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

Hochplatte Hike

Es wird Zeit, die erfahrene Bergfreundin aus der glorreichen Nepal-Ära an die Seite zu holen für eine schöne Herbst-Tour: Die Hochplatte im Chiemgau soll es heute werden, und hinterrücks vorbei an allen Staus beamen wir uns in die Bergwelt.

Today’s destination is the peak of the Hochplatte and, together with my dear hiking buddy from Nepal, we fight our way around traffic jams and approach the Chiemgau.

Vor kurzem (2017/2018) war ich richtig gut am Berg: Kondition, Muskelkraft, alles da. Ich nehme an, dass solche Fähigkeiten nicht über Nacht verschwinden, also wird das heute ein entspannter Spaziergang. Wobei „über Nacht“ leicht geschönt ist – seit der Rückkehr aus Nepal kann ich die Bergtouren an einer Hand abzählen.

By now I got used to being a hiking pro: strength, general fitness, mountain skills – all set and proven by numerous tours back in 2017/2018. I assume that once you turn into a chamois, this is going to last forever. Or should I have exercised at least a bit throughout summer?

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Kaum überraschend ist das Schnaufen schon zu Beginn des sanften Anstiegs. Belohnt werden wir schon früh mit einer geradezu kitschigen Landschaft, aber ich halte mich zurück und jammere nur wenig.

As soon as the path rises up, I hand over the conversation to my hiking companion as she has definitely more breath left. However, I do not care too much about the strain: the beautiful landscape with picturesque facets rewards me despite of my lack of routine.

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Half-way up to the Hochplatte

Dort, wo es schon ordentlich steil wird, ist ein entscheidender Wegweiser dermaßen unauffällig angebracht, dass der Trampelpfad aller Irrläufer auffälliger ist als der richtige Weg. Zwei fragende Begegnungen später und 20 Minuten Umweg schnaufender stehen wir kurz vor dem finalen Gipfelanstieg – und das, obwohl wir noch mitten in der Vegetation sind. Typisch Herbsttour im Chiemgau: hier muss es nicht über 1.582 m hinaus gehen, auch in niederen Lagen lässt es sich anstrengend wandern.

Later the paths become steep and the signposts rare. The frequent usage of a dirt track makes it more appealing than the real route, and only when facing the unexpected gorge between us and the desired peak we realize the dead end that it is.

Dummerweise führt von der anderen Seite eine Seilbahn bis kurz unter den Gipfel, so dass es am Kreuz recht gedrängt zugeht. Sollen die doch alle gucken, ich versuche trotzdem einen Handstand!

Eventually, we make it to the top. With “top” being a moderate one. Yet, 1.582m height is enough to enjoy a 360° view on distant peaks, on the Chiemsee and on dozens of tourists that took the chair lift “Hochplattenbahn”.

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Even when you have reached the peak you still can be only half up to something

Der Blick von diesem mittelhohen Hügel ist umwerfend: Die Farben, der herbstliche Himmel, das Meer von Berggipfeln… Wie schön, dass meine Bergfreundin mich motiviert hat, auch die letzten anstrengenden Meter durchzuhalten.

Having the best company in my own entourage, I ignore all others. Meaning that I try to ignore their bewildered looks as I try to turn our world upside down. I really should work more focused on my handstand skills, gaining more aplomb for public shows like this. Anyway, the view into the open distracts me from further personal doubts.

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If I were a painter, I would try to paint the longing for flying in thin air, moving along with the clouds, towards the sea of peaks

Der Abstieg belohnt uns mit zwei weiteren Highlights: Zunächst mit dem Blick hinterrücks auf die Kampenwand. Ich denke freudig zurück an die Bergtour mit Freunden bei der mir klar wurde, dass es kraxelig werden muss, damit ich trotz Anstiegs-Anstrengung Endorphine ausschütte.

The descent offers further highlights with the view on the spectacular Kampenwand where I once started to learn more about hillwalks and what makes them interesting: It is about climbing parts and choosing the right companions.

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Say Hello to the Kampenwand

Schließlich folgt die Einkehr bei einer der urigsten Almen, die ich bisher erlebt habe. Nach Kaffee und Sonne und mit nunmehr bergab führenden Wegen ist auch das Schnaufen leiser geworden. Man sollte solche Ausflüge wirklich häufiger machen!

Finally, we settle down at one of the most rural alp-shacks I have been to. Coffee, sun and the change of direction (now: downhill) make me relax and enjoy our chat that meanders from job situations over to philosophy, people and further topics of interest (life, the universe and everything). What a wonderful day!

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Oberauerbrunst-Alm