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2. Pinnistal Valley

Water between Limestone and Primary Rocks

The back of the Pinnistal Valley is marked by a unique geology: Two different types of stone meet there. To the left are mighty limestone reefs in ragged, horizontally layered walls. The rock falls of the Kirchdachspitzen summits drop more than 600m and the Ilmspitzen summits with their jagged pillars further behind remind of the Drei Zinnen in the Dolomites. Light grey screes cover a several hundred-metre-long stretch to the valley bottom. The vegetation on the grass slopes next to them is sparse and one can tell that there is little fertile ground and water. Behind Karalm hut we step into primary rocks and a completely different world. Grounds are fertile below the majestic northern slopes of Habicht mountain: dense bushes and Alpine roses, mossy ground, lush green birch trees. Small rivulets criss-cross the mountain.

The hike leads along a gravel road from Neder into a narrow valley cut. The steep and direct trail follows Pinnisbach brook. The romantic pastures of Herzeben and Issenanger are worthwhile. Once there the valley bottom is flat and the trail leads through a dreamlike upland valley to Pinnisalm hut and to Karlam hut. Ambitious hikers should continue to Innsbrucker Hütte – seen from up there the geologic differences are even more obvious.

Hiking:

Issenangeralm

Start: Neder (1,020m)
Finish: Issenangeralm (1,380m)
Difficulty: good gravel road, somewhat steep at the beginning
Walking time: 1 hour
Altitude gain: 315m
Rest stops: Issenangeralm

Pinnisalm, Karalm, Innsbrucker Hütte

Start: Neder (1,020m)
Finish: Pinnisalm, Karalm, Innsbrucker Hütte
Difficulty: gravel (drive) road to Karalm, from there a well-developed path leads in many serpentines to Innsbrucker Hütte
Walking time:  Pinnisalm (2 hours), Karalm (2.5 hours), Innsbrucker Hütte (4.5 hours)
Altitude gain: Pinnisalm 524m, Karalm 723m, Innsbrucker Hütte 1,300m
Rest stops: Pinnisalm, Karalm, Innsbrucker Hütte

Elferlifte - Pinnisalm - Neder

Start: Neustift (993m) or Elferbahn mountain terminal resp. (1,794m)
Finish:  Neder (1,020m)
Difficulty: relaxing high-altitude trail and descent on a gravel path
Walking time: 3 hours
Altitude loss: 800m
Rest stops: Pinnisalm, Issenangeralm

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