GERMAN HILL AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return

Start/Finish at Ettal am Berg 869m

Highest point: 1889m, Notkarspitze summit

Distance: circa 15 kms

Weather: humid and warm/hot lower, cool higher

Vertical altitude gain: circa 1350m

Time: 8 hrs 20 mins

Sign to Notkarspitze Track to Notkarspitze

It was almost exactly a year earlier that I had started my first summer mountain hiking trip to Bavaria, and for 2006 I had again decided to stay at Farchant, just North of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Booked into the very friendly Hotel-Gasthof Alter-Wirt it looked like I was going to have the same very hot and humid weather of 2005! So I was up early on the first day, intent on catching the 05.52 RVO bus out towards Ettal where I had some unfinished business to attend to!

21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Track to Notkarspitze Track to Notkarspitze

That unfinished busines was to summit the Notkarspitze! In 2005 I turned back at the Ziegelspitz, the 2nd summit on the East route, as in the heat my 5 litres of water was insufficient. So for 2006 I started with more than seven litres of water, and over an hour earlier. And the water was needed as far from a cool early morning forest track walk it was very warm and incredibly humid after a long storm the previous evening. But after an hour the forest thinned and the humidity dropped.

21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Track to Notkarspitze Track to Notkarspitze

Despite the earlier humidity, (and all the insect bites that went twith it), I made good progress and was soon past the Ochsensitz and onto the rocky track that headed up to the Ziegelspitz summit cross at 1719m.

21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Ridge from Brünstlkreuz to Vorderer Felderkopf South West was the ridge from Brünstlkreuz to Vorderer Felderkopf, part of which I walked in October 2005, and the rest of which is most definitely in my future plans.
21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Notkarspitze Ahead was the significantly undulating trail over an unnamed peak onto the summit of the Notkarspitze, (right).
21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Ziegelspitz Notkarspitze

Light clouds and a breeze had replaced the oppresive conditions, but I was still pleased I had started with 13 pints of water. So I was able to drink without restriction, as I looked back on the route up from the Ziegelspitz, (left). I also was enjoying my solo hike, only seeing two other solo walkers near the summit, (right). One coming down, and the other overtaking me.

21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Track to Notkarspitze Track to Notkarspitze

Some of the last sections needed me to use my hands, with others on a loose surface that caused me problems from time to time.

21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Notkarspitze summit It needed one last effort on a final steep slope and then I was on top of the Notkarspitze, with it's nicely adorned summit cross situated in the middle of a surprisingly broad and grassy area.
21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Trail to Notkarspitze summit Looking back on the trail up along the ridges from Ziegelspitz, (near the top at the left of the photo.) Ridges that get more pointed as the trail gets nearer to the Notkarspitze. And have plenty of ups and down in them. Something to look forward to on the descent!
21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. View East from Notkarspitze summit To the East were the various summits between Dreierkopfl and Kienjoch, which are South West of Oberammergau.
21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Ettal from Ziegelspitz But a significant heat haze made photography from the Notkarpsitze difficult, so I soon retraced my steps to the Ochsensitz, where the view down to Ettal was a little clearer.
21st June: Ettal am Berg - Ochsensitz - Ziegelspitz - Notkarspitze and return cont. Ettal from Ziegelspitz I still had a long descent though the forest to the valley floor, but took in the view below me first. The heat took it's toll of me as my pace got slower and slower as I descended into 28 degree valley heat. But a well placed bench seat on a valley floor footpath gave me time to recover with yet more water to drink, (most of the 13 pints I started with were used up), before catching a mid afternoon RVO bus back to a very hot Farchant for a shower, a rest, yet another superb evening meal at the Hotel-Gasthof Alter-Wirt and the prospect of a full rest day in the morning!