The sheep return to Senales Valley in September – as has been the case for hundreds of years.
Niedertalm – Niederjoch (3019 m) – Vernagt (1700 m)
Up to 2,200 sheep and 300 goats set off from the Niedertal Alm in Vent valley (A) in the early morning, moving upwards through high-Alpine terrain (not dangerous) to Niederjoch (3019 m) or the Similaun refuge hut, the first group in the herd arriving at about 9 am. The most dangerous part of the return journey begins here, particularly if there is snow on the ground or the trail or parts of it are icy.
Below the hut, the procession winds downhill on quite a narrow trail through steep and rocky terrain (down to about 2,600 m). The ground then becomes more level and less dangerous. After a short respite in the centre of Tisental valley, the herd continues down the mountain towards Vernagt, arriving just before 2 pm. From far away (1/2 hour before it arrives) you can already see the never-ending line of sheep. The shepherds and drovers are welcomed back by many locals and guests to a big shepherd festival near the “schofschoad” or assembly point. Accommodation and refreshments available at the Martin Busch hut and the Similaun refuge hut.
Rofenbergalm – Hochjoch (2856 m) – Kurzras (2011 m)
Early in the morning, about 1,500 sheep set off from the Rofenberg Alm in Vent valley (A). From there, the trail leads through high-Alpine terrain (not dangerous) upwards towards Hochjoch or the Bella Vista refuge hut (2845 m). The herd arrives there between 11 am and 12 pm. After a short break at the hut, the procession continues down the mountain at a gentle pace, initially through steep, rocky terrain and then onto more level ground, then across steep ground again, to Kurzras where the herd arrives between 3 pm and 4 pm. Near the “schofsschoad” or assembly point, a hearty shepherds’ festival is already underway since 10 am in the morning with traditional music and local specialities. Accommodation and refreshments available at the Hochjoch Hospitz hut and the Bella Vista refuge hut.
The return of the sheep:
Sunday, 8th of September in Maso Corto
Saturday, 14th of September in Vernago
Schedule may change if weather conditions are bad