Mountain guide in the wild Val Müstair

Rudi Müller

Rudi Müller - Winter
After many years of travelling the world as a mountain guide, Rudi was drawn to Val Müstair. He lives and works as a scondary school teacher in the Biosfera Val Müstair Nature Park and in his freetime he takes guests into the mountains of Val Müstair.

From army to passionate mountain guide

After a military career in the Army, Rudi took the plunge and went to university to get a teaching degree in mathematics. His passion for the mountains never left him, so he decided to train as a mountain guide. Whether in South America, Alaska or Norway, Rudi has explored popular mountain regions over the years to offer his guests unforgettable adventures as a mountain guide. By training as a mountain rescuer and planning numerous mountain expeditions, he has gained a wealth of experience that he uses in his work today.

Skitour Rudi Müller
«Helping people achieve their goals is the best part of being a mountain guide.»

Rudi Müller

With this wealth of experience in his luggage, he finally moved as secondary teacher to Val Müstair in 2021, which is particularly inviting with its wild natural landscape. With the "Ski tours for advanced skiers" and the "Ski crossing Val Müstair - Sesvenna", Rudi is actively involved in bringing our guests closer to the mountains. In summer, the "Wild Peaks" programme is a great way to discover the natural world of the mountains.

Weather conditions permitting, and with the right level of experience, Rudi is happy to tailor tours to suit the needs of the participants. Below are two reports of such tours.

Skitour Val Müstair Rudi Müller

A ski tour with Rudi Müller on the Piz Minschuns

It's a beautiful winter's day in February and the weather is perfect for the planned activity: A ski tour on the Piz Minschuns. The group, made up of holidaymakers from Val Müstair and the Lower Engadine, arrives at the Sta. Maria car park at 08:30. The friendly mountain guide introduces himself with a hearty "Hello everyone, I'm Rudi". After a brief general introduction, the group stows all their rucksacks and skis in the shuttle bus.

Schnee Skitour Rudi

The participants have signed up for an "advanced ski tour" and already have some experience. "A bit chilly, isn't it?" smiles Rudi and adds: "We might need crampons up here today. Please make sure you have them stowed away and ready to hand". The following drive up the picturesque Umbrail Pass road takes the group to the upper end of the village, where a barrier blocks the way.

"I have to unlock the car here. The road to the Umbrail Pass is closed in winter. However, with a permit, you can drive a little further up to the starting point of the tour - the Alpenrose Inn in Plattatschas". Once there, the mountain guide will check that all participants are using their avalanche transceivers correctly. The tour begins on the snow-covered Umbrail Pass road and soon takes the group above the tree line, with picturesque views down the valley towards Piz Daint and Piz Dora.

Schnee - Skitour

The group continues along a snow-covered forest road until they reach the upper Prasüra Alp, which is in deep hibernation until spring. "Are you all right?" asks Rudi. "We are going to have a long break here. Please also take the time to eat something, as we still have a long way to go before lunch. This is where the Val Costainas begins and our destination is up there," Rudi tells the participants.

They are almost alone in this vast and wide area - apart from the ski touring group, there are only two snowshoe hikers in this remote winter landscape. "It is relatively flat here now. So I recommend that you remove the crampons from your ski bindings," Rudi tells the group. Step by step, the path continues upwards towards the Val Costainas, with views of the Rötlspitz - the mountain area around the historic Stelvio Pass.

Rudi Müller

After a lunch break, we continue slowly. The terrain became steeper and the steps smaller. Suddenly, one of the participants, slightly exhausted, confessed: "This is too much for me". At this crucial moment, Rudi, the experienced mountain guide, stepped forward and calmly reassured her: "Don't worry, I'll help you. It's not far to the next drink break". The group spends the last drink break before the summit in a sunny, sheltered spot - ideal for recharging.

Soon after, the climb to Piz Minschuns at 2934m is complete. "You can almost touch the Ortler from here," jokes Rudi. Even if you can't touch it, the view of the Ortler's immense glacier mass is truly impressive. On the subsequent descent, Rudi leads the group safely back to the starting point after a descent of around 1200 metres.

Winter - Rudi Müller

With Rudi Müller on the Piz Murtaröl - the highest mountain in Val Müstair

Even in summer, Val Müstair offers the opportunity to discover the wild region off the beaten track. However, this requires knowledge of the area and the rock - something that Rudi has been able to acquire over the course of his many years as a mountain guide. In his "Wild Summits" programme, he offers mountain tours in the unspoilt mountain world of Val Müstair.

The tour to Piz Murtaröl starts early in the morning in Val Mora. There is darkness and a certain tension - the lack of visibility means that the participants concentrate more on other senses and are all the more aware of the fresh mountain air, the sound of the distant mountain stream and the mild summer wind. "This way, boys!" Despite their headlamps, the participants are glad to have a local mountain guide with them to plan their next steps. "Now be careful when you cross the stream. Look for stable stones so you can cross the stream safely. You can also take your shoes off and walk through the stream. Before the participants can laugh at the supposed joke, Rudi is seen barefoot in the river - "Now I'm awake - better than any coffee!

Sonnenaufgang - Wandern

Die Tour zum Piz Murtaröl beginnt am frühen Morgen im Val Mora. Es herrscht Dunkelheit und eine gewisse Anspannung – durch die fehlende Sicht konzentrieren sich die Teilnehmenden mehr auf andere Sinne und realisieren die frische Bergluft, das Rauschen des fernen Bergbaches und den milden Sommerwind umso intensiver. «Hier lang Jungs!», trotz Stirnlampe sind die Teilnehmer froh einen ortskundigen Bergführer dabei zu haben, um die nächsten Schritte zu planen. «Nun Vorsicht beim Überqueren des Baches. Sucht nach stabilen Steinen, um den Bach sicher überqueren zu können. Schuhe ab und durch den Fluss geht natürlich auch». Noch bevor die Teilnehmenden über den mutmasslichen Witz lachen können, sieht man Rudi barfuss im Fluss – «jetzt bin ich wach – besser als jeder Kaffee!»

Berge - Sonne - Sommer - Wandern

Dawn begins to break and the silhouettes of the mountains begin to appear. The hike continues towards Val Magliavachas, the wild access valley to Piz Murtaröl. A path is visible at first, but soon disappears. You need to be able to read the terrain well to find the best route. "The best thing to do is to go up to the left of the slope," Rudi tells the group.

The group continues down into the valley across meadows and stone fields. To reach the basin, they avoid another steep step. Soon, the sun rises over the ridge - together with the clouds, it creates a mystical morning landscape! "Enjoy the sun! This is the ideal place to have a drink before we start climbing through the scree," Rudi tells his participants.

Geröll - Wandern - Sommer

The group now faces a large, steep scree field. Every step forward often feels like half a step back. "The terrain is a bit difficult here, so I slow down a bit," Rudi tells us.

Wandern - Sommer - piz Murtaröl

Step by step the group approaches the saddle. The slope becomes steeper and the route more challenging. Rudi points out: "Because of the possibility of falling rocks, it is advisable to put your helmets on now". The route continues up through a couloir and over a snow-covered rock face to the summit. "Hang on, I'll give you the rope," Rudi calls, and a moment later he is helping one of the participants up to the saddle.

Once on the saddle, the view opens up to the majestic Piz Murtaröl - the highest mountain in Val Müstair at an impressive 3,180 metres above sea level. "For greater safety, we now rope up. The last part requires more concentration," explains Rudi.

Berge - Seilschaft - Rudi Müller - Sommer

Once on the saddle, the view opens up to the majestic Piz Murtaröl - the highest mountain in Val Müstair at an impressive 3,180 metres above sea level. "For greater safety, we now rope up. The last part requires more concentration," explains Rudi.

Rudi Müller

As mountain guide, he leads the three-man team through the challenging terrain.  

After the rocky ridge, the group climbs up through a rock band to the summit of Piz Murtaröl. From here they can see the whole of the surrounding mountains and the border between Switzerland and Italy.

Gipfeltour Rudi Müller

From the top of the highest point in Val Müstair, the view is breathtaking, with mountain ranges as far as the eye can see. "Well done boys, you've really earned that impressive view!" After a safe descent, the mountain guide feels a sense of accomplishment. The joy of guiding and supporting two climbers is reflected in their beaming faces. Rudi recognises the value of his role, not only in guiding the participants, but also in keeping his guests' thirst for discovery alive.