18th February: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return
Start/Finish at Spitzingsattel, 1129m
Highest point reached was 1580m, Rosskopf summit.
Round distance circa 13 kms
Vertical altitude gain of circa 700 m
Total time from start to finish of 5 hrs
Weather was mild for winter, cloud then sun and back to cloud. Deep snow.
This trip was a holiday for Bobbie my wife, as well as a chance for more winter hiking. The Bavarian Pre-Alps were chosen because of a good variety of winter routes, some without too much height gain: useful for Bobbie as she doesn't hike that often. We also decided to stay here because of the excellent Gasthaus Kögel in Neuhaus, near Schliersee. Winter 2005/6 had already been severe with very deep snows and my research had looked for safer routes: but avalanche danger is always present with deep snow and slopes, and in forests as we found out later! Local weather reports and forecasts had been followed before our arrival late on the 17th, and our daughters were to text the avalanche risk level from the Bavarian Avalanche web site daily.
Spizingsattel Spitzingsattel Sign to Obere Firstalm
Our arrival coincided with a mild spell and above freezing daytime temperatures in Neuhaus, but cold higher up. So it was an icy walk to the RVO bus stop on Saturday for a busy 09.46 to Spitzingsattel, where the walk up to Obere Firstalm started.
18th Feb hike continued














18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.
Bobbie on track to Obere Firstalm Deep snow on track to Obere Firstalm
The track to the hutte was ploughed open, fortunately, as it went through around 2 metres of snow. Right is the snow next to the track at the bottom of the steep slope to the Brecherspitz ridge. There were a few ski tracks on top of the snow but I decided to remove that route from my plans! The high avalanche level warning me off risking an attempt at hiking to an undoubtedly exciting winter ridge that may iteself have been impassable with deep snow.
18th Feb hike continued












18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.
Obere Firstalm Untere Firstalm View from Obere Firstalm
Obere Firstalm, (top), Untere Firstalm, (lower), and the view South East back down towards Spitzingsee from Obere Firstalm as the sun started to break through.
18th Feb hike continued












18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.
Bodenschneid
Bobbie stayed at Obere Firstalm while I put on crampons for the descent to Untere Firstalm and the steep climb next to a ski piste towards the unimposing Stümpfling summit, 1506m. The sun reflecting off the snow was hot, and I was slow! I had been one degree since before arriving in Bavaria, (annoyingly that was to last most of the trip), so was not at full strength. But the snowy views were good, including that to the West and the steep slopes of the Bodenschneid where the deep snow looked very stressed.
18th Feb hike continued












18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.
Untere and Obere Firstalms
Getting close to the Stümpfling I was back in some welcome shade, from where there was a good view back down to the Obere Firstalm, (upper right), and the Untere Firstalm, (lower left). While behind were the steep rocky walls of the Krettenburg.
18th Feb hike continued












18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.
Rauhkopf, Hoch Miesing, Taubenstein, Lempersberg, Rotwand
To the East were the Rauhkopf, Hoch Miesing, Taubenstein, Lempersberg and Rotwand.
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18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.
Rosskopf Snowy track to Rosskopf
The Stümpfling was busy with skiers so I hurried past, descending to a shoulder with a view to the Rosskopf, (1580m), my main summit for the day. The pisting had ended but off piste skiers and snowboarders had left some sort of track: steep enough in places to need the front points of my Grivel crampons.
18th Feb hike continued












18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.

I had hoped for a variety of surfaces to walk on, and in getting to the Rosskopf summit I had used a ploughed track to a hutte, the side of a ski piste, a barely marked track left by skiers and snowboarders and then finally up to the summit on deep but well compacted snow with some loose recent snow on top! All that suggested the snow, albeit very deep in places, would be firm enough to allow good access to the summits I planned to visit: even if snow shoes would be needed to get to some of them.

At the summit one of two German lady skiers, (top of ski lift station just visible), offered to take my photo, before I took in the great view around me.
Rosskopf summit cross
18th Feb hike continued












18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.
View from Rosskopf summit cross
The best view was South, past the Shinder and into the Austrian Alps. Worth the long slog up from Spitzingsattel.
18th Feb hike continued












18th Feb: Spitzingsattel - Obere Firstalm - Untere Firstalm - Stümpfling - Rosskopf and return cont.

Despite mild weather in the valley it was quite cold higher up once the sun had gone in, and that suited me fine! I pulled myself away from the lovely summit view and retraced my steps, first down the steep slope towards the Stumpfling. Then up past the busy cable car station and over the Stümpfling summit on my way back to Obere Firstalm to meet up with Bobbie again.

The final slog up to the Obere Firstalm really showed that I was far from operating at 100%! But from there with Bobbie it was virtually all downhill back to Spitzingsattel and the RVO bus back to Neuhaus and our lovely Gasthof. A shower and rest and then a superb evening meal. Washed down with a few locally brewed wheat biers!
Track back from Rosskopf summit
19th Feb hike Feb 2006 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.
February 2006 Trip Index    Back to Main Index