Europe’s tallest and most perfectly shaped earth pyramids are to be found on the Renon mountain in several locations: in the gorge of the Finsterbach creek between Longomoso and Monte di Mezzo, in the Katzenbach-creek gorge below Soprabolzano, and in the gorge of Gasters in Auna di Sotto. Earth pyramids consist of cone-shaped pillars formed by deposited clay and a boulder on top – they often form rather bizarre shapes, and tend to be shrouded in mystery. But there is an explanation for their existence. Earth pillars started forming from moraine clay soil left behind after the last Ice Age when the glaciers of the Valle d’Isarco covering the valley melted away. In dry condition the soil is hard as stone, but, as soon as it rains, it turns into a soft muddy mass, starts sliding, and so forms 10 to 15-meter-steep slopes. Through additional rainfall, these slopes will erode. However, where there are rocks in the muddy mass, the clay soil underneath these rocks stays protected from the rain. So, while the surrounding material is continually carried off with the weather, the protected pillars literally rise out of the ground to form majestic earth pyramids. It’s hard to tell how long the formation of a full-blown earth pyramid actually takes, simply because it depends on too many factors. It’s just as difficult to assert how old an earth pyramid might be or can get. What we can say for certain though is that the biggest and prettiest ones develop over the timespan of thousands of years. Once the boulder falls from its peak, an earth pyramid quickly bites the dust. When this happens, the material below is naked, exposed to the rain, and the pillar shrinks with every rainfall. While one earth pyramid vanishes through this process, a bit further up the slope the next one comes to life.