Start/Finish Ohlstadt bhf. 654m
Highest point: Rauheck Summit 1590m
Distance: circa 18 kms
Weather: Sunny, lying snow above 1250m
Vertical altitude gain: circa 1000m
Time: 8hrs 10 mins
March 2nd saw the best snow conditions of my trip. Deep fresh snow higher up had tested my snowshoeing ability, (mainly on new snow with a firm base), to the limit. I had struggled back down from nearly 1800m high with very painful tendons behind my right knee: a condition that worsened during the early part of the evening back at my hotel in Farchant. Medication, including much application of Max Strength Heat Rub saw a sudden and much welcomed recovery by late evening. So much so that on my 3rd March Rest day I walked three times, totally 12kms!
So I was back to planning the rest of my trip, rather than planning how to struggle home early! Much milder weather with the picturesque snow conditions fading fast above Kreuzeck made me decide to attempt some winter hikes on routes expected to be almost clear of snow. So leaving behind my snowshoes I caught the bus into Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the train to Ohlstadt. The plan was to climb up on to the ridge that starts with Buchrain summit and then head East to the Rauheck at 1590m and see if there was time to reach Heimgarten summit. Not just enough time, but snow that was not too deep to struggle through higher up!
I had checked the map the previous evening and saw from the contour lines being close together that there were to be some steep sections: soon encountered after walking across the valley floor from the railway station! But I went up the ascent well, only being slowed when lying snow was encountered at around 1250m.
I reached my turn off from the direct route to the Heimgarten as the sun burnt off the clouds. Three German hikers heading direct for the Heimgarten passed me here, and I was to see them again much later in the day. But my chosen route was via the "three summit ridge" which culminated at the Rauheck, and that led straight into quite deep snow that had no tracks in it! But thankfully I didn't have to "post hole" in the deep snow for long, and a quick glance at my compass set me in the right direction for the snow free zig zag path up to the summit cross of the 1456m high Buchrain.
Almost due South lay a large part of the Estergebirge mountain range. In view are the Hoher Kisten, Hoher Fricken, Bishof and others. With the Zugspitze some way behind them and to the right. The weather was perfect for such viewing and it was with some reluctance that I left the summit and retraced my steps back down towards the valley.
Back in amongst the trees the snow had softened, and below 1250m walking was easier as the snow line was left behind. Taking a short break at one point the three German hikers I had spoken to a few hours earlier passed. They had not succeeded in their direct route to get to the top of the Heimgarten as the snow had become too deep. So I was pleased I had decided to go via the ridge and the Rauheck, as I resumed my descent to Ohstadt and the train and bus journey back to my hotel in Farchant.