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Vent has many beautiful spots where the Stone Age people have already felt at ease. Today, traces of their early existence can still be seen near the mountaineering village. From the beautiful Baroque parish church in the village center all other destinations can easily be hiked, except the finding place of "Ötzi" - the famous glacier mummy - which requires a good physical shape and enough high Alpine experience.
Once back in the Stone Age: Under this large overhanging boulder it seems quite easy to indulge in the environment of hunters and shepherds between the 8th and 4th Millennium BC. It forms a sheltered place at 2050 m altitude, where prehistoric people returned again and again in the summer in order to build fire pits, collect the prey or make tools and weapons. Blades, arrowheads, scrapers and drills were crafted from precious flint stone of the northern Lake Garda region. It's quite possible that "Ötzi" also knew about this hiding place - its finding place was only about 12 km away. Hohler Stein area can be found after about 20 walking minutes on the way from Vent to Martin-Busch-Hütte (follow the signs at the fork-off).
2 km above Vent the highest, permanently settled mountain farms in Austria brave the harsh Alpine conditions. Its idyllic location, the traditional inn and the renowned Haflinger breeding make the Rofenhöfe farmhouses a truly popular destination which is within easy walking distance. Already in the 13th century shepherds are said to have settled in this place which is closely linked to the history of the Klotz family still living here today. In 1848, a certain Leander Klotz succeeded in climbing Wildspitze peak for the first time. Glacier priest Franz Senn trained him and his brother Nicodemus as mountain guides. The first suspension bridge was also built in 1967 by the Klotz brothers. In the past, both locals and visitors had to climb down into the gorge and cross a small footbridge. In 1984, the province of Tirol renewed the 46 m long bridge that stretches over Rofnerache mountain brook at a height of 31 m.
It is a strategic and cleverly chosen area where our ancestors have set up a free-range camp to go hunting - on a 1950 m high Alpine terrace where Niedertal and Rofental valleys meet. The two valleys probably formed the natural boundary line of a huge hunting area stretching up to the main Alpine ridge. Therefore the place was just perfect as a departure base for larger hunting communities. Archaeological excavations revealed that the earliest use of this hunting site dates back to around 7600 BC. It was also the first ascent to Rofental valley by humans.
On 19 September 1991, a German couple stumbled over a mummified corpse in the eternal ice of Similaun glacier on Hauslabjoch ridge. From then on called "Ötzi" or "Frozen Fritz", the sensational finding should keep researchers busy for a very long time. According to expert analyzes, the corpse has spent about 5300 lonely years in the glacier-covered border region between northern Italy and Austria. But it also proves that hunters, shepherds and traders have been crossing the main Alpine ridge for ages. The finding site at 3210 meters above sea level is accessible via Similaunhütte for experienced mountaineers only. A large stone pyramid and information boards mark the historical place that boasts magnificent views of Similaun, Tisental and Vernagt water reservoir in Schnalstal valley.
The biography of this house of worship, which welcomes visitors right at the entrance to Vent, can look back on more than 500 years of history. Already 1502 a church with graveyard was inaugurated in this place. In 1862, the present church in Baroque style was consecrated to St. James the Elder and Vent became a separate parish. The high altar is said to come from the former church in Karthaus, Schnalstal (South Tyrol). People's alter and pulpit were renewed in 1999. Also worth seeing: the altar of the Virgin Mary and the statue of Mary crafted by the Tirolean artist Andreas Kölle.
A nice treat for those who can't climb (any more) North Tirol's highest mountain themselves: the legendary Cross of Wildspitze summit has found a new home along the walking trail from Vent to Rofenhöfe Farms. With eye contact to the original location, now it makes the magic of a summit victory tangible to hikers of all generations "down here". Erected in 1933 by pure muscle power of local Ötztal mountain guides and innkeepers, it towered high above the valley until its replacement in August 2010. Even today it stands in a very significant place: Before the very first peak conquest of Wildspitze by Leander Klotz and companions from Rofen, the Schlagintweit brothers started their first attempt from here in 1847. Special tip: The summit cross can be found along B-ART-EB'NE Art Trail!