Summer came back and October is as golden as you can imagine. Perfect conditions to pick up the preparation routine about running up that hill.
We have chosen the Mahnkopf for today, departing from the fairy tale mountain village Eng. Sunrise on the road was already stunning, best prefix for a wonderful day in the Karwendel mountains. The four of us start fresh and motivated into the 17 km tour, surrounded by one of the most charming parts of the Northern Alps.
The height difference would be much more relaxed without the Hohljoch right below the rocky walls of the Laliderer Reisen: we lose at least 200m altitude difference before we reach the (currently closed) alp Falkenhütte.
When we pass by the interim hill of the Ladizköpfl, we are rewarded with the view down to the Kleiner Ahornboden. The sun does all the effort to simulate a bright summers day: short trousers and t-shirts are way too much, but as hiking in a bikini is so not-state-of-the-mountain-art, we ignore the heat and continue our way up.
The last section of the tour goes straight up the flank of the Mahnkopf, all steep and stony. The grass around the path is flat from the first seasonal snow – just 10 days ago all of this has been a winter wonder land. When we finally reach the peak, it is all worth it: a 360° panoramic view, mild sun and few hikers are all we need for a short rest.
The way back is identical to the way up, including the Hohljoch-frustration of lost and heavily regained altitude meters. At a quarter past five we stumble in the Alpengasthof Eng and fall down on the benches, begging for food, drinks and coffee.
With quite some breaks and alpine pick nicks, the tour with roughly 1.300m altitude difference took us about 8 hours, mostly uphill. If not for the traffic jams, it would have been a great but exhausting day. Even with broken down traffic (Munich tourists, argh!) I would do it all over again, especially with the fantastic road-guidance from the back row, manoeuvring us toward Munich on tiniest roads!