Murtaröl above Val Cluoz
is arguably the northernmost mountain of the Livigno Alps
, arguably because there are quite a number of bumps north of it, which, however are unnamed and quite often are attributed to Murtaröl
as side or secondary summits. Thus, our mountain is long stretched and round topped along its north-south crest but comparativelly sharp peaked when climbed from east-to west. At 2579m it is far lower than the main summits of the Livigno Alps
; nevertheless you'll have to scale more than 1100m even from the closest trailhead at the village of Zernez
In fact Murtaröl
is one of the backdrop mountains of this crossroads village, where three mountain groups touch directly (Livigno Alps
, Sesvenna Group
, Albula Alps
) and two more rise in less than 20km distance (Ortler / Ortles Group
). The village is home to Europe's oldest national park, the Swiss National Park
/ Parc Naziunal Svizzer
, which stretches across the groups and has its largest area inside the Livigno Alps
is located inside the park and thus only reachable by the established hiking trails.
rises above Oberengadin
on a north-south running ridge, which eventually leads to the much higher Piz Quattervals
. The lower 600m of that ridge are covered by pine forests while everything above 2000m carries little more than dwarf pines. The mountain is made up from very brittle limestone, which can be most easily seen on the ridge north of the summit, where erosion has carved several side summits out of the crest.
The main summit is located north of a cirque which lies at the feet of Piz Quattervals. It exceeds this cirque only by less than 100m elevation but still figures as a distinct summit. It offers views across the Zernez Basin
and across the Oberengadin Valley
. On a fine day Piz Linard
in the Silvretta Group
can be seen rising directly above Zernez Village
in the north.
Schloß Wildenberg in Zernez, the trailhead for Murtaröl
is most easily climbed from Zerrnez
in Unterengadin / Bassa Engadina
. As one of the major intersections in the area it can be reached from many sides.
- Take motorways A3 and A13 to Landquart
- Switch to B28 across Flüelapass to Susch.
- Here turn south (still B28) to Zernez
- Take motorway A12 to Landeck
- Switch to B180 to Pfunds
- A bit after the village switch to B184, which turns into B27 after you cross the Swiss - Austrian border
- At Susch switch to B28 to Zernez
- Take motorway A22 to Bozen / Bolzano
- Switch to SS38, passing Meran / Merano to Schluderns / Sluderno
- Turn west onto SS41, which turns into B28 after the Swiss - Italian border across Ofenpass / Pass dal Fuorn to Zernez
The Murtaröl north ridge
The route starts east of Zernez
on the road to Ofenpass / Pass dal Fuorn
. It traverses picturesque meadows before heading out towards Val Cluoz. Instead of heading into the valley the path starts to rise through pine and larch trees until it reaches Chamanna Bellavista
, a privately owned hut at 2039m. Here the trail splits:
- to the left a path heads into Val Cluoz
- to the right another path heads out onto the Murtaröl West Slopes above Oberengadin and turns east to reach the summit from there
- The straight routes stays on the Murtaröl North Ridge, heading for the summit directly. It negotiates several side summits (mostly staying on the eastern side) before reaching the summit meadow on the broad top.
Chamoix poser on Murtaröl
is located in Swiss National Park
. By no means you are allowed to leave trails or to take anything out of the environment. The national park is known for its thriving wildlife. You can find deer, ibexes and chamoix as well as the occasional brown bear or different species of bird of prey. Take care to protect their habitat.
When to ClimbMurtaröl
can be almost climbed all year round. Take care in the winter season because of avalanches. However, the ridge traverse along the north ridge is a wonderful, not too difficult ski tour.
Maps & Books
- Digital Maps
- Regular Maps
Kompass Map WK 98
- Nationalpark Zernez,
Swisstopo Map 459T
Rudolf Weiss / Siegrun Weiss
Rudolf & Siegrun Weiss