Last weekend I joined a quite bad-ass hike; Mittenwalder Höhenweg. Mittenwalder Höhenweg is a via Ferrata over a ridge in Karwendel. There is an option to take a cable car up, but then it would not be a badass would it? So we hiked 1900 hm up from Mittenwald! That is the most height meters I have done during one day, and I must say it was not bad, not bad at all. I did not feel too tired, but I guess it helped that we decided to take the cable car down 😀 Mittenwalder Höhenweg is not an easy hike, unless you take the cable car up that is. There are several options for hiking up. but they all require you to climb 1900 + hm. One option is to follow the trail under the cable car, but this is very steep gravel path. Not much fun in other words. Then there is an option to hike from Scharnitz and over Brunnensteinspitze, this option is doable. We met actually couple of friends in the middle of the hike who came up that way. It is a really nice hike up to Brunnensteinspitze, but it is steep and so when we met them they were already a little tired. You also climb the most height meters following this trail. The third option is to hike from Mittenwald over Brunnsteinhütte. This was the option we chose, and I am happy we did so. This way you have a nice, not too steep, climb in the beginning, and you can have a rest in the hut, some food (btw, they actually had proper coffee, not some instant coffee) and then continue up where the two paths from the hut and from Brunnensteinspitze meet. Here we had our second break and decided to have fun with a T-rex costume that my friend Haitham had with him:D When he put it on he instantly became a celebrity. It was so much fun! At one point a guy asked us: “What’s wrong with you people? Why would you ever bring a T-rex costume to a hike?” I laughed and answered him: “Because life is only as fun as you are.” He then laughed and wondered where we came from and if we were Erasmus students 😀 I had to disappoint him and reveal that we are all adults who live and work in Munich. Anyways, we got lots of laughs and comments and many cool pictures 😀
PS. We did not do the kletttersteig with the costume of course, we are not crazy either 😉 Haitham , just took it on couple of times for some awesome pictures. The klettersteig is level A/B so I thought that a klettersteig set is unnecessary, turned out I was the only one in our group who had decided not to bring the equipment. Therefore got a little nervous when I saw all the people coming down fully equipped, but luckily I am pretty good with highs and did not feel a need for a klettersteig set during the hike. BUT don’t get me wrong, Mittelwalder Höhenweg is a proper klettersteig, and there is a reason why most people use the klettersteig set. I just know that on B klettersteigs I normally would not clip in anyways and therefore there is no point of having the set with me. If you are not 120 % conformable with heights, bring your set! It’s better to be safe than sorry. The ridge is fantastic. You go from peak to peak. I am actually not sure how many peaks we crossed in the end. Since it is a via ferrata, we needed to wait for people at times and did some queuing, but I did not mind that, not at all. It only gave me more time to enjoy the view and take pictures.
The klettersteig was really awesome too. At some parts there were planks you had to walk over, and there was also a very long ladder which we had to climb down. So much fun!!!
I think the ridge took us 3 hours, but we were not fast and had breaks to play around with the T-rex costume 😀 During the klettersteig we decided to take the cable car down to save our knees. This meant that we had to be at Karwendelbahn before 6. We were there at 5 and had just enough time to run up to the Westliche Karwendelspitze (2385 m) This was our victory peak! We made it, across the whole ridge and had climbed 1900hm! After a short break and mandatory gipfel beer, we headed down to the cable car. I already then could feel that taking the cable car was the right thing to do. When I finally sat in the cable car and looked at the gravel path under us, I was even happier that we took the cable car, it would just not have been worth the struggle to hike down.
I saw some nice mountains during this hike that I will add to my to-do list: Östliche Karwendelspitze and Arnplattenspitze. I really loved this hike, perhaps this could be your next adventure? Mittenwald is really easy to get to from Munich by train. My friend Anna has made a GPS track of the hike available here (This track still shows that we hike down, but in fact we took the cable car)
Other hikes you can do from Mittenwald are Große Arnspitze and Obere Wettersteinspitze. Obere Wettersteinspitze is one of my favorite hikes, so I really recommend it!
I hoped to go hiking today again, but that did not work out, the weather is just too unpredictable at the moment 😦 So this weekend is going to be a quiet one, but I got the new issue of Bergsteiger yesterday and am looking forward to just relax and read about some awesome mountaineers out there 🙂
Tiger Leaping Gorge is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River. It is located 60 kilometers (37 mi) north of Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China. According to Wikipedia the maximum depth of the canyon is 3,790 meters (12,434 feet) from river to mountain peak. The gorge is about 15 kilometers long, and the hike is doable in one day, but I do not recommend it. The name of the canyon comes from a legend which says that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point (still 25 meters (82 ft) wide). Of course we wanted to see if a jump like this would be possible 😀
We started out from Lijiang with a local bus. The hostels in the city all help you to book tickets and show you where the bus goes from. If I remember correctly the price was around 50 yuan (45 there, 55 back). The price for entering the valley itself was 60 yuan.
In Lijiang we were discouraged to do this hike as the weather prognosis said it would rain for the next three days. This was also perhaps the reason for there being so little other hikers on the trail. Despite the weather forecast, we decided to go, after all we had packed our rain clothes with us and a little rain has never killed anyone.
We arrived to Qiaotou where the trail starts around 10 o’clock. The beginning of the trail was really not well-marked. Our strategy was just to go to the right and avoid all the roads that turned left. At one point we must have had looked pretty confused or uncertain, as a truck driver passing by pointed out the correct direction for us. The trail started on a asphalt road between the houses in the small village. Before we even got away from the asphalt road, we had changed clothes five times! On with rain clothes, off with rain clothes, on with jacket, off with jacket, on with rain clothes again…. It did rain, but not really much and as it was warm climbing upwards in rain clothes was just not comfortable. After an hour we packed away our rain clothes and used regular clothes. Which actually worked really well, except in a rainsower lasting for 30 minutes later in the day. At times it was even warm enough for shorts, but not wanting to change clothes yet again we just went on in long trousers. At the end of the asphalt road and before the huge construction site, there was a house where we could buy some drinks and water and even refill our thermos with hot water for free. The last part we only knew because Elias was able to read the chinese sign that said so. It was very convenient, since we had instant noodles with us for lunch. The woman in the house also wanted to sell us bamboo sticks for walking. It is slippery she said. We did not buy any and did not regret it afterwards.
The real trail started right after the house. It was a steep dirt trail, at the end of it there was a little sitting place with a roof, that we chose for our first lunch/breakfast. At this point we were actually hoping that we had done the climb and that the path would even out, but we were wrong. The path kept going upwards and it was hard to spot it at times. Again when we were about to go in the wrong direction a local mushroom/herbs picker pointed us to the right direction. On the three-hour path to Nixi village, I could count 4 stands where we could buy snickers, water, fruit and even local weed!! We disappointed most of the sellers, since we were had enough food and water with us.
All in all the first 3 hours of the trail I was really disappointed. I tried to not show it, but I know Elias felt the same. One thing was that we were not prepared for such steep climb, but that was not the main issue. The problem was the huge construction down in the valley that completely destroyed the view. I am not 100% sure what they were building, but it looked like two tunnels for trains, and a bridge over the river to connect them. Because of this it was not quiet, and the river was all brown. Considering that this canyon is supposed to be in world heritage list, I could not understand why they would destroy it just for better train connections (and more tourists).
The trail from Qiaotou to Naxi village was as following: We climbed a lot of high meters, it was quite steep, and we kept seeing the construction site and the destruction of nature in the valley. More or less the moment we got up, the trail started to go downwards again and ending up in the Naxi village. From the village one needs to climb all these high meters up once again. So therefore if I would do it again, I would start the hike from Naxi village (There were actually some Russian girls doing that). Luckily after the Naxi village we could not see the construction anymore, only very tall and steep mountains on the other side of the canyon, hence our mood got much better.
The Naxi village itself was not really something special, it is a village not a touristic site. I do not know what exactly I was expecting, but I guess it is nice that it is authentic and not glorified for tourists. From the Naxi village one has to climb the 28 turns. We did not count but, it was a long and steep climb. There were of course several places where you could buy food and drinks, as before. After the 28 turns we did some downhill hiking again and ended up in a the Teahorse guesthouse.
Here we ordered some proper lunch which was chinese noodles with vegetables and tea. We also met a couple from Belgium who were doing the same hike and who were planning to travel for three years!! For me that sounds quite crazy. I guess I like being home too much. The couple from Belgium decided to spend the night in the guesthouse. We were a little tempted to do the same, but it was only four o’ clock, and too early to end the day. We estimated it to be another two hours the Half Way Inn guesthouse and decided to go on. The path to Half Way Inn from the Teahorse guesthouse was very well marked and easy to follow. It was also the prettiest part of the hike, I would say. Now we were finally just walking on the side of the canyon, not climbing upwards and could enjoy the views in front of us! Soon after the Teahorse guesthouse we walked past a temple, sadly it was closed.
At the next village we were not sure how to find the Half Way Inn guesthouse. There we walked past several guesthouses and already started to consider entering one, just because it also looked quite nice but luckily we didn’t. After passing five or six guesthouses we saw the Half Way In. I still remember the view and the excitement I felt when I entered it. This is by far the nicest mountain hut I have stayed in! The owner spoke perfect English and told me that he had run the guesthouse for 25 years. When I told him that I am Estonian, he said that I was in fact the first Estonian staying in Half Way In. We took a bed in dormitory and were not expecting much, as it was 45 Yuan per person (The most expensive room was 250 yuan). But this is how the dorm looked which we btw. had all to ourselves!!
If anybody has stayed in a dorm with better view, please let me know where 😀 There was a trick to get that dorm thought. We specifically asked if they had a dorm. If you don’t ask, they will not tell you that they also have a dorm (as long as they still have other rooms left). I noticed this when other hikes were checking in and I guess this was the reason for why we were the only ones in that dorm.
After settling in we went to the roof terrace to read and enjoy the view. It was way too easy to daydream and forget the time on those rocking chairs facing the huge mountain ridge right over the canyon.
Then we were told that the kitchen closes at eight and that we had to order dinner if we wanted some. We moved down to the open courtyard in the center of the guesthouse and ordered some dinner. While sitting there enjoying my tea and food I really started to daydream. I could imagine myself living in that place for a year, perhaps writing a book or something. I could help out in the kitchen and write during evenings. With a room cost of 5 euros a day, that would be much cheaper than living in Munich!!
We sat outside until it turned dark. Back in the dorm I changed my head position, so that I would wake up to the mountain view and left the curtains open. I could not have been happier, even the beads in Half Way Inn were soft. (Or at least softer that what is normal in China).
We woke up at 7 so that we could have a lot of time to down in the gorge. I had very good banana pancake for breakfast (that is Chinese pancakes, not crepes). The trail from Half Way Inn was at times very narrow, but we did not mind that at all. We could now see all the way down to the gorge and the river on the bottom of it. We also walked pass several small mountain rivers and waterfalls.
The hike down to Tina’s Guesthouse took us about 3 hours (with a lot of picture breaks). Down in the gorge we had to exchange our bus ticket from Half Way In to the one from Tina’s guesthouse. There is only one bus from Tina’s to Lijiang which leaves at 3.30. It is a strange inconvenient system. After exchanging the tickets, we took the free shuttle bus to the place where one could go down to the gorge and the river.
Getting of the shuttle bus it turned out you had to pay 15 yuan to enter the trail down to the gorge (yes, even when you had already paid 60 yuan just to enter the gorge itself). We decided to take another path which we drove past, just because I do not appreciate this kind of trickery! 😦
I think the best trail would have been not after the bridge from Tina’s Guesthouse but before it, but I could only see people walking there when we were already down in the gorge. Another disappointing thing was that the paths in the gorge were not connected, so we only used 1 hour on our gorge tour and then had still 5 hours until the bus left. I even tried to ask if there were more buses, but apparently there was only one. Therefore, if I would do it again I would not rush from the Half Way In Guesthouse to Tina’s Guesthouse. The trail between these guesthouses is very scenic and I would just take my time, perhaps sleep in a little and enjoy a long breakfast in Half Way In. There are tourists who just take a bus to the Tina’s Guesthouse in the morning, walk the gorge and then go back. I do not know what they use their time on, because there is not enough to do or see in that gorge for 6 hours. Luckily we had some books with us so we were not bored to death before finally the bus came. The ride back to Lijiang was on very bad roads in a small bus. Apparently they want to avoid the highway in order to avoid to pay for it. So a set of podcasts saved me on this bus ride. There was also a possibility to take a bus from Tina’s Guesthouse to Shangri-la, and we probably could have had our luggage transported to Tina’s by the bus, but as we left parts of our luggage behind in Lijiang, we needed to get back to Lijiang.
This was our second “real” hike in China. There were no stairs and no guides! Just beautiful nature. During our stay we also hiked in Four Sisters Mountains, which you can read about here.
This weekend my Mom is visiting. Unfortunately she is really not into hiking. Therefore, instead of visiting some nice peaks in the alps, we are going to do the regular touristy stuff. One of the sights that are really worth to visit while in Bavaria is the Neuschwanstein castle and I have good news – you can combine the visit with a hike. That is if you don’t mind missing the inside tour of the castle (actually I really recommend the tour, so the best option would be to do the hike and the castle visit on separate days).
Anyways, my Mom and me are not going to hike (since we prioritize the castle visit), but I have done a very cool hike just in the area, which gives you also a perfect view to the castle.
Talstation Tegelbergbahn (840 m) – Tegelberghaus (1707 m) – Branderschrofen (1879 m) – Tegelberghaus (1707 m) – Schloss Neuschwanstein (964 m) – Talstation Tegelbergbahn (840 m).
From Talstation Tegelbergbahn there are several possible routes up to Tegelberghaus. You can do some level D/C via Ferrata (Tegenberger Klattestaig) take the Gelbe Wand (KlattestaigA/B) or do no Via Ferrata at all.
Elevation gain: 1039m
Time: 3 hours up and 3 hours down, for the Gelbewand route. But it depends also how many pictures you take 😉
Transport: Train to Füssen from Munich. It does not leave every hour so check the schedule. In Füssen take a bus from the train station to Talstation Tegelbergbahn. Make sure you get on the right bus and not on the one that all the tourists who want to visit the castle take. Therefore ask! Remember you can use the Bayernticket for the bus as well, some poor tourists don’t know that 😦
When we did this hike we had planned to the Tegenberger Klattestaig, but it had rained the day before so it was quite slippery and we ended up doing the “Gelbewand” route instead. Both my husband and me felt that it was the right choice, but lets see, maybe we will do the “real”klettersteig next year :D.
The Gelbewand route does not really require Via Ferrata equipment, but if you are not comfortable with little climbing and heights then differently take the set with you ( we did not use our equipment, but better be safe than sorry). Which ever route you choose it is a reeealy nice hike! PS. chose some good shoes with some grip and water resistance, it’s quite wet terrain.
After you are done with the part of the route that is called Gelbe Wand you reach the hut where you can take a break before climbing the last meters to the Branderschrofen. You can also see all the lazy people who have taken the cable car to the hut (please don’t be one of those 😉 ). The view is very nice, especially when the mountaintops are still covered in some snow (We did this hike end of May 2016)
From the hut it will still take you about 30 -40 minutes to Branderschrofen peak. So if you are not doing well on time I would just skip the peak and go directly to the castle. But don’t misunderstand me, the Branderschrofen peak is deferentially worth it and it is not as crowded as the hut since almost of the (lazy) tourists don’t make the effort to climb the peak. In fact I remember we having the peak completely to ourselves for 20 minutes. Spoiler alert there is a panorama view with all the peaks that you can see from the Branderschrofen available here.
On you way down you have to go via the hut again and since the hike up to Branderschrofen is little bit exposed I recommend to wait with the Weisbeer until your way down ;). At the hut you need to choose the path the castle which goes across the famous Marienbrücke 🙂 :). There are signs so it is easy to find.
If you have any energy/time left after the hike enjoy Füssen village. The old town is so nice and cozy!
I hope you get out and do some nice peaks this weekend! I know many of my friends are doing so and I am jealous because hiking in autumn colors is so beautiful.
The hiking season in Germany is much longer than in Norway. This is one of the things I love about living here. While it’s already snowing in Norway and people are preparing their skis, here you can still climb a 2000 m high mountain in tights 😀
This weekend we hiked Kramerspitz (1985 m). Kramerspitz is in Garmich, Germany. We have actually not done much hiking in this area. The reason being simple – I like the mountains in Austria better. Why? Well, Garmish is very popular amongst hikers and tourists, so you never hike alone. Also, Germans seem to like to have a lot of beer huts on their hikes and these huts require roads. So way too often you find yourself hiking on roads in the forest, rather than trails. I like it natural and I don’t care about the beer, so therefore I prefer Austria.
BUT moving on to this weekends hike.
Rote: Garmisch (800 m) – St. Martinshütte (1028 m) – Kramerspitz (1985 m) – Stepbergalm (1592 m) – Garmisch (800 m)
Elevation gain: 1200 m
Time: We used 3 1/2 hours to the top (inkl. 2 long breaks). We were told that the route down would be shorter via Stepbergalm, but that’s not true. The shortest way down is to follow the same route down as up. The route via Stepbergalm is not really worth it, unless you really don’t like to do the same path twice.
Transport: Just take the train to Garmisch then walk to Baiyernhalle. The trail starts just next to it.
Huts: There is one hut on the way, you will reach it after 45 minutes or so and it is an excellent place for the first lunch break. You have a perfect view to Zugspitze, Germanys highest mountain. I even made a new friend, Josy.
There is a road to the hut, after the hut you will follow a normal forest trail and it gets steeper. After a while you will get up to a plateau with a small bench. Here the trail divides into two but there are no signs 😦 You should follow the trail to the left. With nice weather you can spot the peak from here. The rest of the trail is not so steep, and is easy to follow.When we did the hike there was some snow, but you can see where the trail goes.From the top you can see down to Garmich, you can see Zugspitze, Eibsee and Alpspitze ( on my list for hikes to do). A complete panorama with peaks can be found here.Did you get to hike this weekend or have you declared the hiking season over already?