Start/Finish near Garmisch-Partenkirchen 700m
Highest point: circa 1770m, on Längenfeld slope
Distance: circa 12 kms
Weather: Heavy snow, clearing, new snow above 1300m
Vertical altitude gain: circa 600m
Time: 7 hrs, mostly on snowshoes
Heavy and prolonged overnight rain in the valley after I returned from my snowshoe walk on March 1st made my decision about what to do on the 2nd very easy! Head back to the same area via the Hausbgerbahn cable car as the rain was expected to have fallen as snow above about 1200m.
After a short walk to the cable car station it didn't take long for me to see I was going to have superb new snow conditions higher up: the cable car very quickly climbed into heavy snowfall with a good layer on the trees and on ground some way below the mountain station at Hausberg. And it was still snowing heavily, conditions that I really love being out in on the mountains.
The cloud base dropped to cover the Alpspitze in front, and as I turned the corner ahead and left behind the sparse vegetation seen here, the falling snow increased producing complete whiteout conditions for ten minutes or more.
As I dropped down to the hütte at Hochlam the snow stopped and visibility improved. Not that I was planning to stay outside of the welcoming hütte, as my snowshoeing efforts had worked up an appetite, and a stop for a bowl of goulash soup was very much in order!
Looking back when above Hochalm the cloud base lifted enough to just reveal the outline of the mighty Alpspitze. A mountain that I would love to hike up in 2007, but certainly not today in such wintery weather.
The visibility improved as I descended, but not my physical state as I was suffering a lot of pain from tendons behind my right knee: caused by one too many excursions off into deep powder snow. But I stuck to my plan of snowshoeing back down past Kreuz Alm to Hausberg.
My painful efforts were rewarded with a view South East to the Dreitorspitze when I reached the Hausbergbahn. The three days I had been on snowshoes had been great, but made me realise that without being in a group where trail blazing could be shared, I will only ever do the majority of my snowshoeing where new snow lies on a firm base, as during that time. And now with mild weather forecast, my focus for the rest of the trip was to change.