Improving my Physical Fitness: Hirschberg

Today’s hike has the aim to enable more hiking. I hope for splendid September weekends, black tours and appropriate companions, with “black” meaning more interesting in the sense of difficulty or vertigo aspects.

Another Hiking Day, today: close to Tegernsee

Destination of the day is the Hirschberg, with 1.670m and full view over Tegernsee one of those tourist attractions that makes you wonder. How has that group of foreigners made it up here, in those shoes?? Ah, they have come from the other side where I will find the most harmless hiking ways = forest roads. Lucky me that my tour starts at another point and runs straight up on the ski slopes, with muddy ground, few people and a more charming ascent.

Slopes of Hirschberglifte

In the upper part of the tour, the surrounding is as adorable as a cliché, yet a good one. Mountain pastures, happy cows and light clouds filtering the sun make me wander with a broad smile, leading to friendly chats when coming across other hikers.

Oh so beautiful

Only next weekend I will question the Hirschberg route marked red in the tour description = demanding. In contrast, other mountains offer rolling stones of scree on steep paths that might accelerate your downhill experience significantly but are flagged blue = easy. However, here and now I feel well-trained and sporty on my way up, mostly due to the flattened area as approaching the summit.

Happy Cows with a View

Once on top, it is nice and relaxed. The lookout towards the lake is just as promised while the mixed-up weather disables a deeper view into the Alps.

Vista: Okay

Not before long, groups of hikers and tourists arrive at the Hirschberg’s cross and I turn around to start my way down.

Checking out the offers of Berggasthaus Hirschberg, I can confirm that it is all easy here. Rural, even. Friendly people fulfil basic needs with the view towards the cross from the terrasse tables. I congratulate myself for the early bird hike, witnessing now more and more hikers on their way to the top.

Berggasthaus Hirschberg

Eventually, I can cross the Hirschberg off my list. Been there, done that. Perhaps autumn will take me higher… These nice-to-have hikes are perfect for physical fitness, but do not fulfill my longing for sensational adventures.

900m altid. difference12 km4:15hharmless

Double Feature: Early Bird Weekend

High season, rising heat and me aiming for touristic highlights like mountains and castles – all solved with shortened nights and lack of sleep! It is a Saturday in mid August around 6:00 a.m., when I turn towards the Chiemgau (once more), getting me on today’s hiking route by 7 o’clock.

Getting Started in pure Morning Light

Heavy rain has wrecked quite some tracks and I am lucky that all of my route is still there – although parts of the paths look more of a creek these days.

Half Path, half Creek…

Today’s tour is perfect for a 30°C day, as I walk most of the time in shady forests. Obviously, higher powers are busy tidying up the woods, even though they still have quite a lot to do around here.

Disorder

…but then:

Tidied up! (Salinentreppe)

I pass by some mountain pastures in the first half of the hike, but miss the opportunity for a pause at the peak as there is none. Guess that is what the book means by offering a circular trip around the Schwarzenberg…

Beautiful nonetheless

The only significant view is towards the Chiemsee, blurred by a bit of haze, and up to the Gedererwand that will become a wonderful peak destination one fine day.

Gedererwand – yet to come

Having passed some lonesome hours in pure nature (= the Saturday hike), Sunday comes with the most touristic destination around: Disney’s Neuschwanstein! Founded by famous Ludwig Zwo (Ludwig II), a man of taste and beauty, just like Elvis Presley. Both have been addicted to sugar or similar white substance, grown up turning from a handsome young man to a heavier personality, inventing art of such a genius and beauty that it inspires generations long after. Neither modern rockabilly music would exist nor the worldwide brand of Disney World without these great men.

Based on profound knowledge of historic facts, Sabine and me are on our way to THE CASTLE on a wonderful morning in August.

… then on Sunday Morning…

Before the flat viewing of royal apartment rooms, we make our way up to the Marienbrücke. Although we have to share the tiny construction with a handful of foreigners, it is fantastic to be here early enough to spend hours and hours on the perfect picture before the regular masses of visitors make it out of their beds.

Marienbrücke, vice versa

The bridge crosses the Pöllatschlucht, a narrow gorge carved out of the rock. It would be a touristic highlight if not competing with Neuschwanstein, with Hohenschwangau castle and with the Alpsee right around the corner. Given the surrounding, it is like “See? Yes, check! Come on further.”

Pöllatschlucht

Finally, it is our turn to take a look at the artistically decorated rooms of castle Neuschwanstein. In former times, every five minutes a group of 60 (sixty!) persons had been guided up the stairs, through maids’ room, master bedroom, living room, up another set of stairs and into the singers’ hall. Most of the 25 minutes you probably had to wait for some overweight tourist from abroad to get his quantity up and going. Now, thanks to hygiene rules, we are a relaxed group of 10 with a charming young guide, leading us gently through the floors.

Up for Flat Viewing – So far away from the City, it cannot be extraordinarily Expensive, can it??

In the end, one of us considers the decorative swans, the gothic carvings, the myth and opera paintings and the design of the throne room exaggerated, deciding against the castle as a possible retreat for our pensioner community (an era expected for the distant future). At least, we can cross it off our list and keep our eyes open for other opportunities.

500m alt. difference12 km4hharmless
Castle: partly finishedhuge25 mintouristic

Seriously Uphill: Geigelstein

Here I go again, uphill on a holiday Tuesday! There is hardly anything more rewarding than a spontaneous free day in the middle of the week, with bright summer weather and beautiful mountains around. (Except for real travels, says a low voice in the back of my head, but I am willing to ignore it for some time more.)

Today’s pathfinder is Gunther again, one of the best hiking buddies to dive deep into nature.

Outgrowing Nature

All I have to do is get rid of half of my trousers and follow him uphill for mere 1.100m. And bear the sun that shines oh so bright. High noon gets its own, delicate meaning when you make it to the peak in the middle of the day, on heights that are too low for alpine frost, but get you closer to the sun nonetheless.

Destination ahead

Every so often, we cross flocks of cows that ignore most of Covid-19’s distance regulations. Now, isn’t it great to approach a vague fear of huge animals? It would be easy to get in touch, yet we try to respect their grounds when passing by with deep tribute even in closest nearness.

Don’t stand… don’t stand so… don’t stand so close to me…

Thanks to my inner impatience, I skip the idea of waiting for them to free the path, and instead count on the fact that they should be more experienced in hiker-encounters than I am in relation to cows. And, guess what? It works!

Leaving all others behind

Today’s peak is sort of a ridge with steep flanks on two sides, yet without being bothering. It offers enough space for a hand full of hikers and their peak snack (rewarding Gipfelsemmel), accompanied by a 360° lookout.

…then on top…

The view in all directions is splendid: mountains and valleys, blue skies and stretching sporties.

Stretching thoroughly defined Muscles

Despite the moderate height of 1.808m, the perspective from the backside of the cross is not less impressive. Only the yoga pose is still more of a trial than a success, but who talks about success when it is about inner balance?

When trying to Balance the Unbalanced

The way down offers an abbreviation that brings me closer to my inner demons (eeeekh, nature!). Thanks to the mixture of rain and warmth these days, any plant seems to reach twice its regular size, colouring parts of our bare arms and legs with red signs of nettles or whatever is part of this alpine jungle. Still, the short cut accelerates the way towards the Priener Hütte and after all I am fine with the blossoming beauty around.

Facets of Beauty

Eventually, another wonderful hike comes to its end as it comes with the outlook to further ones that will follow – great playground, these near mountains!

Nice Region
1.100m alt. difference14,5 km6:15hmostly harmless

Karspitze or: How to Hike on my own (without getting lost)

It is amazing how my surrounding knows me. As soon as I head South towards the Alps, my favourite radio station plays Kate Bush with something about “running up that hill”, causing a blurred picture half way between dreaming, driving and anticipating today’s hike.

“The Forest” (The Cure) would have been another suitable song…

In fact, today’s pathways are more grounded. I appear to be the first one finding my way uphill, even the cows are still dozy at 8:00 a.m. I enjoy the quiet atmosphere as I continue on forest paths towards the Karspitze.

Clean Shoes on Forest Paths in the lower part of the Route

Exceptionally, I try to find the peak all on my own, with the plan to continue walking until I find a place with a cross. I make my way with the tour description at hand, bright summer skies above and deep mud wherever I share the way with pasturing cattle. Blaming anyone for having missed the right path at the most unremarkable junction, it is for the cows and the slush: Instead of plodding through another wet meadow (hardly looking like it would lead anywhere further than the trough), I continue on the broad way and may have missed some more romantic passages.

Inviting enough

However, taking advantage of my fantastic sense of orientation, I realize in time that either way gets me up to the peak, proved just fifteen minutes later. With flowering meadows and a neat chapel, the place looks as romantic as possible, almost ending my inner chagrin about invisible junctions or lost tracks. Coming closer, the view opens up towards the cliff walls of “Zahmer Kaiser” and on some clouds that appear against all predictions.

…then the View enfolds: Zahmer Kaiser

Once more in this crazy overtourism-summer, I am alone on top of today’s hill. At least for 10 minutes, but still. The Karspitze is a minor peak with only 1.241m above sea level, attracting few tourists. I enjoy the peaceful place, chat a bit with other, rare hikers and then hop down half way for a stop at Wildbichlalm and their impressive coffee machine.

The World hangs crooked in it’s Hinges? No worries, I hold on to it in the most supportive Way!

With today’s short & easy tour, I find myself on the way back home already around noon. The hamlets between Aschau and Sachrang are named Berg, Bach, Stein, Wald and, even more precise, Außerwald and Innerwald (transl.: mountain, creek, stone, forest, added by outofforest and innerforest). Obviously, they have been established either with the most practical approach or by an impressive lack of inventiveness.

I will continue to compensate missing travels with spontaneous hikes this year. Later on, when regular tourists need to return to their homes and their offices, I might include Hector for some night-outs. It is so not-his-style, being parked at home all summer long…

500m alt. difference6 km< 3hharmless

Double Peak Tour: Feichteck and Karkopf

Dissolving Clouds

Years and years, I regarded myself being unsporting, yet happen to move quite a lot. Now my learning of the C-year is: I am sporty! A real tough athletic wonderwoman, running and climbing, swimming and dancing, skating and cycling and all the rest. Being locked down by a series of incidents, I missed the regular action much more than I would have guessed.

Back on Track => Yay to Sporty Challenges

Fortunately, this is about to change now. During the second hike of the year, I even carry the backpack on my own, just like a grown-up kid! Perfectly celebrated with a double peak tour in Chiemgau.

Totally Fine Carrying only his own Backpack: Gunther

Gunther, today’s hiking buddy, joins me for a decent tour towards Feichteck. The hiking paths are gentle and almost deserted as we make our way through an enchanted forest.

Nature is Brimming these Days

Eventually, we come to a halt at the tall and simple cross of the Feichteck peak. Despite high season and overtourism in our beloved Alps, we find ourselves alone up here, enjoying the view and some prepared Gipfelsemmel (author’s note: the translation “peak snack” is not entirely, but almost unlike the real, heartful meaning).

The huge Cross Ups the Mountain by 6 Metres

Having realized our full sports potential, we decide that one summit is hardly enough for us mountain pros. Consequently, we make a second stop on the Karkopf peak. Getting there includes a more interesting passage with an almost vertical climb that leads up on a ridge.

Up. Straight Up.

Once there, you better pause for a moment and enjoy the view that enfolds a few steps before the peak cross will be reached.

Between Feichteck and Karkopf

The Karkopf is a funny summit with a flat top, using a very individual cross to pretend being a serious peak. In fact, it rather seems like a mid-level picknick plateau, decorated with an extraterrestrial road sign.

The Road Sign gives Priority to Spacehips coming from Kuiper Belt

Our route is only about an inch away from the Hochries, a more famous hill with a comfortable cableway. From a distance, we witness piles of tourists up there, while we enjoy a mostly lonesome hike. The only living obstacles in our way are some cows. Due to their impressive size, we agree that mass wins and circle cautiously around the most splendid specimen.

Happy like Daisies

The tour ends with cake and coffee at the Doagl Alm and, of course, with smiling faces and happy feet.

850m altitude8,7 km4 hmostly harmless