18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation
Start at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 707m
Highest point reached was circa 1670m, above Kreuzeck.
Round distance circa 12 kms
Vertical altitude gain of circa 1040 m
Total time from start to finish of 5 hrs 40 mins
Weather was sleet in valley, snow above 900m
My first experience of mountain hiking had been in January 2005, from Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps. That trip had seen what was described as unusually deep snow and had started me on a very steep learning curve! I had never encountered snow so deep when trying to hike and had ended up being limited to tracks that were kept open to mountain huttes: so no summits were reached. I had made one attempt at snow shoeing but had no success with that at all.

An early March 2005 trip with Bobbie to the Bavrian Pre-Alps had seen some progress made and for January 2006 I was determined to build upon that. So for a few weeks before my mid january departure for a seven night stay at Farchant near to Garmisch-Partenkirchen my hiking gear was slowly taking over one end of my study! Part of my planning was to keep a close watch on weather and avalanche forecasts for the area I was to hike in, and after more very heavy snow fall, a settled and very cold spell of weather starting early in January gave me hope that the routes to some of the higher summits would have reasonably well trodden tracks on them.
Ready to pack
18th Jan hike continued














18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation continued
Track through Kockelbergalm Signposts to Bayernhaus
But that weather broke the day I flew out to München and meant a complete re-appraisal of my plans! So setting out as sleet fell onto a frozen ground I decided to see if I could successfully complete the hike I had started the previous year: all the way from Garmisch-Partenkirchen up to Kreuzeck. I had more hope this year as the track up to Bayernhaus was being used as a Rodelbahn, (toboggan run), two evenings a week.
18th Jan hike continued














18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation continued
Track to Bayernhaus
And sure enough as I progressed up towards the 1,000m mark it was clear the route would be usable at least up to Bayernhaus, (1250m above), and Hausberg. The sleet sooned turned to snow and the forecast was for a heavy fall, which would add a lot to the metre or so reported as already lying at my destination height of over 1650m.
18th Jan hike continued














18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation continued
Hausberg Snow Cannons
Way ahead at Hausberg Winter hiking track from Hausberg
The snow was deeper as I reached the Hausberg skiing area with it's snow cannons. I soon found the "marked" winter track to Kreuzeck. Marked, but not recently ploughed: so it was hard work hiking through an increasing depth of virgin snow.
18th Jan hike continued














18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation continued
Trögelhutte Trögelhutte to Kreuzalm track
A few days earlier I could have used the steep tracks that would have been trampled after the last snowfall two weeks ago. But I was happy to have a good hike in front of me on easier routes away from the high avalanche risk on the harder tracks, getting experience of slogging through increasing depths of new snow. After the Trögelhutte the track was on a deep snow base with a layer of new snow on top that someone not far in front had gone up on skis. Making it much easier for me to progress.
18th Jan hike continued








18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation continued
Kreuzalm
The snow started falling more heavily and the wind was increasing as I reached Kreuzalm at just under 1600m. I thought about trying to get up to the Kreuzjoch summit but there was an awful lot of snow on a steep slope leading up to it, so decided to keep going on the track which was now wider and had been pisted at some stage.
18th Jan hike continued








18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation continued
Winterwanderweg to Hochlam Winterwanderweg to Hochlam
Above Kreuzalm a barrier stopped skiers going higher: a notice stated that the higher Längenfelder lifts were shut. But the weather was now superb for winter hiking: very heavy snow and strong winds at times combining to give blizzard conditions. For me just as good as hiking in bright winter sunshine! So I was keen to keep going on the winter track, planning to get to Hochalm at 1705m and higher. But no! The track was a main route from which a lot of steeper more rugged mountain paths lead off: although there was no sign of those buried under well over a metre of snow. But I soon came across a sign stating that the main track ahead was shut during and just after heavy snowfall: the area under the Alpspitze which I was heading towards being an avalanche risk area in such conditions. So reluctantly I turned around to head back to the Kreuzeck summit below me.
18th Jan hike continued








18th January: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Hausberg - above Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck - Kreuzeck Bergstation continued
Kreuzeck Summit Kreuz Kreuzeck
I dropped back down in heavy snow, then took the track up to the Kreuzeck summit, sandwiched between the cable car Berg station and Kreuzeck Hutte. Just a seven minute ride up from the valley for skiers, but over five hours hard slog on foot, (including my detour South). I decided to catch the cable car down as I didn't want to use all my energy on day one of my trip slogging back through the ever increasing depth of snow. So I enjoyed the seven minute run at least in one direction!
19th Jan hike Jan 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.
January 2006 Trip Index    Back to Main Index