Pfitscherjoch Hütte, Tirol
Building Image
      This is Pfitscherjoch Hütte (something like "Pfitscher Pass Inn") on the Austrian-Italian border in the Tirolean Alps east of the Brenner Pass. From the Austrian side, it's reached by a hiking trail from Schlegeisstausee, and from the Italian side a road comes up from the beautiful valley below.

      The stone of which the older part of the hütte is built is a feldspathic granulite gneiss. It is typical of the high-grade metamorphic rocks high in the Alps southwest of Innsbruck. In fact, metamorphism is sufficiently intense there that rocks approach the blurry boundary between high-grade metamorphic rocks and igneous rocks. Their development to that boundary condition illustrates the long-time discordance between American and European geologists about granite: the former view them as igneous rocks, and the latter view them as metamorphic rocks. These particular rocks thus sit both at a geographic border, between Italy and Austria, and at a geologic border as well.

Stone Image


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