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Can’t miss tour for climbing fans

What’s so special about the Heini-Holzer via ferrata on the "Kleiner Ifinger" mountain? And for whom was it named? 5 questions for Peter Vanzo, who built the via ferrata.

As a little boy, Peter Vanzo often climbed the barn wall of his parents' farm, the Etschmannhof. These days, the mountains are his preferred climbing arena – no matter the season. In fact, no mountain is safe from this intrepid mountain and ski guide. One day it occurred to him that building a via ferrata on the Kleine Ifinger mountain would be a worthy challenge.

Soon afterwards, he began exploring the 2,552-m mountain with his mountain guide colleague Uli Reiterer. Five years later, from May to June 2016, the Heini-Holzer via ferrata was constructed in cooperation with the local Tourist Info, Alpine Club and the forestry inspectorate. The via ferrata is named after Heini Holzer, a courageous downhill skier and Alpinist from Schenna. The Heini-Holzer via ferrata is 1,000 metres long, offers magnificent views of the Sarntal Alps and stretches over 500 metres to the summit of the Kleiner Ifinger mountain. Incredibly, it was climbed 10,000 times in just the first two months after opening!

Peter, for whom did you design the Heini-Holzer via ferrata?
Our goal was to build an easier-to-climb alternative to the extremely difficult Hoachwool via ferrata (link) at the beginning of the the Schnalstal valley. The Heini-Holzer via ferrata has levels of difficulty from A to B/C and is also suitable for less experienced mountaineers and for families with children ages 10 and up who enjoy climbing.
The entire via ferrata is secured with steel ropes. Climbing aids make difficult passages easier to navigate. Nevertheless, the challenge of a via ferrata should not be underestimated. Participants should be in good physical condition and have prior climbing experience.
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Please describe the via ferrata?
The via ferrata is divided into several sections. At the beginning there is a kind of entrance wall, which is steep and difficult to climb. The section leads climbers to a simple cave crossing via a mountain meadow. From here, the route ascends steeply upwards between small trees up to the Geistergrat ridge. The "Waldele" section is on the other side of a short, steep wall.
The Heini-Holzer rest area, which has a cosy bench and view of the steep, 55 degree southwest side of the Ifinger slope skied by Holzer in the 70s, is about halfway up. The trail continues to the Engelskante ridge.

What makes the Heini-Holzer via ferrata so special?
The sunny location and the wonderful views of the Ortler mountain and the Dolomites are the highlights of this via ferrata, as opposed to the technical climbing challenge.
At the end of the via ferrata, the experience at the summit is also great. An equally well-secured route leads from Kleine Ifinger to the summit of Grosser Ifinger mountain in about 20 minutes.
Those who instead prefer to relax after the climbing tour, can hike to the Kuhleitenhütte mountain hut in just 15 minutes.

What if climbers no longer want to continue?
It is not possible to suspend the via ferrata from a certain point. However, we deliberately built the most difficult sections at the beginning so that climbers can still turn back early if it is too much.

When is the best time for a climbing tour on the Heini-Holzer-Steig?
Because the climb is very sunny and snow thaws quickly, the via ferrata can be enjoyed from spring until well into late autumn. However, all climbers should plan in plenty of time and keep an eye on the weather. Thunderstorms in the mountains are always an uncomfortable experience.
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Via ferrata "Heini Holzer" - Ivigna
Ascent The 500 m long climb is perfectly secured with 1000 m of steel cable, is rated at medium difficulty (A - B – in some places B/C) and is suitable for the ...
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6/5 - 10/16/2020 08:45
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