Ötzi the iceman:
hiking on the trails of the mummy
Ötzi the iceman was found not far from our Hotel Post in Vent. During your holiday with us, you can participate in a guided hike leading to the very spot where the glacial mummy was found over 30 years ago. Ötzi the iceman of the Alps was found in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps. The around 5,300-year-old mummy from the Copper Age was discovered accidentally by hikers, together with a stone dagger, a copper axe, and bow and arrows. This archaeological sensation is unique in history. Today, you can visit Ötzi the iceman in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano.
Our father Luis Pirpamer was one of the first ones on site when Ötzi was discovered by Mr and Mrs Simon. He was just returning from Mt Wildspitze when his son Markus called him from the Similaun mountain hut and told him about the sensational find. Together they made their way to the site. Once they reached Ötzi, they realised right away that the mummy had been resting in the ice for quite a long time …
From the Similaun mountain hut, which is a partner of our family-run hotel, you can easily hike to the spot where Ötzi the iceman was found. Pass the mountain hut and follow the marked trail towards northeast until you reach the site. On the way you enjoy a spectacular view to the northside of Mt Fineilspitze and Mt Similaun. If you wish, we’ll take you there on a guided hike.
Beside this hike leading to the place where Ötzi the iceman was found, there are also other routes on the trails of history. In Vent, for instance, you’ll find the Hohler Stein at 2,050 metres above sea level. It is a hunter’s and shepherd’s station from the Stone Age. This archaeological excavation site shows that the region has been a hunting terrain since as early as 8000 BC.
The Ötzi village in Umhausen is located about 40 minutes’ drive from our hotel in Vent in Tyrol. Here you’ll find an exhibition with artefacts from another era, taking you back to the past, namely to the Stone Age.
We recommend you enjoy an excursion over Passo del Rombo/Timmelsjoch (2,509m above sea level) across the glacial world of Ötztal. Continue and you will reach Val Passiria/Passeiertal near Meran in South Tyrol. From here, it is only a stone’s throw to Bolzano and the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where you’ll find the man from the ice.
Ötzi, more than just a mummy from Similaun
Beard, long and slightly grey hair, 1.60m tall, thin but athletic, talented hunter, age: approx. 5,300 years old. Who are we talking about? It’s the man that walked through the ice. The man surrounded by myths and legends. It’s the world-famous guy who went down in history and archaeology books as Ötzi. We at Natur- und Alpinhotel Post answer the most exciting questions about the oldest man in Ötztal!
Where was Ötzi found?
The mummy was found on Tisenjoch, in the Ötzal Alps, at 3,210 metres above sea level. Two mountaineers from Germany came across the lifeless body above glacier Niederjochferner, without realising what a unique find they had made. They had just discovered the only preserved mummy in Central Europe from the Copper Stone Age. The best part: the body had been preserved by natural freeze-drying.
When was Ötzi found?
Ötzi’s preserved body was discovered on 19 September 1991 off a marked route. The hikers’ first thought was that they had found a mountaineer who had died in an accident. As the alarmed hut warden was unable to determine whether the body was on Austrian or Italian territory, the authorities of both countries were informed. In the following days, the body was rescued from the ice: his arms broke, his hip splintered, but the rescue was successful. Famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who happened to pass the discovery site on a mountain tour, estimated the age of the body at 500 years. He was off by 4,800 years.
Who found Ötzi?
Helmut and Erika Simon from Germany were descending the mountain when they found the glacier mummy. As soon as the first photographs of the mummy went around the world, Erika and Helmut Simon became sought-after interview partners. After years of legal dispute with the land of South Tyrol, Mrs Simon (Helmut Simon had died in a mountain accident in 2004) was awarded a finder’s fee of 175,000 euros in 2010.
Our father Luis Pirpamer was also one of the first to arrive at the site. Called by Mr and Mrs Simon, he and his son Markus immediately climbed up from the Similaun hut to the site, alerted the emergency services, and helped with the recovery.
How was Ötzi found?
It was on an exceptionally mild autumn day on 19 September 1991 that the Simon couple discovered a lifeless body. Looking for the quickest way down, they walked off the beaten track. That’s how they made this ground-breaking discovery. Due to the small build of the body, they assumed they had found a female corpse. It was only after the elaborate recovery that prehistorians examined the body and recognised the inestimable value of the Iceman.
How long has Ötzi been in the ice?
Ötzi lay in the ice for around 5,300 years, meaning the year of his death was around 3,300 years BC. The results of radiocarbon dating have clarified that the Iceman dates back to the Stone Age and was born in the Copper Age. At the time of its recovery, the freeze-dried corpse weighed only 13kg. Many mysteries surrounding Ötzi have since been solved: He ate meat and plums before he died, he was tattooed, and an arrow pierced his left shoulder, which was probably his death sentence.
When was Ötzi born?
Based on a method for radiometric dating of carbonaceous, especially organic materials, the date of birth was dated to 3,258 BC. The deviation upwards and downwards is 89 years. By the time of his death Ötzi was probably around 40 years old. A valuable copper axe was found on him, which indicates a high social status. What brought him to the mountains? What really caused his death? These secrets will probably remain hidden forever.
At what altitude was Ötzi found?
Ötzi was found at 3,210 metres above sea level on Tisenjoch. From your accommodation in Vent you can reach the Ötzi discovery site via a panoramic hike over the Similaunhütte (owned by your host family). After a break at the hut, follow the marked mountain trail to the north-west. At the discovery site you can enjoy a unique view of the northern side of Fineilspitze and the Similaun.