Hiking in germany – Zugspitze peak
Hiking up tp the top of germany, the Zugspitze, was our goal after reached the 10 highest peaks of Tenerife. After many weeks we have already decided this weekend for the ascent of the Zugspitze, there were short-term, serious changes for the actual tour.
It was planned to start in Hammersbach via the via ferrata to the Zugspitze. For this, we have also carried out climbing courses in the Franconian Switzerland (Höhenglücksteig) and have overcome the high-altitude trail.
But one day before the plans were thrown over completely, we looked for another, own way.
Day 1 on the way up to Zugspitze
At 10:07 clock we start at the station in Marktredwitz with the Bayernticket for 23 € to Garmisch Partenkirchen. From there we take the bus to the valley station of the Kreuzeckbahn, which is located at 700 m.
Our luggage was weighed shortly before our departure: Laura carries 10 kg with itself and my luggage has a weight of 20 kg.
Arriving at the destination for the “Zugspitze” project is shortly after 4 pm and we already know what awaits us from here, at any rate from the facts: Our current goal, the Kreuzeckhaus, is located at 1652 m. This means according to Adam Ries that a good 900 heights are on the program.
It is relatively flat at the valley station about 200 m, but then the first ramps begin. The path to the top should become quite violent and include steep sections up to about 30 percent.
On the way up Laura could have let me go. I have prepared myself consistently and purposefully for the tour, but not with such a weight and certainly not on such a terrain. My heart is racing and I can only take very small steps under this load and effort. Laura says something very special on the way: “Papsi, I know you exactly … I know if you’re thirsty, I know if you need something to eat, I know if you need a break.” Besides, for me they mean everything. We know each other perfectly and are “well done” for such tours, which I think is also important for such tours. One must be able to blindly understand and rely on each other.
Before she gave me a muesli bar to strengthen, which I had but also really needed 😉
After less than two hours, we reach the Kreuzeckhaus. Previously, there are already first “animal contacts”. On the way here, the actual path is suddenly blocked off with an electric fence. This leads us to a short-term reversal and to the continuation on the wider forest road. However, this also leads directly into a cow area. After the event last (dead-trampled woman by dairy cows), we meet the situation tense and with great respect. Finally, we cross the slope slightly above the cows and run directly to the house.
The recording in the house is then not the most friendly and we are only after 10 minutes at least once “perceived”. We are somehow somehow wrong at the place here at the reception. All the others are sitting in the dining-room, others in the hall. We are the only ones with backpacks and it is only after 6 pm. The assigned room is already occupied, so we are looking for a free room, which we must however again vacate. The landlord does not seem very friendly and should leave the one or the other expression of displeasure.
Sunrise second day
Day 2 – sunrise, delicious breakfast and a lot of sheeps
All in all, the visit to the Kreuzeckhaus was not great. We leave the house at 5:30. Breakfast, by the way, would only be available at 7 o’clock, which we are surprised and disbelieved, as these times are far too late for us to take serious, longer tours.
In addition, you miss the great moments, such as the first light and the sunrise. We leave the broad road with headlights and take a narrow path, the Bernadeinsteig. The way is wet through the rain the days before and in some places somewhat slippery. To the left we see how the light bends its way and impressive mountains and clouds appear. When it turns quarter-turn, the sunrise sets in. We are at a great place (in front of a small hut) and after the sunrise in Tenerife it becomes here the first in the mountains. Also for no money to buy the world.
You just have to get up early, but that does not make any of the overnight guests in the Kreuzeckhaus anyway. The breakfast is only in 45 minutes on the program …
After the sunrise we continue our way and there will be annoying, gradual meters in descent. The Bockhütte, our next stopover, is located at 1050 m and so we have to descend this morning a good 600 heights.
While the first kilometers are quite pleasant to walk, the serpentine section becomes a strenuous affair, especially for the knees, due to the baggage and the stairs-like steps. We arrive at the Bockhütte shortly after eight o’clock. There is no other person except the young lady inside. We make our breakfast break as planned here and it is nice to have already taken some kilometers and especially the section with the descent behind us. Also, the sunrise was a great experience again and so we enjoyed a really great brewed plate with delicious cocoa and coffee. Human and taste very recommendable, if one retrospectively other cottage staff or breakfast would have to judge …
At 9:30 am we continue our journey, in 1 h 45 min we reach the Reintalangerhütte. Since Laura is already hungry, she is eating a roast pork. Also here the staff was friendly and the roast tasted. We ask for a minute, as it looks without reservation in the Knorrhütte, because this is actually our only concern, but exact information can not be given here.
As we walked along the Partnach, we heard bells. The ringing is getting louder and louder than the cause: a herd of sheep is in the middle of the road. Without fear, Laura runs towards the animals and they move slowly to the side. Except for a sheep, who likes to be caressed and gets into the care of the “Schafflüsterin” …
A little later, we are heading for the hardest part of today with a healthy percentage. Here I also have to pass some people, who are only traveling with a light backpack.
Laura, I give a green light after a short time and she would not catch up with her speed, despite luggage, so much is fixed. Time and time again incredible to see how tough it is on the mountain and can pass through such sections. Madness…
When we run together again, we are in a really stupid situation. We can hear bells again, but on the way there are only two small lambs that stand alone and do not even know how to behave. We are similar, especially since the little ones always look around and quietly “call”. We get an uncomfortable feeling and can also estimate this situation difficult – as unknown. Slowly we walk toward the two, hesitantly they run upwards. On a wider section we walk very carefully and leave them behind us. Then we hear from above the bells, which clearly indicate the larger animals. In fact, these are now visible to us: two mothers and a ferocious looking sheepbuck. We stand very close to the bush on the right side of the road and the animals are coming slowly, but closer and closer … one of the sheep runs directly towards me until the goat passes quickly on the path. This takes the ladies as a sign and also move past us downwards, fortunately. We use this moment, continue our journey, and look back only once. Also this situation mastered, on to the Knorrhütte (2052 m), which we reach 14:20 clock.
Day 3: The ascent of the Zugspitze peak
The alarm clock rings at 5:50 and we have breakfast this morning. This is available at the Knorrhütte from 6:30 am. Usually too late for us, but we consciously accept this.
As I walk into the washroom, three people get on their way. These should be the only ones who left the hut in front of us.
We start to Müsli and the said “delicious big breakfast” at 7:15 o’clock in the direction of Zugspitze. The weather remains dry for the time being.
From the Hüttenwirt we had learned that there will be bad weather and the passage to Sonnalpin in wet or snow then should not be made, since too dangerous and slippery.
The weight of the backpack I hardly feel today and also the air is good. Therefore, we are fast forward.
On the way to Sonnalpin (2595 m) we meet no other persons. Here starts the hardest part of today’s hike: the really steep gravel field. We are the first to get into this. Although we carry most of the baggage by far, we are going through fully and should not give up the top position either on the easy via ferrata or on the Zugspitze.
As we leave the gravel field behind us, we come to the insured slope. We are waiting for something and the man who is behind us all the time, but can not catch up with us, comes to us. He knows his way around here and we ask if a fixed rope set is necessary. He thinks that it is a very easy via ferrata, with which he is right.
But, of course, it starts to snow a bit later and the track is so wet. This makes the climb slippery and not so easy. “We’re going through this now, we can not go back anyway,” Laura says completely purposefully.
On the summit plateau we search in vain for the summit and see also no sign to the actual summit. A friend of yesterday, whom we see near the Knorrhütte again, is the same and he should not stand on the summit today because he simply did not find it. Hard to believe, but true. The visibility is also not 10 meters.
But we have a knowledgeable “guide” with the man behind us, whom we follow up to the summit. The path from the plateau to the summit is really not without and even with dryness is not for children or people with a lack of security or experience. For untrained persons an unconditional fixed-rope set is obligatory. Although it is snowing and the passage is partly icy, Laura does not want to put on a set and makes his way safely and confidently. I follow her and the ladder is very slippery.
If I did not know her skill and the right self-assessment, I would not obey her will. But she knows what she can do and what situations become dangerous. After overcoming this really challenging passage with a lot of concentration and confidence, we are at exactly 9:45 am at the top of the Zugspitze.
Unfortunately the view from the highest point of Germany is more than modest and the temperature today is on August 23, 2014 minus 1 degree.
After a hug and a few reminders, we are back on the difficult return journey. The ladder is a bit worse to deal with, but Laura is the first to attack and master everything very well.
Directly in the Zugspitzhaus we warm ourselves with Hot Chocolate and Kaiserschmarrn. As the ascent over the insured slope was already slippery, it is clear to us from the outset that we do not choose this route back.
I also speak of the fact that I can imagine driving directly into the valley, to make the return trip by train today. My daughter replies, “We’ll go through it as planned and run back to the Knorrhütte.”
So the conditions and the further course are now clarified and we drive first to the station SonnAlpin with the gondola for 11 € down.
Today is also the Zugspitz Trailrun and after we have already climbed parts of the way in the ascent, some participants will meet us on the way back.
We are also talking to some of the people. We are asked how far it is still or how many participants are already through. But we can only smile at a woman’s statement after we have said that we were already on the summit. “But surely with the cable car, right?” Laura, in short, “Nope, on foot.” I add “in 2.5 hours” to increase their disbelief 😉
On the way to the hut we meet the young man from yesterday again, he did not stand on the summit and needed for the climb longer than us.
Together we return to Knorrhütte at 1:45.
The 561 m of the descent we manage in an hour.
In the hut it should get crowded tonight and at night. A hut atmosphere does not really come up, everything works “aufgesetzt”, but we also get to know some nice people.
Day 4: The descent and home journey
After breakfast we leave the Knorrhütte at half past eight. The previous heavy rain has subsided and has passed into snow. It is at the end of August and at over 2000 m it snows in Germany. Madness.
But luckily, the rain went over in snow, as we have no real pants.
Backpacks are protected with raincoats and we are well equipped (mountain house and CMP), but the trousers and my leaking hiking boots, which are today their last hike, are our weak spots.
The trail is completely soaked and so muddy and slippery in many places that all balance and caution brings nothing. In the end, I create water and with a “well-minded attitude” I wade right through the mud.
Also Laura later draws in and we look really good 😉
You can see that we were outside and not just wear the clothes to look at. This is also properly used, which we definitely make today.
The weather is getting better and better towards Ehrwald and when we arrive downstairs, the cloud cover is torn open and the sun is shining. The first time since our departure in the high on Thursday. We need 4:15 minutes for the descent, leaving many hikers behind us. Laura also pulls down at a speed that I can not hold. After the three days, she shows no signs of fatigue today. However, we both feel the descent into the bone and for us this is as ever more strenuous and more time-consuming than ascents.
After an ice we take the bus to the train station and from there take the train to Garmisch. On the train we can actually solve the Bayernticket without problems and so it costs us the trip from Ehrwald to Marktredwitz 25.90 € due to the bus costs of 2.90 €. Simply a top price and everything folds again problem-free.
At 17:56 clock we arrive in Marktredwitz at the station. Already on the trip we are very relaxed and happy.
We now know that such tours are possible for us. Arrival by train, tour and back by train. This is good to know for future projects.
All parts of our Zugspitztour in detail:
Talstation Kreuzeck (720 m) – Kreuzeckhaus (1652 m)
distance: 6 km Heightmeters: 931 hm (increase)
Kreuzeckhaus (1652 m) – Bockhütte (1050 m) – Reintalangerhütte (1369 m) – Knorrhütte (2052 m)
distance: 16,1 km
Heightmeters: 1176 hm (up), 777 hm (down), 1953 Heightmeters total
Knorrhütte (2052 m) – Sonnalpin (2595 m) – Zugspitze (2962 m) – Knorrhütte (2052 m)
distance: 4,6 km (up), 3,9 km (down), 8,5 Kilometer
Heightmeters: 900 hm (up), 561 hm (down), 1461 Heightmeters
Knorrhütte (2052 m) – Gatterl (2024 m) – Ehrwalder Alm (1610 m) – Ehrwald (994 m)
distance: 12,2 km
Heightmeters: 286 hm (up), 1310 hm (down), 1596 Heightmeters
Zugspitztour in total
distance in total: 42,8 km
Heightmeters total: 6000 hm (3400 hm up , 2600 hm down)