Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Climbing Zugspitze: Germany’s highest mountain (Part 1)

When two old friends visited for Oktoberfest, we decided to try the Höllental ascent of Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany. Höllental means “Valley of Hell,” and conveniently there is a Hütte run by the Deutscher Alpenverein part way up. It’s named the Höllentalangerhütte, which literally means “Hell Valley Meadow Lodge.” You’ve gotta love German!

Here’s a photo of the Höllentalferner glacier where you can see Zugspitze in the distance. Click on the photo for a full-res version.
View of Hoellentalferner Gletscher and Zugspitze

Here’s a shot of a huge ice chunk we found on the way up the Stangensteig path, just before it rejoined the Höllentalklamm path:

Giant ice chunk on the way up Stangensteig

I took my newly assembled Canon Vixia HF200 helmet camera along for the ride, and below you can see an HD video of the experience. This climbing video is just part 1 – there will be two more videos coming in separate posts. Let me know how you like my first attempt at a semi-pro video!

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Watch “Climbing Zugspitze: Part 1” in HD on YouTube.

The music in the video is by Danny Galixy, whose music and photographs are fantastic. Check out his website!

Climbing this mountain via the Höllental route requires more mountaineering knowledge than some of the other routes up Zugspitze. You’ll need climbing gear including a harness, “via ferrata” equipment, a helmet, and crampons for the stretch along the glacier. A medium length of rope or webbing might also help, as you’ll see in the video in part 2. One should only attempt the climb when good weather is forecast; you’ll see memorial plaques along the route (many for people killed by lightning).

This climb is not standard rock climbing, but more a combination of bouldering and walking across iron pegs.  “Via ferrata” means “the iron way.” On the most dangerous parts, one is always clipped into a steel cable by two carabiners. There is a shock cord in the via ferrata equipment so you won’t have a sudden deceleration if you do fall.

Ahem, I also found a bit of toilet humor in the lodge’s restroom, and for once the graffiti cracked me up:

German toilet humor poem

Rough translation (sorry, I couldn’t rhyme it):

In this toilet lives a ghost,

And everyone who takes too long,

Will be bitten in the balls.

But the ghost did not bite me,

Because I crapped upon his head.

Getting to Zugspitze:

  • To arrive at the top, you can take the Zugspitzbahn (a Zahnradbahn – geared train), a cable car from Austria, or a cable car from Eibsee in Germany. Link to Zugspitze Roundtrip description
  • Of course, I recommend to hike the Höllental route if you’re in shape, adventurous, and not scared of heights.  Park here in Hammersbach and walk a bit up the road to the trailhead by the river. There are two trails: Höllentalklamm (which goes along the river and costs a few euro), and the longer Stangensteig route (more ups and downs, and is the way we went).
  • Starting height: 778m. Höllentalangerhütte: 1387m. Zugspitze: 2962m (9,718′). Call the lodge to reserve a place if you plan on staying overnight; it’s not expensive even for non-members of the DAV (Deutscher Alpenverein) at 20 euro for adults.
  • Where to rent equipment: Werner Niedermeier at WN-Alpin speaks English, and it was around 40 euro per person to rent a harness, via ferrata gear, helmet, and crampons. You WILL need crampons for the glacier. DO NOT ATTEMPT without all of this gear! You can also buy a mountaineering map here. The shop is conveniently located in Garmish-Partenkirchen on the way from the Autobahn to Hammersbach.
  • Since we did not have enough time to safely hike back down before dark, we took the Gletscherbahn gondola and then the Zugspitzbahn down. The train conveniently passes right through Hammersbach, and we had to walk a bit under 1km back to the car from the train station.
  • Elevation map of the climb: just look at the height profile (graph in lower right side)! If you are afraid of heights, this ascent is not for you.

Here is a link to Part 2 of the Zugspitze adventure! If you’d like to read about Part 3… with more photos & video… subscribe with the orange buttons in the left sidebar. You’ll be notified by either email or RSS feed. Thanks!

Posted 8 years, 10 months ago at 9:17 pm.

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Hiking at Lenggries

Lenggries is a fantastic destination near Munich for hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter, and riding the gondola anytime (if you don’t fancy sports). The main touristic peak is called Brauneck (1556m), although there are many other hikes in the area. Let me just say: the scenery is fantastic at Lenggries. Rarely is there such a great mix of panoramas and paragliders, even in the Alps!

What I love about Europe is the amazing things you see by coincidence in just one day. I have to split this day into two posts, because we happened upon so many beautiful sights and awesome events. Paragliders, plane flybys, mountain sunsets, moonrise over the trees, and finally a medieval fire show after dark… how could it get any better! Read on to find out more…

View from the path up Brauneck

View from the path up Brauneck

The gondola takes you to the Panorama-restaurant near the top of Brauneck, although we hiked there. Service was slow, but the food was fantastic and the views were even better. Here you can see our goal in the distance: Latschenkopf, at 1701m.

View toward Latschenkopf from Brauneck

View toward Latschenkopf from Brauneck

Here’s a beautiful panorama of paragliders circling on the thermals. I can’t count how many layers of mountains one can see from the Panorama-restaurant!

Paragliders over the Alps

Paragliders over the Alps

This is one of my favorite fall dishes in Germany: pumpkin cream soup, or Kurbiscremesuppe. They really know how to garnish, too! Lecker… I also recommend Obatzda, a kind of soft cheese you eat with a pretzel.

Kurbiscremesuppe - pumpkin cream soup with tasty pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil!

Kurbiscremesuppe - pumpkin cream soup with tasty pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil!

Just a small hike up from the Panorama-restaurant is the actual peak of Brauneck, where many paragliders launch:

Paraglider takeoff from Brauneck - I walked down the slope a ways to get this shot

Paraglider takeoff from Brauneck - I walked down the slope a ways to get this shot

Here’s a short YouTube video of a paraglider takeoff:

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Leaving Brauneck, we headed toward Latschenkopf, and went on a small side path. (photo with polarizing filter)

We took a short path that involved some scrambling... there were easier ways than this.

We took a short path that involved some scrambling... there were easier ways than this.

After a long ridge hike without so much climb, we reached Latschenkopf. Note, there are also opportunities for Klettersteig (rock climbing) along this ridge. Plus an old Junkers (a German manufactured plane) did a flyby of the ridge.

If I'd only had the tele lens on... haha.  Beautiful view of layered Alps behind the plane!

If I'd only had the tele lens on... haha. Beautiful view of layered Alps behind the plane!

At one point on the way to Latschenkopf, I stopped and took tele photos of all the crosses I could see from where I stood. There were SEVEN. Why this obsession with putting a cross on top of everything? It’s quite opposite from the US. Just watched a funny clip on The Colbert Report about a lawsuit in the States regarding a cross that was erected in a National Park as a war memorial. Well, you won’t have that kind of BS lawsuit over here in Deutschland.  Here’s a (rare) self-portrait:

Cross at Latschenkopf - the Germans like to put a cross at the top of everything.

Cross at Latschenkopf - the Germans like to put a cross at the top of everything.

Now, on the way back we took Panoramaweg. Actually, I do not recommend this if you’ve parked at the gondola, as we did. After reaching the bottom, we had to walk another 4km (2.5mi) along fields and roads (in the dark) to get back to the car. I don’t know the total distance, as unfortunately the maps all list walk times in hours instead of distance in km/mi. BUT I suspect it was about 15-20km total for the day. Up Brauneck, across to Latschenkopf, down long and winding trails on the Panoramaweg, and another few miles back to the car.

We took the long Panoramaweg down, passing many huts along the way.

We took the long Panoramaweg down, passing many huts along the way.

Now, there’s still more: the nighttime photos! That will be a separate blog post up in a few days. I promise you, the medieval fire-twirling photos (taken with a long exposure on the Nikon D90) will blow you away. If you want to be notified when the post is up, sign up via email or RSS with the orange links on the left sidebar.

Getting there:

  • Plan your hike here at the Brauneck website (summer hiking list, unfortunately just in German)
  • Print a summer hiking map here.  We took 9 to Brauneck, 2 and 3 to Latschenkopf, then 3, 4, and 10 down to the bottom.  You can see the long, flat path from Draxlstuberl back to Alte Mulistation — I don’t recommend this way!  We walked from 11:15am until 7:30pm with maybe 2-3h of breaks for food + photos.
  • Park at the Bergbahn lot where the gondola starts: Google maps link
  • Stop at huts along the way for tasty food and drinks.  I recommend a Radler (half beer, half lemon-lime soda) to keep your hiking strength up without having too much alcohol.  It’s not considered wimpy in Germany: Radler is a nice way to get a taste of beer mid-day without too many ill effects.
  • Eat at the inexpensive and very tasty restaurant, Jägerstüberl (also Jaegerstueberl, hehe).  It’s right near the gondola, you’ll see it from the large parking lot at the base.  I had a huge steak (12-16 oz) for about €14.

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 11:34 am.

4 comments

The Imster Achterbahn

Probably only a few people will know what an Alpine Coaster is. I didn’t until coworkers took me there by chance one weekend. Picture a giant roller coaster going straight down a mountain. Add cows, and a couple of nets in case you fly off. Take away most of the safety and security you take for granted on a Busch Gardens or Six Flags ride. Finally, add a 1h hike (or a ride up the chairlift) to get to the top… voila, you have an Alpine Coaster!

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Here’s a link to watch the video in HD on YouTube.

This was shot on a Canon HF200 attached to a helmet. Yep, I’m aware the video is a bit jerky. The coaster is a LOT jerky. And optical stabilization is not enough. As yet, I haven’t bought a video editing software which will combine the miraculous abilities of a) digital vibration reduction and b) NOT CRASHING. Let’s see what I can find in the next month.

Here are some photos on the way to Imst and while hiking up the mountain. I love that about Europe: where else can you see cows grazing on the ski slopes in the summer?  And standing in the middle of windy mountain roads…

We took a wrong turn on the way to Imst, and found this beast in the road...

We took a wrong turn on the way to Imst, and found this beast in the road...

Is that a beginner or intermediate ski slope in winter?  Guess it depends if the cows are still there.

Is that a beginner or intermediate ski slope in winter? Guess it depends if the cows are still there.

Don’t miss this gratuitous photo of Bunky being nuzzled by a young cow. Daaaamn, that’s hot… if you’re a bovine.

Now there's affection for you.

Now there's affection for you.

Getting to the Imster Achterbahn:

  • Address for your navigation system: Hoch Imst 19, Imst, Austria.  Google maps link here. If you go in late 2009, a word of warning: Imst has some construction downtown, and we had to go around it to get there (a different exit from the main road).
  • I recommend checking the opening times first, as they often have weekend-only operation at the beginning or end of the season.  (In German: opening times = Öffnungszeiten).
  • Prices in 2009: 6.70 to go up the chairlift, 5.90 to come down the coaster (less expensive for kids/seniors, or big groups).

Official website: http://www.imster-bergbahnen.at/index.php?id=6&L=3

Enjoy the coaster, and post your experiences here!  Coming up soon, hiking up the Zugspitze… including scaling the side of a cliff!  Subscribe with the orange RSS and Email links on the left to read about it.  Dave out.

Posted 8 years, 12 months ago at 9:35 pm.

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Taroko Gorge – Day Trip in Taiwan

A short train ride (that’s 2h short) from Taipei lies Taroko Gorge, a stunning river-cut gorge with marble walls.  To get across Taiwan’s mountainous terrain, the engineers had to cut holes in several mountains.  Big ones, too, not some pansy little hills–these are massive mountains, and the tunnels are many kilometers long.  After all these tunnels, the train emerges to Hualien, a small city on the eastern coast of Taiwan.  One interesting feature of Hualien is the Air Force base: there is a tunnel going into the side of a mountain, where the planes are kept in case of an attack by China.  This way the planes are safe, ready for a retaliatory strike.

Our (fantastic!) taxi driver, Mr. Wu, met us at the train station and took us north through Hualien and then west into the Gorge.  After a brief stop at the tourist information center, we headed up windy roads into the gorge itself.

On to the photos.  I haven’t played with the colors, so you can see what this beautiful location really looks like to the eye.  Here’s a typical view down the gorge:

Can you spot the profile of a face in the rock, where the river turns?

Can you spot the profile of a face in the rock, where the river turns?

Where the river turns there is a face in the rock.  The mouth is just at water level, with the nose sticking out to the left.  As my friend Matt cleverly pointed out, the rocks are washed clean where the high water level is.  Obviously when we were there, it wasn’t during spring snowmelt or a typhoon.

Here’s an image of what the rock walls of the gorge look like up close, visible from one of the many trails just off the road:

Beautiful marble formations at Taroko Gorge

Beautiful marble formations at Taroko Gorge

The river water must have a lot of minerals dissolved in it to look this color:

Beautiful colors in the river

Beautiful colors in the river

It’s also fantastic to see what nature can do.  As you may know, Taiwan is an active earthquake area, and these quakes knock loose a lot of rocks.  At one point you can see the old road (before an improved road was laid with more tunnels), with fallen boulders the size of trucks in the middle of it.  Here you see a rockfall by the Nine Turns trail:

Rockfall by the Nine Turns trail

Rockfall by the Nine Turns trail

There’s a reason for the hard hats they hand out, although I’m not sure they’ll help against a rockfall of this size.  I heard a tourist was killed by a rock a few weeks before we were there–a child who had taken off his hard hat.  If you’re there with kids, make sure they follow the safety rules, and stay close to the wall.

Here’s another interesting scene.  Unfortunately this bridge wasn’t open to the public, as I would have loved to walk across!

An interesting perspective on a bridge in Taroko Gorge

An interesting perspective on a bridge in Taroko Gorge

Mr. Wu took us up the winding roads and stopped at each attraction or viewing area.  At the end of the day, we had also hiked for a couple of hours, including a fantastic trip up a mountainside next to what looked like a temple.  We were told it was a memorial for workers that died building the roads and tunnels through the Taroko Gorge area.

Finally, Mr. Wu let us off in downtown Hualien.  I have to send a shout out to him; his English is very good and he picked a fantastic aboriginal Taiwanese restaurant for lunch.  As I write, he is probably flying people out from typhoon-stricken areas of Taiwan in his “day job” as a helicopter rescue pilot!

In coastal Hualien, we looked around for a restaurant for dinner, focusing on seafood.  I saw a city-block-sized covered area with the traditional red lanterns hanging beside it, signifying “restaurant.”  Anything that big in a non-tourist town has GOT to be good.  We tried it out, and were treated to a fantastic feast.  Note: there was not a single English sign or menu, but a very nice local helped us figure out what to order.  The sushi was excellent.  The salmon was excellent.  The Kung Pao chicken was the best I’ve ever had.  And of course, the Taiwan Beer was flowing freely.

Tasty seafood restaurant in Hualien City

Tasty seafood restaurant in Hualien City

Here’s what I could find on the web about the restaurant (based on the phone number on the sign in my photo).  I don’t speak Chinese, but if you print it out I’m sure any Hualien taxi driver could find it.  http://twhl.inbegin.com/html/front/bin/ptdetail.phtml?Part=chfood0025 If you can find this restaurant, by all means, go there! Just point to what you want in the tanks, they should be able to grill it up to super-tasty perfection.

Getting to Taroko Gorge:

Here’s where it gets tricky.  We had fantastic travel arrangements from Taipei through a friend, Kirsten (THANKS!).  I recommend that if you don’t know Chinese, you find a reputable travel agent to book your train tickets (express train if possible) and a taxi to meet you at the train station.  I’m sure there are other ways to do it as well, with tour groups, your own rental car (if you know some Chinese), and so on.  Any way you choose to do it, you’ll visit one of the most amazing natural sights in Taiwan.  Just drive up the road through Taroko Gorge and stop at each viewing point / parking lot along the gorge road for fantastic views and short hikes.

Link to Taroko National Park.

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you here again!  If you wish to follow via email or RSS, you can subscribe with the orange buttons in the left sidebar.

Posted 9 years ago at 12:00 pm.

4 comments

Lantau Peak – Day Trip from Hong Kong

Lantau Island is a fantastic little patch of green nature in Hong Kong.  In fact, you might be surprised how much greenery there is in and around the city — hiking and trees are never far away.  I took the gondola from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping, a small touristy village of ice cream shops and souvenir shops (no one lives there).  Here’s a shot on the way up:

A view down the Ngong Ping 360 cable car route

A view down the Ngong Ping 360 cable car route

The tourist office gave me directions to Lantau Peak and said it would take about 1.5h.  I bought an extra bottle of water at 7-Eleven and headed out.  Past the Wisdom Path is where the trail begins.

On the way to the trailhead I went past Big Buddha.  I think it is billed as “the largest outdoor bronze seated Buddha in the world.”  That’s a lot of specifications.  I am the most famous American fantasy novel author who plays Ultimate Frisbee and lives in Munich.  Anyway, one can climb up almost all the stairs to the base of the Buddha for free.  To go inside where there is some kind of museum, you have to pay (sort of).  They are very clever, since paying to see a holy monument is probably prohibited.  Instead, you must buy a lunch at a nearby restaurant to enter the Buddha (for overcrowding reasons).  I didn’t hear any rave reviews about the museum, so I saved my HKD.  But it was very cool to see, especially from above with my 70-300mm zoom lens (after I was on the Lantau Peak trail):

Big Buddha from high above. Can you spot the tourons?

Big Buddha from high above. Can you spot the tourons?

Continuing along the trail there is a fantastic view of a reservoir with turquoise-blue water:

Shek Pik Reservoir, on the way to Lantau Peak

Shek Pik Reservoir, on the way to Lantau Peak

I should point out that at this point, I was damn hot.  The trail is basically just stairs built out of stone for 90% of the way.  The ~500m climb from Ngong Ping to Lantau Peak is akin to walking up stairs to the roof of a tall skyscraper, only you don’t have air conditioning.  The day I hiked, it was well over 30C, very humid, and full sun.  Here’s a short video showing just how hot I was — I could barely talk properly.  The clouds near the peak saved me from losing another 0.5L of water through my pores:

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At least I was nearing the top.  Just a few more rises to go along the ridge…

Near Lantau Peak, almost in the clouds

Near Lantau Peak, almost in the clouds

Finally I made it, and was greeted by fantastic views of Ngong Ping, Big Buddha, the reservoir, and the Hong Kong Airport.  There is a storm shelter up there too, in case you are caught in bad weather; though I would strongly suggest to avoid being up there during a thunderstorm.

Hong Kong Airport from Lantau Peak

Hong Kong Airport from Lantau Peak

After ten minutes enjoying the view, I headed down.  At Big Buddha I bought a 700mL Powerade, which I finished in about 5 minutes.  I drank another 500mL bottle of water at the 7-Eleven in Ngong Ping.   And this was after consuming almost a liter of water during the hike itself.  The clerk declined to let me lay down in one of their freezers.  D’oh!

Overall, it was a fantastic experience, although I like to push myself.  I would recommend this day trip to anyone; just fine-tune your itinerary based on your fitness AND the temperature.  i.e. Skip hiking to the Peak if you’re there with small children and it’s 30C+… there’s plenty more to do around Ngong Ping that’s not so extreme!

Getting to Lantau Island:

  • Take the Tung Chung Line to its terminus at Tung Chung Station.
  • Walk to the Ngong Ping 360 gondola station, and buy a cable car ticket.
  • You can save if you bundle your ticket with attractions in the (tourist trap) village of Ngong Ping.
  • Walk to the Big Buddha and other points of interest like monasteries.
  • If you are up to it, hike Lantau Peak (approx 1.5-2h up, 1h down; ~500m vertical climb).

Posted 9 years ago at 12:00 pm.

1 comment

Lamma Island – Day Trip from Hong Kong

I met a friendly Brit in Hong Kong when I was hiking up Lantau Peak.  He advised me to check out Lamma Island, but warned me about spiders.  So I’ll pass that along now: there are a lot of spiders on Lamma.  A metric arse-load, to be exact.  And we’re not talking about teensy-weensy spiders here like the one that climbed up the water spout; these are 3″ long beasts that look like they could tie up a small hobbit.  There are several pictures of them in this post, so prepare yourself.

It’s an easy day trip, or even half-day trip, to Lamma Island.  You can take the ferry there (half an hour or so with lots of departures), hike across the island for about an hour or two, and then take a different ferry back from the town at the end of the hike.  I walked from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan, ate at the very tasty Lamma Hilton (mmm, garlic chili tiger prawns!), and then headed back to Hong Kong Island.  There’s a beautiful beach near Yung Shue Wan:

Panorama of Hung Shing Yeh beach

Panorama of Hung Shing Yeh beach

I had seen a couple of spiders in webs above the trail before arriving at Hung Shing Yeh beach.  But after that they grew in size, and the webs spanned the trail.  All were well above my head, but I was still a bit nervous that the spiders would fall off in the breeze and land on me.  Here’s one of ’em:

This qualifies as a SMALL spider on Lamma Island

This qualifies as a SMALL spider on Lamma Island

This guy was probably the largest spider I saw.  He was over 3″ in length.  I had to crouch down to get far enough away to snap some shots (one drawback of the 70-300mm VR is the ~4′ minimum focus distance).  This made me pretty nervous, being directly under a massive spider that’s only hanging onto his web by a few legs.  Notice his protege in the background.  “Let me show you how it’s done.  Look at that tourist quiver in fear!”

Nightmare spider

Nightmare spider

Some of the webs were truly impressive in their size and perfection.  Here’s one that was backlit rather nicely by the sun:

This is a BIG web

This is a BIG web

Finally I reached Sok Kwu Wan at the other side of the island and had some dinner, well away from any spiders.  Seafood on Lamma Island is fantastic: I recommend the Lamma Hilton, which was as good as promised by my anonymous British tipster.  Thanks, anonymous!

View of the bay at Sok Kwu Wan

View of the bay at Sok Kwu Wan

Getting to Lamma Island:

  • Depart from the Central Ferry Pier on Hong Kong Island (Pier #4 at the time of writing).
  • Make sure to get exact change after checking the current price (there is a change booth at one of the piers)!
  • Take the ferry to Yung Shue Wan.
  • Hike across the island on the (paved) trail.  Avoid the spiders!
  • Take the ferry from Sok Kwu Wan back to the Central Ferry Pier.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 3:19 pm.

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Sunset at Joshua Tree

In 2007 I visited Joshua Tree National Park in California with my brother to do some hiking.  Here’s one of my favorite photos from that trip, taken with a Casio Exilim pocket camera:

Joshua Tree Sunset

I hope this helps to put to rest the myth that one needs a fancy, expensive camera to take nice photos.  I have an even better sunset snap somewhere in the archives, taken with a 1.3MP Sony camera that I won in a contest in 2000.  Let’s see if I can dig it up… Yep, here you go,

Sunset at Snowshoe ski area

Expensive D-SLR cameras are good for low light, for sports, and for cases where you need more zoom or more wide angle than a pocket camera provides.  D-SLR’s usually have a better flash, or the option of an accessory flash.  But in many cases a pocket camera is just as good, or even better (e.g. taking videos).  If you don’t have a camera with you because your D-SLR is too big, you will not get any photo at all… unless you count your (probably) fixed-focus cell phone camera.  Which I wouldn’t.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 10:16 am.

4 comments

Hiking at Wendelstein

For a fantastic day hike near Munich, try out Wendelstein.  A friend and I started at Osterhofen and made it to the peak in a few hours (1,047 meters of height gain).  Although I’ve only hiked the Osterhofen trail, there is a similar trail from Bayrischzell, and a longer one (1,329 meters of height gain) from the town of Brannenburg.  We departed on foot from the gondola station at Osterhofen, where there was a nice map.  The view from the parking lot is very scenic:

Wendelstein from Osterhofen

Wendelstein from Osterhofen

Along the way we passed the Bergcafe Siglhof.  On the way down we had some tasty Bayrisch food there; I can recommend the Obatzda (a kind of cheese you spread on a big soft pretzel).

Huberhof Hochkreut, near the Siglhof cafe

Huberhof Hochkreut, near the Siglhof cafe

It was easy to follow the signs; we didn’t make any wrong turns.  One amusing sight that I didn’t snap was an elderly couple who had obviously taken the Seilbahn up and decided to walk down.  His smooth-bottomed leather shoes weren’t gripping too well on the damp trail, and her one-inch heels weren’t exactly the wisest choice either.  After a couple hours of hiking we got a nice view from the top:

View from the top of Wendelstein

View from the top of Wendelstein

Watch out for the local wildlife while eating at the restaurant near the top.  This little sucka was trying to eat my plum cake!

Hungry crow, plum cake, beer, and snow-capped mountains. Nice combination!

Hungry crow, plum cake, beer, and snow-capped mountains. Nice combination!

For the infirm and those with small kids (also for the lazy…), here’s one of the other ways to get up to Wendelstein.  Note that it doesn’t go to the actual peak, but a hundred meters or so below it.  Still a great view, even if you don’t choose to follow the sidewalks to the top.

Wendelstein train as it nears the top of the mountain

Wendelstein train as it nears the top of the mountain

One last note about hiking the mountains in Europe: most of them have gondolas to the top (think ski season), so you’ll hike for hours and find people at the summit who got there in 15 minutes with zero sweat.  It’s sweet to see old ladies making their way around the peak restaurant on a cane, but it can be frustrating.  If that bothers you, don’t hike at Wendelstein where there are both a Seilbahn (gondola) and Zahnradbahn (mountain train) operating.  The good news is you can get a great meal and a beer at the top.

Here’s a gratuitous photo of chickens doing the tango, near the Bergcafe Siglhof:

Expect to see chickens as you hike. Oh, and cows, too… right on the trail.

Expect to see chickens as you hike. Oh, and cows, too… right on the trail.

Website of the cable car and train operator: http://www.wendelsteinbahn.de/

Towns: Osterhofen for the Seilbahn, Brannenburg for Zahnradbahn.  Alternatively you can hike from either of those, or from Bayrischzell (and a few others I haven’t named).  You should be able to get there by car or train (BOB), though as a car owner I can’t help much with the train connections.  Google maps is your friend.  Have a good trip!

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 5:40 pm.

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