12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Start/Finish at Oberammergau, 837m
Highest point reached was 1622m, summit of Sonnenspitze.
Round distance circa 16 kms
Vertical altitude gain of circa 1050 m
Total time from start to finish of 7hrs 15mins
Weather was warm and sunny

part of the Sonnenberggrat Part of the Sonnenberggrat, seen in the afternoon when hiking back down to Oberammergau
I did take full rest day on October 11th, catching up on liquid intake and ensuring I had a breakfast, lunch and evening meal. I certainly felt rested when I joined an early bus near to my Farchant Gashof for a hike I had taken straight out of the excellent "Walking in the Bavarian Alps", by Grant Bourne and Sabine Kröner-Bourne. This was to be from Oberammergau, where the bus dropped me nicely on time well before 08.00 hrs, and up to and along the Sonnenberggrat, (ridge) to the Purschlinghäuser.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
I can read most maps pretty well out on the mountains, but as usual today not so well in towns! I should have taken my first chioce of path out of Oberammergau, but spent some time trying others! Ending back at the first path I had seen which soon led me past the Kreuziggungsgruppe, (Crucifixion group), a present to Oberammergau from King Ludwig after they gave him a private perfomance of the famous Passion Play in September 1871.

From there onwards it was fairly straightforward, on a good forest road up to Kolben Alm. Then later on quite steep forest tracks: the usual "roots and rocks" type! The key turn off was higher up when a fairly indistinct track signposted to "Zahn, Sonnenspitze, Purschling" was followed. I was heading up to a ridge walk so the "Nur für Geübte", (only for experienced), was to be expected. The track was not clear to follow and a number of times I had to stop and look around to make sure I was still on it in the forest. But I was always able to pick up the right signs and before long was leaving the denser forest with the Zahn, (a tooth like rocky projection), in view and where I expected it to be!

My rest day had obviously worked as, despite the short stops made to check I was still on the track, my ascent rate up to near where the ridge walk began was around 350m an hour. Somewhat above my normal 300m an hour, but of course still well below that achieved by the vast majority who are fitter then me.
Oberammergau Kreuziggunsgruppe
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Sonnenberggrat
I knew from "Walking in the Bavarian Alps" that the track ran just below the ridge; first to the North and later on the South side: so at first it would be in shade on another superb day. And that I was to expect narrow tracks and some exposed sections: quite normal for most Bavarian ridge walks.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Sonnenberggrat Sonnenberggrat
The rocky track sometimes seemed to end, leaving a short and sometimes exposed section to carefully navigate. There were also quite a lot of undulations: this view looking back at a sharp, narrow and quite exposed section where I had felt more comfortable scrambling down, (left), followed by more of the same, (right).
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Sonnenspitze summit cross
I wasn't sure if the track up to the Sonnenspitze summit would be signed, (it wasn't), so climbed up to the top of the ridge a couple of times before eventually scrambling up a well used gully to find the summit cross: and the sunshine!
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Graswang from Sonnenspitze summit
The mountains to the North and hazy in the sunshine: but there was a good view down to Graswang in the valley.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Pürschling from Sonnenspitze summit
The route ahead, with a view of the Pürschling just left of the August Schuster Haus.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Sonnenberggrat
Back on the ridge walk, and looking back at a section that was typical of some parts: where the track seemed to have ended, but where it was still possible to carefully negotiate a few metres with not much to walk on.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Sonnenberggrat Sonnenberggrat
"Walking in the Bavarian Alps" had warned the track was somewhat exposed after crossing to the ridge's South side. Looking back where I had been, the very narrow track passes the top of the small fir tree on the near vertical cliff. I would not have been happy walking that section in the wet, but today was warm and dry and ahead the end of my outward trail was getting closer.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Pürschling
All to soon the ridge walk came to an end and in front was a high meadow with the August Schuster Haus balanced on one of what I believe are the twin peaks of the Pürschling.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Pürschling Crucifix Pürschling summit
The ridge walk joined a forest road up from Ober and Unterammergau, and passed the "other" Pürschling Summit, ( a fairly straightforward route to the top), with it's adjacent Crucifx.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
Sonnenberggrat view from Pürschling Summit
From the top of the Pürschling I looked onto the last part of the Sonnenberggrat, with the Sonnenspitze clearly visible above the the ridge. My comfortable route back to Oberammergau is clearly visible lower down.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
View from Pürschling Summit August Schuster Haus from Pürschling Summit
Left is the rocky environment seen from Pürschling summit, and right, the August Schuster Haus.
12th October hike continued














12th October 2005: Oberammergau - Sonnenberggrat - Sonnenspitze - Pürschling - Kolben Sattel - Oberammergau
I walked up past the August Schuster Haus to take in the veiw, then back down to an adjacent meadow where I sat in the warm sunshine and enjoyed a lunch of filled rolls bought some hours earlier from the Farchant bakery outside of my Gasthof. My planned route back was down the decent forest road to Oberammeragau, which, from the number of people around me must have been full of walkers earlier in the day. As opposed to the Sonneberggrat route where it was three and a half hours from leaving Oberammergau before I met anyone else.

The walk down was very comfortable and passed the Kolbensattelhütte served by a chair lift, and with a lovely view down to Oberammergau with the Kofel and Laber clearly in view. I got back to the bus stop by the station well in time for a mid afternoon bus which dropped me a few metres outside of my Farchant Gasthof.

Taking account of all the undulations, a couple of scrambles up to the top of the ridge on my way across and some small exploration around Pürschling I reckoned to have achieved somewhere close to 1050m height gain for the day. That was only possible because of my rest day: good reason to enjoy another great evening meal at the "Alter Wirt", followed by a nights sleep and another day off on the Wednesday.
Kolbensattelhütte
August Schuster Haus from Pürschling Summit
14th October hike














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättlkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben
Start/Finish at Oberammergau, 837m (via Kolben Bergbahn), (855-1250m)
Highest point was 1759m, summit of Teufelstättkopf.
Distance circa 14 kms
Vertical altitude gain of circa 950m
Total time from start to finish of 6 hrs 30 mins
Weather was sunny, with a frost to start

The good fortune to have arrived in Bavaria just at the start of a settled spell of weather was that as my trip went on I could choose rest days. Instead of being forced to take them on bad weather days regardless. So having started with three straight days of hiking, followed by a rest day, and then another hike, I decided to continue the rest day/hike day pattern. So 13th October was spent getting re-hydrated and making sure I ate three good meals.

So on yet another superb morning, I left the RVO bus at Oberammergau intent on continuing the route of the hike started two days earlier. That was possible as the Sesselbahn Kolben, (right), was still open as I had seen on my descent after the Sonnenberggrat hike. So taking the correct route out of Oberammergau, (for once!), and up to the Sesselbahn Talstation I knew I could cut out 400m of ascent and get up to the higher Alpine area in time for some good hiking.
Sesselbahn Kolben
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Signposts near Kolbensattelhütte
DAV sign near to August Schuster Haus
View from August Schuster Haus
The track from Kolbensattelhütte was well signed, and the hike up to the start of the Alpine tracks at August Schuster Haus, (with view West), easy. 14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Pürschlinghäuser
After passing Pürschling the track got steep, but had a lovely view back on the collection of buildings know collectively as the Pürschlinghäuser, with the August Schuster Haus the rear of the three buildings.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Laubeneck
I continued on reasonable quality tracks, firstly to the summit of an un named kopfl, from where there was a great view West to the Laubeneck, 1758m, (about one quarter in from right).
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Teufelsättkopf
North East was the rocky summit of the Teufelstättkopf: which was planned to be my first main summit of the day.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Climb to Teufelstättkopf summit The route up to the start of a "mini Klettersteig" leading up to the Tuefelstättkopf was rocky, and quite busy.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Climb to Teufelstättkopf summit Climb to Teufelstättkopf summit
A look back at the small kopfl I had climbed, then to the right is the rocky ascent to the Teufelstättkopf summit.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Climb to Teufelstättkopf summit Climb to Teufelstättkopf summit
The steeper, and slightly exposed last part of the climb to the summit was wire rope assisted: thankfully for me!
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Teufelstättkopf summit Teufelstättkopf summit
The summit cross is small, viewed from close, then from across a small ridge.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Track onto Laubeneck
Down from the summit and looking ahead to the Laubeneck. The track can be seen meandering below and up to the ridge summit, before passing the top of a cliff to the right of the mountain.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Ibex on Laubeneck Ibex on Laubeneck
The track was a bit rocky with a few slightly exposed sections, especially near the cliff top. Plus the normal parts where it seemed to have almost ended in a rock wall, but with closer examination showing some places to get a foothold with care. A path up to Laubeneck summit was not signed, and out of the sun a covering of frost still covered up the route: so I walked straight past it! That was very much to my benefit as if I had not "over run" I would never have seen this fine herd of Ibex, adopting their classical pose on rocks near to the summit as I approached that from the West.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
Laubeneck Summit
The Ibex soon ran off when they saw and heard me approaching as they were on my direct route to the summit.
14th October continued














14th October 2005: Oberammergau - Kolben Talstation/Kolben Bergstation - Teufelstättkopf - Laubeneck - Kolben cont.
View from Laubeneck The view back to the kopfl I had summited much earlier, and to the Teufelstättkopf. I spent a short while on the top before following the track through the frost on the North side to the main path. I was soon crossing the saddle at Teufelstättkopf, then on down past the Pürschlinghauser to the Kolbenbstattelhütte with it's adjacent and popular Sesselbahn. Before too long I was back in Oberammergau waiting for the mid afternoon bus back to Farchant.
16th October hike October 2005 Trip Index Key to 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