Sometimes you just need to change your altitude.
Who would have thought that touring at the Alpspitze can even be fun during extremely foggy weather. ⛰🌫 Pretty cool atmosphere. 💗
Sometimes you just need to change your altitude.
Who would have thought that touring at the Alpspitze can even be fun during extremely foggy weather. ⛰🌫 Pretty cool atmosphere. 💗
I decided to take some time off, hiking along the Alps from Munich via Austria to Italy.
This one has been on my bucket list for quite some time. And after a crazy COVID year, some family stuff and starting a new job, it just felt like the right timing.
Since I am regularly doing longer outdoor, mountaineering or bike tours, I did not do any additional fitness training beforehand. I already did several long-distance hikes during the past months, long bike rides, many skiing and snowshoeing tours during winter, went up to the Zugspitze – I felt fit and ready. BUT, if you have never done anything similar, you definitely need to prepare your body. Long day trips with a heavy backpack, alpine terrain, generally have a good fitness. Although this route has only two or three difficult sections and the rest is rather medium – depending on your choice of routes – don’t underestimate it.
Pack light, especially when you do the tour individually with no baggage transfers and stuff. Only take what you REALLY need and be prepared for all weather conditions. My backpack weighed between 10 and 11 kg including 2 liters of water and it was alright. On my earlier hikes I used a similar weight to just get used to it. Below you see my packing list.
Since I was leaving during those severe rain storms, I was wearing my rain gear on the first two days. All in all, I needed to wash one pair of pants, but generally it worked out pretty well.
A little tip: use packing systems. They make your life so much easier.
Now, let’s start with the good stuff – the actual tour.
I created my own route and sometimes chose different paths and trails. Some changes were made due to the weather, others because a special tour was on my bucket list and it could be easily integrated within the actual route. This is something you will notice beforehand. There are different routes and stages for almost any fitness level. You can even book organized tours with baggage transfer.
I myself wanted to do it alone. To practice mindfulness, refuel my energy and find my inner balance again. So, here we go.
If you like, you can even start the tour in Munich. 😎 Is it worth it? Nah, not really. From Holzkirchen to Gmund maybe, but only if you have never been there. However, if you wanna start with a bike tour as a warm-up, then this one isn’t bad.
Usually, the tour from Gmund to Kreuth would be a very nice and relaxing scenery to get ready for the tour. Very easy, gorgeous views and ideal to get yourself into the mood. Well, due to the severe flooding and the storm damages, it was a little downer in the beginning.
Why was I doing this again? Binge watching Netflix, Prime Video or Disney or reading a good book in front of my fireplace would be so nice right now.
I wanted to go farther, but thunder & lightning forced me to rest. ⛈⛰
Accommodation tip: Pop Up Lodge Kreuth; simple, quiet, peaceful & very cordial stuff.
Going to bed early, falling asleep to some audio book.
Since the Wolfsschlucht was not accessible due to the flooding, I took the regular medium route. There is also a supposedly easier third option which takes about four hours to the Blaubergalm.
5 am: too early to think or talk
BUT: The guy from my accommodation put a smile on my face 😌 They even had my favorite cake: marble cake. Special thanks to the Pop-Up lodge Wildbath Kreuth for so much kindness. 💗🙏🏽 It’s always the little things.
After 1.5 hours: Man, this sucks. The route was trickier than usual, the weather: foggy and more rain. Shall I stop, go back down and take the bus?
Then the sun came out, my sign to keep going ☀️ Till the bitter end. The ascent has some steeper passages, but they are manageable. Some parts were blocked by the storm, but I could climb over them. You should definitely also make a short detour to the Schildenstein. It is worth it.
Also, special thanks to the folks from the Blaubergalm. Thank you for the coffee and a friendly chat. When doing the alpine crossing alone, you cherish these moments even more. 🙏🏽🇦🇹
Due to more rain and thunderstorms I stayed at a nice little guest house, hosted by an elderly couple. Once again, I was welcomed with so much kindness. I don’t need much. If it hadn’t been raining like crazy, I would have slept outside. But I am so grateful & thankful for all the cordial gestures I have received so far. 💗🙏🏽🤗
Got woken up by another heavy rain shower & thunderstorm early in the morning. 😴 I really need more sleep 🛌 Today’s weather forecast: fog, rain, thunderstorm, 16-19 degrees celsius. But I am positive it will clear up ☀️
The elderly couple greeted me with a warm smile and a lovely breakfast. 😌🇦🇹 And guess what: no more rain, the sun was coming out ☀️
Today’s tour: along Achensee lake. VERY easy, kind of a recovery tour. In the morning I still had this energy high from the last tour. It felt like going for a walk. Though I wished I had my mountain bike with me. Man, this would have been an awesome ride. 🚴🏼♀️ In the afternoon my feet were burning and I decided to call it a day. Later that day I felt pure bliss. Too exhausted to think of anything, too exhausted to check any messages, my mind was at ease. I simply rested and experienced pure mindfulness.
Special tip: if you have time and are fit, make a detour to the Dalfazer Waterfall. 💦 It is worth it.
I fell asleep pretty early. – My accommodation isn’t worth mentioning. It was crap. Sleeping outdoors in my bivouac was a better choice.
Generally, for your accommodation I strongly recommend mountain huts, camping or a guest house. It’s part of the whole experience. 😌 BUT: Pick one part of the route where you spoil yourself. 🥰
My feet had recovered and I felt completely zen. 😌 Guess, the healing power of the mountains has kicked in. ⛰ The official route is pretty straight forward from the Spieljoch to Hochfuegen. Well, since I am a huge fan of the Zillertal region, I spent an extra day over there and did a few detours, for example to the Kellerjoch Mountain Hut.
It is just so breathtakingly beautiful and since the sun was out, why not enjoying yourself.
6:45: I was a real sleepy head this morning. Everything was slower. Still didn’t sleep through the night, but that was okay. I had a feeling that today was going to be all chill. ⛰☀️💦
Started the day with some Yoga & stretching before breakfast and arrived at the Zillertal region pretty early, going for a hike. Glad I brought my binoculars with me so that I could do some animal watching.
In Fuegen I spoiled myself: my life, my body, my treat. 💗 I went for a 45-minute swim at my accommodation to revitalize my body and use different muscle groups. Afterwards I used the sauna and the steam bath including a nice salt peeling. That felt soooo good.
This night I slept like a baby. 😴🙏🏽 Special thanks to the very cordial stuff at Hotel Elisabeth. They have several guests doing the alpine crossing throughout the year and can accommodate to all your needs. Thank you for the lunch package 😌🙏🏽🇦🇹
This was insane. I had the idea to combine two stages: getting to Hochfuegen and at the same day to Mayrhofen. ⛰🤘🏽 That was probably the toughest route, since I combined different sections and stages. But since I was well rested, I managed it.
It started with marmots, mountain goats 🐐 and cool climbing sections and ended with severe thunder storms and hail. 🙈
It was a 3.5 hour hike to Hochfuegen, not particularly difficult. Though at some parts, I wished, I had my bike with me. AGAIN 😅🚴🏼♀️
Then another 5 hours almost entirely along the official route. At first I hesitated, even took a detour with public transportation. But then my ambition kicked in, I went back and did it. The ascent was tougher than anticipated. I admit, I underestimated it a bit. But luckily I didn’t need my headlight or my bivouac and thank you Mr. Weatherman for waiting with the thunderstorm and hail shower that arrived later on.
Would I combine these two routes again? Definitely not. 🙈 But I don’t regret it either. 😌⛰ Especially with the many tourists along this tour. I admit, for me, it was a bit too crowded on this stage.
Generally, it is possible to combine different stages and make individual adjustments. Now that I have done this alpine crossing route, I surely would make some minor changes along this whole tour, trying to avoid as many tourists as possible. 😅 It seems to be pretty popular for organized hiking tours with baggage transfer. My special tip: always start early, if possible shortly after sunrise, to avoid crowds. Or do a sunset tour and sleep at a mountain hut. ⛰ 🛖 That is something I preferred 😌 Or sleep underneath the stars ✨ with your bivouac. 🥰 Alright, the latter is pretty difficult this „summer“.🙈 🌧
I arrived in Mayrhofen pretty tired and wet, but very happy. 😌 The hut where I was supposed to stay was closed down due to the severe storm. Thus, I made some adjustments and went to the Gasthof Zillertal. Who cares about the additional miles. 😂 A typical laid-back surfer & backpacker hostel focusing on sustainability. 💚 Clean, great location, mountain view.⛰ What more do you need?🤘🏽
Due to the pandemic craziness and an increase in cases, I changed my final destination to a beautiful waterfall near Sterzing, near the valley of St. Jacob. I wanted to avoid these tourist crowds in Sterzing, although I did walk further down to get a view of the town, but didn’t wanna stay overnight. Furthermore, I felt so zen and chill that I just didn’t wanna end my tour walking down some concrete road – that is not my interpretation of a meditative endurance hike. Thus, I rather chose a calm nature spot. This was my grand finale and my most favorite scenery along this tour. ⛰ 🇮🇹 😌
„Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.“
5:20: getting up was tough, very tough. 😴 I used horse balm for my whole body, was too tired for some stretching or morning yoga 🧘♀️ It was literally the final countdown. But too early to talk, needed my sunglasses. For the first two hours my body was more like a robot doing what needed to be done to reach the first stop: Schlegeisspeicher with views of its glacier.
A little tip. If you have enough time, also go to the mountain hut Olperer Hütte. It is so worth it. 🥰
Now this was my favorite part of the tour so far, walking up to the Lavitz Alm and from there to the Pfitscherjochhaus. The views were so beautiful that at one point I had happy tears in my eyes. Also, you had several opportunities to refill your drinking water. On that tour I drank more than 3 liters.
Hello Italy. 🤘🏽🇮🇹 What better way to celebrate the border crossing than ordering a Spaghetti Bolognese at the Pfitscherjochhaus 🍝 I love this place. Thank you so much for the great hospitality. I will be back soon.
After a short break I went a little further along the Pfitztal and found a nice view spot. It was time to celebrate – I reached my final destination. ⛰🇦🇹💚🇮🇹🥾Well, maybe I will celebrate the next day after some rest and sleep. 🤣 Seriously, everything hurt and I was too tired to do anything. 😴
BTW: From here you can go to lake Garda, another five days or so. But this is something for another chapter. 🙂
Holy cannoli 🙈 This explains A LOT 🤣 And yes, my feet were burning, I definitely needed a professional foot care and just wanted to rest.
127.8 k (accumulated)
4,417 ⬆️ (accumulated)
3,946 ⬇️ (accumulated)
5:30 a.m.: What day is it? Boy, it felt like I had such a long deep sleep phase. 😌 Did this really happen? Did I finish my planned tour? Did I really walk all this? 🥾 Are my feet🦶still working? Today I inhaled the beautiful air & nature around me ⛰ and cherished all my memories. Still needed some time to digest it all – daydreaming with a smile on my face. 🙏🏽
But you know what? I really missed my bike. Cannot wait to take my pretty grasshopper on a little recovery ride. The emphasis is on recovery. 😅🚴🏼♀️
It is a great opportunity to get away from it all and at the same time an exercise in endurance and perseverance, both mentally and physically.
Would I do it again? This exact same route probably not, though I found some awesome tours I added to my bucket list. 😌 But it was an exciting and wonderful experience: meditative, pure medicine even. 💚 Yes, there were ups and downs, even pretty tough moments, but this is all part of the experience – just be open to it.
These endurance hikes simply put you out in nature, out in the great outdoors, where your everyday life completely fades into the background and your only cares become the weather forecast, water sources along your route and the upcoming mountain views . ⛰ If you are up to it, you will test your limits, reflect on things and get a hole new perspective. Pure mindfulness. 🙏🏽
And my first hot shower felt like seventh heaven, especially since I didn’t have one for 2 days – yep, can happen out in the great outdoors. A quick wash at the river sometimes has to do it.
I haven’t had a coffee ever since and only crave healthy stuff. Guess, the body cleanse was a nice side effect. Yep, everything feels good. 😌☀️ But now I need to catch up on some sleep. 🥱
I am honest: one of my most favorite gorges in our region is the Gleirschklamm. It is less touristy, has gorgeous views and is a little more adventurous than others, especially in combination with a longer mountaineering tour.
Well, the Partnachklamm gorge is probably one of the most touristy attractions. It surely is very pretty, has intense colors and great caves. BUT: it screams mass tourism. Yes, it is worth a visit, if you have not seen it before, but I strongly recommend a weekday during off-season. Otherwise you will have horrible queue lines and it is way too crowded. During winter, you can book a guided tour with torches. That is definitely a little more special, but also VERY popular.
Due to the pandemic, you currently still have to wear an FFP2 mask on your hike through the gorge.
For people who don’t live near the mountains, it is pretty impressive, since it is rougher & wilder than other gorges. Also, if you wanna climb up the Zugspitze via the Reintal, it is a nice tour. But frankly, it didn’t make my top ten list because it is just too touristy. Sorry!
The Leutaschklamm is also a very popular gorge, but for me personally a little more relaxing. Maybe it has to do with my love for Tyrol and its scenery.
The Leutasch Gorge is a gorge near Mittenwald and Unterleutasch in the Bavarian-Tyrolean border area. It is very steep-sided and with a total length of 1,650 metres it is the longest accessible gorge in the Eastern Limestone Alps.
There are many more beautiful gorges to come. So, stay tuned and enjoy this great, refreshing mountain summer.
I put together some of my favorite classics in Ehrwald: lakes Seebensee & Drachensee, mountain hut Coburger Hütte and the mountaineering tour up to the Zugspitze.
This is surely a classic, but always worth a visit. During spring, summer, fall or winter, the scenery is always breathtakingly beautiful. My all-time favorite is the tour via Hoher Gang. But no matter which route you pick, you will never be disappointed. However, make sure to bring along plenty of water and wear something on your head during summer, since it gets crazy hot out there.
At the Coburger Hut make sure to try their famous Kaiserschmarrn. It is to die for.
I think every mountaineer has this one on the bucket list: hiking or climbing up the Zugspitze. So did I.
There are many different routes for all kind of fitness levels. One route that is manageable for almost any regular hiking enthusiast with alpine experience is the tour via the Ehrwalder Gatterl. On sunny weekends it can get crowded, so I would recommend either a somewhat cloudy day during off-season or simply pick a weekday.
I first did the tour in summer 2020 and it took me about 6 hours from the Ehrwalder Alm up to the Zugspitze. Though I admit that I did several photo stops.
From the meadows to the Ehrwalder Alm you continue past the Pest Kapelle and via the Max Klotz Steig, past the Hochfeldernalm und up to the Joch ‘Am Brand’ (2,120m). Stay on the path to the Fledernjöchl which dips slightly to 2,041m. Continue until you reach the point where the path divides for the Steinernes Hüttl and take the left hand fork which heads in a north easterly direction on towards the Gatterl. The Plattsteig takes you over rough scree and snow fields to the Knorr Hut.
Continue to climb gently up to and across the Zugspitzplatt to the Schneefernerhaus and from there follow the marked path which is secured by cable in a north easterly direction to the peak. You could also take the Gletscherbahn up to the peak from the Zugspitzplatt if you prefer.
You shouldn’t do this tour without any training. And if you are not an experienced mountaineer, I recommend to take along either a friend or book a guided tour. Also note that there are still snow fields even during the summer months. Hence, start early so that you have enough time to take the cable car back down. If you are up for this adventure, send me a DM.
Whether you are at one of the mountain huts or down in the valley, the atmosphere, the light and the magic of the mountains are pure medicine for body and soul.
For an early morning walk, I can recommend the one-hour waterfall round tour at the valley station of the Ehrwalder Alm. For sunset, either enjoy the Coburger Hut or, in the valley, hike to the Sonnenhang and enjoy the view.
We spontaneously attended this year’s mountain fires at the Zugspitz Arena in Ehrwald, Tyrol, having a magical weekend. Most of you know that I always prefer the Austrian side of the Zugspitz Arena. The mountain ranges, endless trails and scenic views are just gorgeous and it is way more relaxing. I can easily escape the mass tourism and explore more difficult trails, if I like.
The tradition of lighting bonfires in the mountains around the 21 June dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (second Sunday after Corpus Christi) is still celebrated in many parts of Tyrol. It reminds of the year 1796, when an oath was sworn with the Sacred Heart of Jesus to protect Tyrol from the invading French troops. As a sign of the oath, Sacred Heart fires were lit on mountain tops and slopes.
This tradition continues in parts of Tyrol today. Numerous local clubs and associations climb into the mountains each year to build mighty fires high above the valley floor. Shortly after nightfall these fires are set ablaze and illuminate the mountains to create a mystical atmosphere.
Last weekend these spectacular fiery scenes were created in the mountain ranges of the Zugspitz Arena. It was breathtakingly beautiful. But see for yourself.
We stayed in a Junior Suite at the Zugspitz Resort in Ehrwald and I gotta admit that it has immediately become a new favorite place in this region: excellent service, extremely cordial and helpful, uncomplicated, quiet & private – if you like -, great food, very good spa services; just a home away from home.
Thanks for the great hospitality. I will definitely come back.
Photo credits: Ulf Fischer (DSLR shots of the Mountain Fires), Alexa Fischer, Munich Mountain Rebel
Since Austria is now considered a safe travel destination, I wanted to share some of my favorite spots in the regions of Scharnitz and Seefeld.
This is a nice, easy trail running route with amazing views of the Austrian Alps: Wetterstein Mountains, Karwendel, Ötztal & Stubai Alps. Just make sure to use the hiking / snowshoeing trail and not the forest road. Elevation gain: 400 m, 10k – depending on the route.
The source of the Isar is in the municipality of Scharnitz in Tyrol, surrounded by the mighty Karwendel mountain massif. Even today, the river is still part of the culture and history of the Alpine region. The source of the Isar, also known as “by the rivers”, can be reached from Scharnitz on foot, by bike or e-bike. The crystal clear, blue water accompanies visitors along the beautiful Hinterau valley. Here, you can basically pick ANY route. The views are breathtakingly beautiful.
However, make sure to carry along plenty of water during summer, since it gets incredibly hot in The Valley. Also, use sun protection and cover your head. When planning a tour, check the weather conditions. During a hot summer day, you might need longer than the given time frames on the signposts and in the afternoons, there is often a high risk of thunderstorms. Hence, I recommend to start early in the morning. I mostly do 6-7 hour tours in the Karwendel mountains, and it is always worth it.
This is one of my favorite gorges in the area, starting directly at the train station of Scharnitz. Most of the time, I do the longer round tour via the Isar valley, roughly 20k, elevation gain: 600 m, ca. 4 hours.
A huge plus: it doesn’t get too crowded. But be aware that it does get extremely hot during the summer months. Though the water is pretty refreshing, make sure to cover your head and drink lots of water.
I hope, some of these spots inspire you and that you get to enjoy this beautiful mountain summer.
Are you missing travel as much as I do? As soon as the lockdown is over and things are calming down, I will do a guided tour up to the Zugspitze, together with my friend Milos from Trendlupe.
As soon as guided tours will be available again, I will also let you know.
Till then, stay safe and calm.
For lovers of the outdoors, there’s nothing better than sleeping under the beautiful night sky and really feeling that connection with nature. Here are two of my favorite tours.
You will experience one of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises on top of the Wallberg mountain. Especially during summer, this is a magical unforgettable experience. Just make sure to dress in layers and bring some warm clothes, since temperatures can drop to 4-5 degrees Celsius at night – even when it’s hot during the day. It is definitely a classic, which makes it pretty crowded during the day. But one hour before sunset or sunrise, you barely meet anyone and can enjoy these beautiful moments.
During perfect weather conditions you get to watch paragliders above you and have majestic views of the Karwendel mountains, Großglockner and the Zugspitze.
This a top tip. The Riederstein is a popular mountain peak among local trail runners. But right before sunset or sunrise, you will barely meet anyone – most of the time you get the chance to be by yourself.
During the Perseids meteor shower in August, this is my secret tip for you. Hike up at around 7 p.m. and enjoy a little picnic watching the sun go down. Afterwards, simply enjoy the changing colors of the sky, the mood, the atmosphere, watching the mountain town go to sleep. Between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. you will experience the most gorgeous night sky making it a secret spot for stargazing, spotting the milky way and countless shooting stars.
This summer we saw the most magical shooting stars so far, just got goosebumps from watching this incredibly beautiful sky, cherishing this moment. It is certainly one of the most unforgettable experiences and don’t forget to make a wish upon a shooting star.
It is moments like these that make life worth living and let you forget about anything else. My personal recommendation: After watching the sunrise hike down to Rottach Egern, enjoy a breakfast at café Max I. Joseph at the Seeforum (reservation is recommended) and take the boat back to Tegernsee, enjoying a relaxing day at the lake.
One last thing, though. Wild camping is illegal in Bavaria. So, please be careful and appreciate mother nature when you are out there. No trespassing, no wild camping, no tent and don’t leave any trash.
For those of you who need a little rest after sunset and before sunrise, bivouacking is within a grey area and is allowed when taking a break or as protection from the weather. But the border from taking a break to camping is quite vague.
Bivouacking means staying in the open without a tent and is not regulated by law. You can sleep in your sleeping bag for one night and protect yourself from the weather with a tarpaulin. In both cases, fire, noise, or damage to property is still prohibited.
To avoid trespassing, you should ask the owner of the property if you can camp one night. Usually, it is not a problem to obtain permission from a private landowner. This is almost always possible, especially in rural areas.
Nevertheless, I hope you get to enjoy one of these magical moments. If you are interested in a guided tour with me, drop me a dm.
photo credits: Munich Mountain Rebel
On the Laintal-Lautersee loop, hikers, joggers and trail runners will experience the idyllic Laintal valley and the immaculately maintained hiking trails around Lautersee lake, on an interesting round-trip against the unique backdrop of the Wetterstein mountains. Lautersee lake is also one of the most popular swimming lakes in the Alpenwelt Karwendel region, and is an inviting place to take a dip.
It is definitely worth a visit and less crowded during COVID-19 summer break.
photo credits: Munich Mountain Rebel
I recently did the Klosters Circuit Tour Stage 6 – Russna – Schlappin. A beautiful tour leading to an even more beautiful destination: the small Walser settlement Schlappin and the Schlappin Lake in the middle of magnificent mountain scenery.
This section of the Klosters Circuit Trail leads past houses and stables, across meadows and through the forest until you reach the Walser settlement Schlappin. Schlappin was inhabited year-round up until the 17th century. And still today hikers have the possibility to stop and rest there or even stay overnight. If you would like to stay in Schlappin overnight, please click here for more information: http://www.schlappin.ch
At Hotel Alpina (opposite the train station) follow the signpost in the direction of “Alpenrösli”. At the church, cross the street and follow the road uphill right next to the bus stop “Kirchplatz”. Continue to follow the signposts in the direction of “Alpenrösli Berggasthaus”. Here you have the opportunity to combine the experience of the magnificent viewpoint with a refreshment in the Berggasthaus. From Alpenrösli follow the signs through the forest downhill towards “Klosters” and later towards “In da Mura”. The path, which is marked by signs, leads across a meadow and between houses. As soon as you reach the main road, follow the signs towards “Schlappintobel” and “Schlappin”. The path leads down to Schlappinstrasse. Follow the road for a while until you reach a signpost where “Schlappin” is written twice. To avoid having to follow the road all the time, take the Wiesenweg. This will lead you to Schlappin. As soon as you see the lake, cross the bridge and reach the Walser settlement Schlappin.
Definitely a nice little tour for a relaxing day out in the mountains.
photo credits: Munich Mountain Rebel