At an elevation of 3,851 m (12,635 ft.), and with a prominence of 388 m (1,273 ft.), Königspitze / Gran Zebrù forms part of the Southern Rhaetian Alps. It is situated close to the town of Sondrio, in the province of Sondrio, in Lombardy, Italy.
Gran Zebrù (Italian) or Königspitze (German) is the second-highest peak in the region. It was first successfully climbed in August 1854. The summer months can be dangerous for climbing, as the melting snow and ice tend to cause rockfalls and avalanches.
The mountain has claimed several lives this way. For instance, seven people lost their lives on 5 August 1997 in two separate locations. In June 2013, six people died in similar incidents.
There are various routes to approach Gran Zebrù / Königspitze: from the south side, the northwest, and also from the east.
INTERESTING FACT: During the First World War, Königspitze was strategically important on the Italian Front, and fierce battles were fought between the Austrians and the Italians right up to the summit region. There are many archeological remains of this conflict in the area, and the best preserved wooden barrack is on top of Königspitze.
There are many indigenous flowers to be enjoyed, including the alpenrose (a rhododendron), moosglöckchen (a kind of honeysuckle), inntaler primel (from the primrose family), and gentians. The mountain region is also home to chamois, the golden eagle, and the bearded vulture.
There's a demanding alpine trail (T5) called 1 leading to the summit.
By elevation Gran Zebrù is
# 3 out of 425 in the Ortler Alps # 3 out of 1160 in the Southern Rhaetian Alps # 3 out of 370 in Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio - Nationalpark Stilfser Joch # 100 out of 42694 in Italy # 13 out of 3401 in Lombardy # 3 out of 3872 in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol # 13 out of 973 in Sondrio # 3 out of 2178 in South Tyrol
By prominence Gran Zebrù is
# 7 out of 425 in the Ortler Alps # 25 out of 1160 in the Southern Rhaetian Alps # 14 out of 370 in Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio - Nationalpark Stilfser Joch # 88 out of 3401 in Lombardy # 36 out of 973 in Sondrio # 62 out of 2178 in South Tyrol
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