10th October 2005: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Alpspitze Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck
Start/ Finish at Kreuzeck 1650m
Highest point reached was circa 2200m on Alpspitze.
Distance circa 16 kms
Vertical altitude gain of circa 920m
Total time from start to finish of 6hrs 30 mins
Weather was warm and sunny
Alpspitze and Jubiläumsgrat The view from my Gasthof balcony just after dawn: the wonderful form of the pyramid Alpspitze, 2628m, and most of the Jubiläumsgrat.

The view due South of my Gasthof Bedroom had been every present during my June trip here, and by the third day of my current visit was sufficient to make me want to do something about it! I doubt I will ever be able to climb along the Jubiläumsgrat, (Jubilee Ridge), but I do plan to stand on the summit of the Alpspitze within the next year. I had researched the various routes and decided my best bet is from/via Osterfelderkopf, along the Nordwandsteig, (North Face route), then finally up the East Ridge.
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10th October 2005: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck continued
My research for this route had included the Zugspitze.de website, the company responsible for the cable car routes in the area. That across over the Nordwandsteig was described by them as "..challenging... requiring mountaineering experience...", which so far as I was concerned put it at the top of, or perhaps beyond my abilities.
But I wanted to attempt it and had decided to go from Kreuzeck, via Osterfelderkopf, over the Nordwandsteig and to the summit of the Bernadeinspitze at 2143m. That would get me the experience of the Nordwandsteig, a high summit, some great views of the East Ridge route to the Alpspitze summit and a chance of returning to Kreuzeck via the Stuibensee.
Track from Kreuzeck to Osterfelderkopf
On another superb day I headed out along the good forest road from the Bergstation of the Kreuzeck cable car along the forest road to Osterfelderkopf via Hochlam, (above). I was tired and apprehesive. The previous evening I had met an American couple in the cable car who, from conversation, were very experienced hikers. Yet they had just turned back on the Alpspitze Nordwandsteig as they considered it too exposed. My confidence took a further blow as the forest road later ran parallel to, but a long way beneath the Nordwandsteig. I could see two hikers high above me, shuffling sideways very slowly along a narrow and exposed ledge, gripping the wire rope fixed into the cliff face with both hands!
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10th October 2005: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck continued
Schöngänge and Bernadeinspitze
Before reaching that point I had got a good look at the Bernadeinspitze summit, about a third of the way in from the left. Standing proud above the great wall of rock that is the Schöngänge. Up which there is another of the hiking routes described as a secured climbing trail, (near the centre of the photo). But not one I was going to attempt today!
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck
Schöngänge
A closer look at Schöngänge: a several hundred ft high rock wall with a secured climbing trail. Maybe next year for me.
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10th October 2005: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck continued
Osterfelderkopf
The previous two days hikes were keeping me feeling tired and as I headed up the forest road towards Osterfelderkopf and the bergstation of the Alpspitzbahn I had decided to see if the local Höllentorköpfl did in fact have a track to the summit, (one was shown on my Kompass map, but not on my other maps), and then turnback.
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10th October 2005: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck continued
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
But above me all the time towered the North face of the Alpspitze, across which, if you look very carefully, can be seen part of the Nordwandsteig track. Sharp eyes will also just manage to pick out the almost square and dark shadow of the "window", (half way, up a quarter of the way in from the left), in a tunnel that is part of the route.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont.
Osterfelderkopf Summit Cross Track up to Höllentor
The Summit Cross of the Osterfelderkopf is a bit of a tourist summit because of the adjacent cable car bergstation: and I see nothing wrong with that. To the right the track changed from forest road to rocky zig zag mountain path up to the Höllentor, the small saddle between the Alpspitze and Höllentorkopfl, (which didn't seem to have a track to it's summit).
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont.
View from Höllentor
The view from the Höllentor was outstanding, and was reviving me from my tiredness spell very quickly!
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10th October 2005: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck continued
Start of Alpspitze Nordwandsteig Revived enough in fact to feel I was OK to attempt the Nordwandsteig across the North Face of the Alpspitze. A descent back almost to Osterfelderkopf, then onto the start of the track. A couple of stirrups and a wire rope got me past the two large boulders "protecting" the track, the start of which was then laid out in front of me.
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10th October 2005: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinpitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck continued
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig The track soon became very narrow and exposed, secured with wire ropes set into the rock face: wires that I certainly felt happy grasping with my right hand as I passed along the rocky trail!
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig tunnel Alpspitze Nordwandsteig tunnel
The very narrow track, (foreground left), broadened out a little as the overhanging cliff face in front of the tunnel forced me towards the left, just after the North face Via Ferratta route turned off.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig tunnel window Alpspitze Nordwandsteig tunnel exit
I had still felt apprehensive and a little shaky over the first exposed section: I have yet to fully overcome vertigo, and some of the drops passed were steep. But the famous Nordwandsteig tunnel allowed me to catch my breath, enjoy the view through the window and exit over the only section where there is protection on the outside of the track.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
After the tunnel it was onto ladders, stirrups, wire rope assisted climbs up though gullies, and of course exposed ledges. Two thirds up and in the center of the right photo someone who had overhauled me is heading along one of these.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
I was somewhat focused on keeping my footholds on the loose rocks, strirrups and ladders. So much so that I made the whole climb across the Nordwandsteig with my two Leki trekking poles wrapped around my left wrist, making full use of that hand impossible! An error I certainly will not make again on such a route: they should have been reduced to their minimum size and strapped onto my rucksac leaving both hands free. The track was generally too narrow for the Lekis to be of any use.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
Being a North face route it was all in shade, which helped keep me cool as I continued the rocky and exposed climb.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
Looking back at the track behind me, with a, thankfully, repaired section I had just passed over!
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
And the climb continued!
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
I paused to see that I was climbing higher than the Bernadeinspitze, (2143m), my main summit of the day, (left above), but still had to reach and climb up through a very steep and at times, (where the side had collapsed), exposed gully, (top right).
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
The steep gully had a couple of metal spikes set into the rock as well as a fixed wire rope, and at the top, with some relief, I looked back to see the last part of the Nordwandsteig I had crossed, with two others behind me, (top center).
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Bernadeinsepitze viewed from the Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
Back into sun I climbed a bit more on a gentle slope then followed the track, (marked on the ground and on my maps), which clearly went through a scree field. It was steep and I could only slide down: slowly to minimise damage. I took time for some Isotonic drink and to photo the Bernadeinspitze in front of me. It felt good to have done the climb across the Nordwandsteig: a route I must do again when I attempt the summit of the Alpspitze.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Bernadeinspitze Bernadeinspitze summit cross
It didn't take long to cross a field of rocks and lose stones, and climb the short distance up to the summit of the Bernadeinspitze. It was appropriate that the best view of the summit cross had the magnificent Alpspitze as a backdrop.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
View from Bernadeinspitze View from Bernadeinspitze summit
Left, and a long way below is the forest track I had used up from the Kreuzech Bergstation via Hochalm. Right is the wider view looking into the distance at Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Farchant, where I had set out from a good few hours earlier.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
View of Alpspitze from Bernadeinspitze Track towards Stuibensee
On the summit I enjoyed my lunch of filled rolls purchased a good few hours earlier from the bakers in Farchant, with the Alpspitze ever present close by. But soon I left and carried on to the East in this Alpine wonderland, on a track that started off quite comfortably on a gentle downhill grade.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Stuibensee
The gently graded path continued for a while, then went over the edge of a cliff and down a steep gully! But my slow progress down that relatively short but very steep descent was rewarded with a view of the Stuibensee. From there the track was loose rocks and stones, and eventually joined up with the Bernadeinsteig I had used the day before to and from the Stuibenspitze. That meant a slow 150m ascent back up to the Bergstation of the Kreuzeck cable car, where my days adventure ended.
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10th Oct: Kreuzeck - Osterfelderkopf - Höllentor - Nordwandsteig - Bernadeinspitze - Stuibensee - Kreuzeck cont
Alpspitze Nordwandsteig
My journey back to Farchant in the cable car and buses gave me time to reflect. Crossing the Nordwandsteig, (above) was close to the top of my current abilities. And I had now managed that important stepping stone on my plan to summit the Alpspitze within the next twelve months. But for the immediate future I wanted a decent rest day!
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10th Oct: Alpspitze North face viewed from Kreuzeck
 



























 12th October hike October 2005 Trip Index Route descriptions Back to Main Index 

















Key to Route Descriptions
Throughout this web site I have tried to adopt a consistent approach to the way I show the summarised hike details in the blue text table shown at the start of each hike. Below is an explanation of how the various parts of that text table are arrived at.

Start and Finish
The main locations, usually a village or nearest village, from where the hike is started and ended. The altitude of the start and finish taken by comparing my exact starting point with the appropriate contour line or printed height from the relevant Topographische Kart 1:25000, Bayersisches Landesvermessungsamt München map.

Round distance in kms
The total distance actually hiked. Includes any "excursions" off the main route. The kms shown are a very broad estimate only. I have yet to find a way of getting anything like an accurate distance for my hikes even using the 1:25000 maps. Frequent zig zags and height gains and undulations are the main problems to deal with!

Vertical altitude gain
Not the height difference between the starting point and the highest point reached. It is an estimate of the total metres I have ascended during the hike. It will include all significant undulations and all "excursions" off the main route. Using the detailed 1:25000 maps as above, it is possible with a little care and effort to get quite close to an accurate figure.

Total time from start to finish
Time from my gasthof back to my gasthof after the hike if no public transport is involved. Or from leaving a bus stop or railway station and back to a bus stop or railway station at the end of the hike. Includes all breaks. My ascent rate is slow, never more than about 300 metres per hour, so most other people would complete the hikes quicker. I often complete a hike with no stop lasting longer than a few minutes, but picnic stops and visits to huttes taking longer than that will be mentioned in the text.

Weather
A broad description of the weather conditions during that hike. Any temperatures usually taken from the nearest weather recording site that I can find, (done on my return to England), or from local TV reports.
October 2005 Trip Index    Back to Main Index