The archaeological trail from Vent to Kurzras leads through captivating mountain landscape that was already used many centuries ago by shepherds with their flocks.
Best time of year
From Vent (1896 m), we start our climb up to the Rofen farms (2014 m) that comprise the highest permanent settlement in the whole of Tyrol. In the past, the Rofen farmers had to make their way once a year to Meran, then the capital of Tyrol, to hand in their contribution to the treasurer in the form of a certain amount of cheese.
We pass an archaeological site (stela) on the way to these farmsteads. Continuing on up, we reach the refuge lodge Hochjochhospiz (2412 m). We cross a bridge over the rushing mountain stream and continue our climb across scree that has been deposited over thousands of years from the glaciers.
We now have two different ways of getting to the Bella Vista refuge lodge (2842 m): either high up on the mountain side, passing the border hut that is no longer in use, or along the valley floor as far as the glacier and then up over the glacier on a trail that has been used for hundreds of years by shepherds during the annual migration to the high Alpine pastures with their flocks. Each trail will take us to the Bella Vista refuge lodge and then on to the Hochjoch pass.
Climbing up to the pass, we have before us all the peaks that frame the Finailspitze and also Grawand where the ski lifts can clearly be seen.
The descent to Kurzras takes us along an easy mule path that Serafin Gurschler commissioned in 1863. In 1870, Gurschler, a farmer and inn keeper, already applied for a licence to run an inn on his farm and it was granted. It must be mentioned, however, that at the time there was no road through the valley to Vinschgau!
Continuing on, we soon arrive at a watery dip, which is an archaeological site (stela). The hotel in Kurzras (2011 m) can already be seen below at the bottom of the valley and we will soon be there too.
However, before returning fully to the “civilised world”, we should once again follow the trail and take a right at the entrance to the Langgrubtal valley: shortly after a dry stone wall a number of cup-marks can be seen (stela) on a stone slab.