With its 3,510 m, the Gran Pilastro is the highest mountain of the Zillertal Alps
The Gran Pilastro (Hochfeiler in German) is one of the boundary points between South Tyrol and North Tyrol and therefore between Italy and Austria. It was climbed for the first time in 1865, today it is famous for its 300 m high ice wall, one of the most-known climbing routes among alpinists.
Neighbours of the Gran Pilastro are the Punta Bianca and the Hochferner. To the north the mountain slopes down towards the Schlegeis Basin (Zillertal valley) and to the South Tyrolean Val di Vizze valley near Vipiteno towards the south. 9 km from the peak, the village of Lappago in the back Valle Aurina valley is located.
A mountain hike up to the 3,510 m high Gran Pilastro can also be started in the Valli di Tures e Aurina valley. Starting at the Lago di Neves lake near Lappago, the summit can be reached within 7.5 hours. Without major difficulties, however, the route is very exposed at times and requires glacier equipment for the obligatory crossing of the Vedretta del Gran Pilastro glacier (Gliederferner) and for the possible occurrence of ice sections even in midsummer.
Possible stops with overnight accommodation: Rifugio Ponte di Ghiaccio (Edelraut Hut, 2,545 m a.s.l.) and Rifugio Gran Pilastro (Hochfeiler Hut, 2,715 m).