Pusteria, to the east from the Sesto valley, to the south from the border with Belluno and to the west from the Val di Landro.
These park is located inside the Dolomiti Settentrionali – Northern Dolomites, one of the nine areas of the Dolomites acknowledged as
Dolomites acknowledged as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

More info on SP: Dolomites, living mountains.


The Refuge Zsigmondy-Comici
The Refuge Zsigmondy-Comici
Rifugio Zsigmondy-Comici 2224 m

Situation: Val Fiscalina
Access: from Campo Fiscalino 1454 m 2/2.30 hours E
Owner: CAI sez. Padova
Keeper: Nikolaus Happacher
Phone: +390474710358
Places: 98 + 6 winter
Open from june 30th to september 30th
Refuge Carducci
Refuge Carducci
Rifugio "Giosuè Carducci" 2297m

Situation: Val Giralba
Access: from Giralba 951m 3.30/4 hours path n.104 EE
Owner: CAI sez. Auronzo di Cadore
Keeper: Monti Fabbro Giuseppe Phone +39 347 6861580
Phone: +39 0435400485
Places: 55 + 4 winter
Open from 1st july to mid october

Antonio Berti hut
Antonio Berti hut
Rifugio Berti al Popera 1950m

Situation: Vallon Popera
Access: from Selvapiana/Padola 1568m 1 hour path 101 E
Owner: CAI sez. Padova
Keeper: Fam. Bruno Martini tel. +39 043568031
Phone: +390435/67155 +390435/366104
Places: 56 + 8 winter
Open from 25th june to 25th september

When to climb

From June to September


ARPAV Dolomiti Meteo

Meteo Provincia di Bolzano

Guidebooks and maps

- Guidebooks
Monte Popera-Hochbrunnerschneid map

Guidebook I 3000 delle Dolomiti
Guidebook I 3000 delle Dolomiti
Guidebook Dolomiti Orientali Vol. I Parte II
Guidebook Dolomiti Orientali Vol. I Parte II
- 3000 delle Dolomiti - Ed. Idea Montagna, Collana "Vie Normali",

- Dolomiti Orientali Vol. I Parte II - Antonio Berti, Collana Guide dei Monti d'Italia

- Maps

Tabacco sheet 010 – Dolomiti di Sesto - Sextener Dolomiten 1:25.000

External Links

Sud Tyrol/Val Fiscalina link
Wheather Val Pusteria link
Dolomiti Meteo link