With its elevation of 2963 m, the Zugspitze is Germany's highest mountain
(although part of it belongs to Austria - the highest mountain that is completely
inside Germany's borders is the Watzmann).
I had climbed it via the famous Höllental route
three times by then in summer (with my fastest time on this route being 4.5 hours up and 3.5 hours down on 9 Aug 1993),
but this time I was lazy and short of time, so I went up with the cog train and down with the cable car.
Deceived by my experience on mount Wendelstein of the exceptionally warm weather in the last quarter of 2006, and drawn by the expectation of fantastic views from the summit of mount Zugspitze, I had set out for some high-elevation hiking, but ended up skiing! On arrival at the Zugspitzplatt (around 2600 m), I was slightly surprised to find myself in a winter wonderland, and immediately regretted that I did not bring my skis. Luckily, there is a ski rental, which asked 24€ for full equipment (but not the latest, which is even more expensive). All right, I accepted the deal, since the Zugspitzbahn ticket already included the use of the ski lifts. Surely I was not in great shape for skiing, but as a gentle introduction to this winter's season, the relatively easy slopes were a perfect fit, and since it was a normal work-day (Thursday), waiting time at the lifts was zero :-)
In the early afternoon, I went up to the summit with the small Gletscherbahn cable car to enjoy the panoramic views, and two hours later I went there again for sunset. This is the only time of the year where the sun sets early enough before the last Eibseebahn cable car run forces day visitors to leave. As you can see on the pictures below, dusk at the summit was marvellous!
|regular train from Munich, cog train ride from Garmisch|
Wetterstein, Ettaler Mandl
Kramer, cog train
Alpspitze, Zugspitze, Daniel
4.5 km in an ascending tunnel!
|summit in the afternoon|
summit and Jubiläumsgrat
Starnberger See, Munich
Hochwanner, Hohe Munde
Austrian cable car route
special material transport carriage
The GPS track I recorded on my smartphone, which this time for some reason was quite flaky,
is available for download as GPX file or
KML file for Google Earth.
It can be directly viewed on Google Terrain Maps (including waypoints) and on GPSies (including waypoints and statistics).
|Ascent to Wiener-Neustädter Hütte|
|At the platform|
|On the actual summit|
|Back on the platform|
|Descent to Wiener-Neustädter Hütte|
on the border to Austria
remnants of snow, melting
the very short crux
|Descent to Ehrwald|
Ehrwald Zugspitzbahn train station