Trekking in the Alps

In this section we present a chapter from the book "Per Alpes, Discovering the Alps in 20 circular walks". Read the tour description below and check other publications of the Alps Convention.

  • Zugspitze tour
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Tourist info

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Route descriptions: The Wetterstein range is commonly associated with the Zugspitze, the highest summit of Germany. Even though it does not reach 3000 meters, thousands of people come up this peak by cableway during fine days. However, those who are only familiar with this side of the mountain do not really know the Wetterstein, because there is a completely different face to this range: wild nature, solitude, peace and quiet. During this 6-day trek on the Zugspitze you should be able to get to know it in all its beauty and to understand that this apparently unapproachable crest standing between Bavaria and Tyrol is really worth exploring on foot. It seems incredible to believe that in the deep narrow valleys, framed by steep rock walls, hide waymarked paths. You will be surprised to find that the tour can be relatively easy even without the use of specialist climbing aids.

Skills required: The Wetterstein is a very steep limestone massif with some impressive plateaux. The tour entails six very demanding days, at times there are easy climbs that require careful footwork and a head for heights.

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Kreuzeck Haus – Hupfl eitenjoch – (Schwarzer Kopf) – Knappenhäuser – Höllentalanger Hütte


Travel time: 4,5-5 h.

You can shorten this first day by travelling by cableway, reducing the height gain by 100m and the travelling time by 2½ hrs. However, the ascent is feasible also if you decide to do it on foot. The trailhead is the Kreuzeckbahn, a Garmisch-Partenkirchen lower cableway station (760m). From here you walk up trails and roads, traversing ski runs all the way to the hotels in Kreuzalm (1570m) and Kreuzeck-Haus (1650m). The cableways, once again, leave their mark on the landscape, but after Hupfl eitenjoch (1750m) the scenery becomes wilder. If you would like to see the beautiful Lake Eibsee, walk uphill for 10 more minutes as far as Schwarzer Kopf (1818m). The descent is rapid and directs you to Knappenhäusern (1520m) and then towards the Höllental valley until you reach the Höllentalanger-Hütte (1381m).

Accommodation:
Kreuzeck-Haus (1650m): Tel. +49-(0)8821-2202, open from mid May to the beginning of November, DAV.
Höllentalanger Hütte (1381m): Tel. +49-(0)8821-8811, open from the end of May to the end of Septmeber, DAV.

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Höllentalanger-Hütte – Riffel Scharte – Riffel Tor – Bus stop Riffelriß - Bayerische Kohlstatt – Wiener Neustädter Hütte

Travel time: 6-6,5 h

The Höllental valley is literally surrounded by a spectacular rocky landscape. Walk up the valley and take the deviation to Riffelkar at 1600m, where you find fixed cables to safeguard the path. Once you are at the Riffel col (2163m) you can enjoy the view of Lake Eibsee, and then climb up to Riffel Tor (2230m) using ropes for safety. After a few turns you descend to the rack railway “Riffelriss”. Keep going down until you reach the Bavarian town of Kohlstatt at 1520m then walk up again, on Austrian territory, passing by the Österreichisches Schneekar all the way to the Wiener Neustädter Hütte (2213m).

Accommodation:
Wiener Neustädter Hütte (2213m): Tel. +43-(0)676-4770925, open from the beginning of July to the end of September, ÖTK.

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Wiener Neustädter Hütte – Südwestgrat – (Zugspitze) – Knorrhütte

Travel time: 4-4,5 h (without climbing up Zugspitze) or 5-5,5 (with climbing Zugspitze)

Leave hut the Wiener Neustädter Hütte and walk up past the Österreichische Schneekar. Reach the Südwestgrat (2815m), and here you have to climb over some rocks looking almost like walls. From the Südwestgrat you can choose to climb up the highest peak in Germany, Zugspitze (2962m), extending the journey by 30minutes. The climbing path is equipped all the way to Münchner Haus. You can reach the golden cross on the peak by walking on an exposed ridge. From the Südwestgrat, descend past the “Platt”, to the Knorrhütte hut (2052m).

Accommodation:
Knorrhütte (2052m): Tel. +43-(0)8821-2905, e-mail: info@knorrhuette.de, open from the beginning of May to mid October, DAV.

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Knorrhütte – Gatterl – Feldern Jöchl – Wannigjöchl – Steinernes Hüttl – Rotmoosalm – Telfer Leger – Wangalm – Wettersteinhütte

Travel time: 5,5-6 h

Follow the Plattsteig path and head south to Gatterl, then walk up to Feldern Jöchl (2041m). Follow the path to Wannigjöchl (2186m) and after a few ups and downs below the towering rock faces of the Hochwanner you arrive at the Steinernes Hüttl. After the Kotbachkar it is possible to climb up to Predigtstein peak (2234m) in only 25 min walk. From this point you can enjoy an exceptional view of the northern side of the Mieminger range. Once you pass the Rotmoosalm (1904m), walk up for a short distance to almost 2100m, then descend to the foot of Teufelgrat a Wangalm (1750m) and finally reach the Wettersteinhütte hut (1717m).

Accommodation:
Wettersteinhütte (1717m): Tel. +43-(0)676-4153747, e-mail: wettersteinhuette@gmx.at, www.wettersteinhuette.com, open from mid May to mid October, private.

Accommodation:
Tel. +41-(0)27-7871122) and relax after a strenuous day. The following morning, descend directly to Bourg St. Pierre passing by the Chalet d’Amont.

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Wettersteinhütte – Scharnitzjoch – Söller Pass – Meilerhütte

Travel time: 5-5,5 h.

From the Wettersteinhütte hut (1717m) walk up along the Scharnitztal valley as far as the broad ridge of the Scharnitzjoch (2048m), covered in meadows. Descend over the vast pasturelands of the Puittal valley to about 1600m, then turn left towards the Söller Pass. The very steep and slightly exposed path unfolds on rocky ground until you reach the pass at 2259m. Once you reach the breathtaking karstic region of the Leutascher Platt, you soon reach the Meilerhütte hut (2366m).

Accommodation:
Meilerhütte (2366m): Tel. +49-(0)171-5227897, www.meilerhuette.de, open from mid June to the beginning of October, DAV.

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Meilerhütte – Schachenhaus – Bockhütte – Bernardeinhütte – Kreuzeck-Haus – Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Travel time: 7,5-8 h

Follow the Via Alpina for a short distance, take the path leading you to Frauenalpl, then quickly reach Schachenhaus, where you will find a remarkable hunting castle. The subsequent downhill slope to the Bockhütte (1052m) is steep and takes you to the foot of Fleischbänke towards the Stuibenhütte. Cross the Gassental valley and reach the Bernardeinhütte, then ascend to the Kreuzeck-Haus hut (1650m). Stay overnight and on the next day a descent of 900m brings you to the Kreuzeckbahn lower station. If your legs are tired you can take the cableway.

Accommodation:
Schachenhaus (1866m): Tel. +49-(0)172-8768868, e-mail: info@schachenhaus.de, www.schachenhaus.de, open from the beginning of June to mid October, private.
Kreuzeck-Haus (1650m): Tel. +49-(0)8821-2202, open from mid May to the beginning of November, DAV.

The unknown face of the Wetterstein range


Grand Combin tour

Trailhead: Lower cableway station of Kreuzeck and Alpspitzbahn (790m regular bus and train connection)
Highest point: Sudwestgrat (2815m); ascent to Zugspitze (2962m)
Total travelling time:32,5-35,5 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 5287m - 5287m without climbing up the Zugspitze
+5434m - 5434m climbing the Zugspitze
Alp Convention

Useful information

Tourist information
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Tourismus: Tel. +49-(0)8821-180-414, e-mail: kurdirektion@gapa.de, www.garmisch-partenkirchen.de
Tourismusverband Ehrwald: Tel. +43-(0)5673-20000208 e-mail: ehrwald@zugspitzarena.com, www.ehrwald.com
Informationsbüro Leutasch: Tel. +43 (0)5214-6207 e-mail: info.leutasch@seefeld.com, www.seefeld.com/de/orte/leutasch.php

Alpine Guides
Bergführer Zugspitzland: Tel. +49-(0)8821-4011 or +49-(0)8821-52210, e-mail: h.ettl@t-online.de or alpin-incentives.Knittel@t-online.de www.bergfuehrer-zugspitzland.de
Buchwieser.net: Tel. +49-(0)8821-82842 e-mail: mail@buchwieser.net, www.buchwieser.net
Werdenfelser Bergführer: Tel. +49-(0)8821-180744 Fax +49-(0)8821-180755, e-mail: bergfuehrer@gpa.de
Bergsteigerschule Zugspitz: Tel. +49-(0)8821-58999
Bergprofi Ehrwald Zugspitze: Tel. +43-(0)676-3117977 e-mail: gruebler@bergprofi.com, www.bergprofi.com

Weather
Personal enquiries: Tel. +43-(0)512-291600 (Mon-Sat 13-18 h)

Public Transport
Regionalverkehr Oberbayern: www.rvo-bus.de
Zugspitzbahn (rack railway): Tel. +49-(0)8821-797-0 e-mail: zugspitzbahn@zugspitze.de, www.zugspitze.de

Maps
Alpenvereinskarte, Sheet 4/2 Wetterstein- und Miemingergebirge Mitte: 1:25.000
Alpenvereinskarte, Sheet 4/3 Wetterstein- und Miemingergebirge Ost: 1:25.000

Alpine clubs
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV): Tel. +49-(0)89-14003-0 e-mail: info@alpenverein.de, www.alpenverein.de
Oesterreichischer Alpenverein (OeAV): Tel. +43-(0)512-59547-0 e-mail: office@alpenverein.at, www.alpenverein.at

Websites
www.huettentrekking.de
www.via-alpina.org
www.zugspitztour.de
www.zugspitze.de
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