Outside the US ° A trip to the Wetterstein Mountain - Eastern Alps

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
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Sep 5, 2012
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In September 2014 I celebrate my 25th anniversary of work and my company spent me a couple of holidays.
After a research in the web we planed a hiking trip to Bavaria, into the region of the Zugspitze - Germanys highest peak.
We've giving up the plan to sleep in the tent there, since the weather forecast was changing.
I booked on a brand-new campground a sleeping barrel. That's a pretty cool thing for up to four people.

We arrived after a ride of five hours the little town of Grainau a part of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The campground is located above the town at bottom of the Wetterstein massif.
a beautiful scenery.
We occupied "our" barrel and enjoyed the landscapes of the Bavarian Alps. In the eavening the rain comes up. Oh no!
In the next morning, we slept very well in this little domicile, we did a upgrade from the barrel to a typical bavarian mountain cabin. They have three of them.
The cabins here are great und beautiful. A lot of room inside, a bathroom, a kitchenette and a sleeping place under the roof.

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Schlaffass_01.jpg


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WettersteinMassif.jpg

Ok, enough blah-blah of accommodations - let's go to the nature.


Day 1 Osterfelderkopf (2033 m) - AlpSpiX
In the early morning, it was a cloudy and chilly one, we headed up to the peak of Osterfeldkopf. Visited the AlpSpiX, a two-level x-like visitor platform w/ some nice outlooks in to the valley, and the surroundings.
After a breakfest in the chalet, next to cable railway station, we walked down, on steep paths, through the forest in direction to Höllental Klamm (a pretty nice gorge) and back to the campground.

AlpSpiX-OsterfelderKopf-Alpspitze.jpg


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Day 2 Austria, Ehrwald - Seebensee (1657 m) via Hoher Gang
We canceled our goal to hike to the peak of Zugspitze via "Gatterl" (austrian side). The weather was very changeable. Rain and sinking temperatures snowcovered the peak areal. They have had the badest weather here in this region since decades, a local told me. Bad? Maybe! It's good to have always a plan "B".
We drove to Ehrwald in Austria - a short jump from Grainau and parked our car near to the cable railway station. After a couple of minutes we were on trail. The path leads through a forest w/ high humidity. Later he's rocky and steep. On some sections are safety cables. This was the nicest part of the trail - w/o crowds.
The Lake itself is a beautiful, little thing framed by the mountains. Couple of minutes after we arrived the lake, clouds came up and made the lake nearly invisible. A lot of hiking groups arrived too and crowded this place. Ok, that's live. The next miles of our loop leads to Ehrwalder Almbahn (cable railway station). After a nice and short ride w/ the cable railway, we walked back to our car. In Ehrwald was the weekly farmers market. Time to buy some fruits, veggies, cheese, ham and bread. Very delicious goodies.

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Trail.jpg


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Day 3 Höllentalklamm (1045 - 1165 m)
The Höllentalklamm (Hells Valley Gorge) is a short, but one of the best gorges in the area. It's a really beauty. The Walls rising up to 150 m. Narrows have an width of less than 5 m. The gorge has had no access til to the beginning of the last century. Miners and others have constructed, paths, tunnels und bridges during the mining activities in this area. The gorge has always blueish shining running water. In some sections water is running directly from the walls to down.
From the parking place of Hammersbach (780 m) the trail leads through a forest and steep to the Höllental-Eingangshütte (1045 m) (Entry Point, alpine hut- fee station). Here you have to pay a little fee. They also sell something to eat and drink on a terrace - a nice place to relax in the sun (if present). :)
Behind the hut, is a little museum over the history of the gorge. Follow the path over a bridge, through several tunnels and a bunch of steps. At the end of the narrows the gorge becomes wider and green. From this point you can hike to the Höllentalangerhütte, a other DAV hut and up to the top of the Zugspitze. For us the point of return.
It's wet and chilly. The old Höllentalangerhütte was removed and a brand new one is still under construction...

Höllentaleingangshütte.jpg


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Day 4 Eibsee (973 m)
From Grainau we drove to the Eibsee. The Eibsee is a beautiful lake with crystal-clear water and 8 small islands. A wonderful piece made by mother nature. On one of these islands you can get married, in a small hut. Surrounded of a beautiful scenery. The walk around the lake is approx. 7 km and easy. There are many graceful view points along this trail, like to the Zugspitze or the islands itself.

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Conclusion:
The whole area does living from the tourism. Many of the popular places and trails are crowded especially during the summer, winter seasons and holidays. The same thing, like in the lower 48. Camping inside the park boundaries isn't allowed. Only emergency biwi is possible. If you like backpacking trips you have to stay for overnight in a alpine hut.
Reservations in advance, if it's possible, or you have to sleep w/ 20 and more others in one room e.g.
Can you smell the fragrance in advance? (Just kidding :D ) But, to rent a private hut is possible in some regions.

In the sum, we have had some wonderful days in a beautiful area.

@Vegan.Hiker I hope this will be helpful for you. That is all what I have. We hike during the year only in Utah and never in Germany, Austria, Switzerland etc. Unfortunately we've no time for those activities. :(

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slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
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I really love Bavaria. The alps look beautiful, and that route through the waterfalls and tunnels looks serene.
 

gnwatts

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Beautiful shots and report. I love the barrel and waterfalls.
 

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
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Trank you, Dan & Greg. :)


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Michael

Alien from over the pond...
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Yep, mountain man that's right. :)


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Jackson

I like to go outside.
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Those shots of the gorge are beautiful. I especially like the one with the fallen tree stuck in it. Cool report!!
 

Vegan.Hiker

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@Vegan.Hiker I hope this will be helpful for you. That is all what I have. We hike during the year only in Utah and never in Germany, Austria, Switzerland etc. Unfortunately we've no time for those activities. :(

I really loved this report Michael. Thanks for remembering my request for a European trip report from you a while back! I knew you'd pull through. Those barrels seem really interesting and the scenery out there looks fantastic. I have been to Germany before but the areas I were in didn't look nearly as awesome as this. Thanks!
 

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
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My pleasure! :)


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