I wisely left my car at the parking lot in Sta. Maria im Münstertal and took the yellow post bus up to the Umbrail pass (2503 m). I was only too glad to let someone else do the work for me with that unbelievably narrow and adventurous road...! I reached the Umbrail pass at 8 a. m. and immediately started walking up the normal route. To this day, one sees a lot of remains from the first World War along the way, mainly in form of walls out of natural rock and sometimes trenches, dug by the Swiss soldiers who were stationed up there to safeguard the Swiss border during the skirmishes in that area between the Austrian and Italian troops from 1915 to 1918.
I arrived at 10:30 at the summit. So far, I had been alone, but it didn't take long for countless other people to come up the summit as well - all on mountain bike! Apparently the route Umbrail pass - Piz Umbrail - Punta di Rims - Laj da Rims - Sta. Maria, all following the old military trails, is extremely popular among mountain bikers!
I followed the trail along the ridge in the direction of Punta di Rims, then turned back to the summit of Piz Umbrail and went back the same way. Apart from a steep section secured with chains and a bit of slippery rock debris, there are no technical difficulties at all. I didn't mind not having a mountain bike to shoulder all the way up to the summit, though...
What was planned as a climb of Piz Umbrail turned into a wonderful ridge traverse from Umbrai to Punta di Rims and back along the south slopes of the mountains. One of the most memorable days of 2008, thanks to the wonderful vista.
Is was third summit on that day. Great panorama, especially toward Ortler Group.
Nice acclimatisation tour. Unfortunatly the weather wasn't so good, so we didn't have a nice summit panorama.