Start/Finish near Garmisch-Partenkirchen 690m
Highest point: 1985m, Kramerspitz summit
Distance: circa 25 kms
Weather: Valley mist, cool and very clear above
Vertical altitude gain: circa 1600m
Time: 10 hrs 5 mins
Urgent priorities at home meant an eight day hiking trip to Farchant, just North of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, at the start of October was cancelled. By the second week of October I was in a position to fit in a short trip. Carefully watching about the most accurate weather forecast for the area I have found I could see that Tuesday 17th October could well be a superbly clear Autumn day. So on the Thursday before that I booked a flight to München that would get me to the ever welcoming Hotel-Gasthof Alter Wirt in Farchant early on the Monday evening.
A very good journey out saw the weather shaping up as I hoped it would, but an uncomfortable and largely sleepless night feeling somewhat unwell had not been on my plans when I got up at 05.30 on Tuesday, (my body clock still thinking it was 04.30 UK time!). Nevertheless I still caught the 06.25 local bus, alighting at Thomas Knorr Strasse on the Northern edge of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Heading west I soon got to the start of the forest road up to St Martin, (Grasberg), where my headlight, (it was still pitch black), shone on the sign that told me I had a good five hours in front until I stood on the summit of the Kramerspitz. A large mountain on the Southern edge of the Ammergauer Alpen that dominates the view to the North from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and one that I had been wanting to hike up ever since my first visit here two years ago.
My difficult night showed up three times on the easier track to around 1450m, when my legs felt they were going to give way from under me. But a regular intake of Isotonic drink, and a breakfast of two paracetomol tablets and more Isotonic drink here, where the steep track to the Kramerspitz leaves the route around to the Königstand, seemed to be enough to keep me going.
It was on getting to the top of a small kopf I thought I had lost the path, until looking over the edge I could see a very steep descent to a small saddle, (third in from left, very bottom.) A descent I part scrambled and part walked down.
The last few steep metres up to the summit cross seemed easy, but I knew that I would have to drop down and scramble up to the actual summit, (left). But not before chatting to a nice young lady from Munich, who arrived from the West, (just visible extreme left), and kindly took my summit cross photo!
Due North in the middle distance is the long ridge from the Brunstelkopf to the Voderer Felderkopf and further West, with a glimpse of the Notkarspitz behind. Middle foreground, the final part of the track to the Kramerspitz summit over the last ridge can be seen.
The view South to the Jubiläumsgrat and Zugspitze had been captured on the climb, as they were now directly under the low autumn sun. But SE from the actual summit showed the Wetterstein range behind Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The steep walk, (scramble for me), up to the summit cross from the left is obvious here.
Over the steep climb I dropped down towards the saddle, and the short extra climb up to the summit of the Katzenkopf, (East end of the Kramerspitz massive), seemed within my capabilities for a last uphill slog of the day.
From the Katzenkopf it was all downhill, with none of the significant undulations and my wandering up and down at the summits and saddle that had given a new personal best for a day's height gain. With one last look to the Wetterstein range near Felsen-Kanzel on a most wonderful day in the Bavarian mountains.