Hiking the Alps: Overview

08AllgäuAuerberg2017very harmless
55AllgäuIseler Via Ferrata2022challenging
50AllgäuPfänder2021harmless
31Ammergauer AlpenGeierköpfe2020challenging
10Ammergauer AlpenHennenkopf2017challenging
59Ammergauer AlpenHochplatte2022challenging
42Ammergauer AlpenKofel2021challenging
40Ammergauer AlpenKolbensattel Skitour2021harmless
49Ammergauer AlpenNotkarspitze2021mostly harmless
30Ammergauer AlpenScheinbergspitze2020mostly harmless
45Ammergauer AlpenTeufelsstättkopf2021mostly harmless
01AppenzellSäntis2014challenging
54Bayr. VoralpenBreitenstein2022harmless
36Bayr. VoralpenBrünnstein2020challenging
15Bayr. VoralpenHeimgarten & Herzogstand2017mostly harmless
38Bayr. VoralpenHirschhörnlkopf2021harmless
47Bayr. VoralpenKreuzbergalm2021very harmless
34Bayr. VoralpenRabenkopf2020harmless
41Bayr. VoralpenSudelfeld/Vogelsang Skitour2021harmless
53Bayr. VoralpenStaffel2021harmless
33Bayr. VoralpenWendelstein2020harmless
37Bayr. VoralpenWildalpjoch2020mostly harmless
43Bayr. VoralpenWildbichler-Alm2021very harmless
58Berchtesgadener AlpenAschauer Klamm2022harmless
25ChiemgauFeichteck & Karkopf2020harmless
35ChiemgauGedererwand2020challenging
27ChiemgauGeigelstein2020mostly harmless
44ChiemgauHefteralm2021harmless
24ChiemgauHeuberg2020harmless
23ChiemgauHochplatte2019harmless
18ChiemgauHochries2018harmless
22ChiemgauHochstaufen2019mostly harmless
06ChiemgauKampenwand2017mostly harmless
26ChiemgauKarspitze2020harmless
35ChiemgauKranzhorn2020harmless
28ChiemgauSchwarzenberg2020harmless
09ChiemgauSpitzstein2017harmless
05DolomitenDrei Zinnen2017harmless
51KaisergebirgeSteinplatte Via Ferrata2021challenging
52KaisergebirgeStripsenjoch via Feldberg2021mostly harmless
13KarwendelMahnkopf2017harmless
32KarwendelTorkopf via Torscharte2020almost challenging
16MangfallgebirgeSchinder2017challenging
07MangfallgebirgeSeebergkopf2017harmless
20Reit im WinklHausbachfall Via Ferrata2019challenging
19Schlern, RosengartenHofer Alpl2019harmless
02Schweizer NationalparkVal Cluozza2015harmless
11SpitzingseeBodenschneid & Rinnerspitz2017harmless
48SpitzingseeBrecherspitz2021mostly harmless
56SpitzingseeJägerkamp & Schönfeldhütte2022harmless
17SpitzingseeRosskopf2020mostly harmless
14SpitzingseeRotwand2017harmless
29TegernseeHirschberg2020harmless
21ZugspitzregionAlpspitze Via Ferrata2019challenging
57ZugspitzregionEckbauer2022very harmless
46ZugspitzregionFinzalm2021harmless
04ZugspitzregionHöllentalklamm2016harmless
39ZugspitzregionHausberg/Kreuzeck Skitour2021mostly harmless
12ZugspitzregionRiffelspitze2017challenging
03ZugspitzregionWank2016harmless
60ZugspitzregionZugspitze via Stopselzieher2022challenging

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

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?

2019_10_13_A2a

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.

2019_10_13_C1a

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”.

2019_10_13_D12a

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.

2019_10_13_G1

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.

2019_10_13_J1

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!

2019_10_13_K4a

Oberauerbrunst-Alm