| Fun in the Alps
Let me start with something - the Alps are awesome, but I'll still take Colorado.
I recently moved to Germany from Colorado Springs - and have been itching for the past month or so to get up into the mountains. Last weekend, I went down to the Austrian/German border with a couple other guys to do some hiking. The plan was to climb the Alpspitze on Friday, and then do the Zugspitze (tallest mountain in Germany) on Saturday. Unfortunately, the rain had other plans for us, and we only got the Alpspitze.
It was about 11 miles of hiking, with a 7,200ft ascent.
The hike started at Hammersbach (in Garmisch), and climbed steadily up the base of the mountain. Very well defined trail, as are most trails here in Germany. There are also very helpful signs along the trail and at nearly every intersection that tell you pretty clearly where each trail goes.
Higher up, the trail narrowed, but it was still a very well maintained gravel path.
About 2000 ft from the summit, the via ferratta portion of the ascent began. It is a system of steel rungs/pins/ladders along with a steel cable, that you are able to clip onto with a climbing harness and short tether with carabiners. The via ferratta on the Alpspitze is all class A or B, which is pretty tame compared to some other places. (A is the easiest, E is the most difficult)
Getting up higher, I got a view to the left of the mountain, looking up the Hohentall gorge towards the Zugspitze.
Opportunity to do some fun scrambling up some big slabs. Via ferratta route went around to the left, but the rock was calling.
Finally at the summit - after about 6 hours of steady hiking. This shot was taken looking southwest, towards the Jubilee Ridge - a rugged ridge connecting the Alpspitze with the Zugspitze. I would like to go back and do that ridge some day - its a lot longer than it looks - average time to traverse it from Zugspitze to Alpspitze is 8 hours.
My buddy doing some downclimbing on the way back.
As we descended the mountain, we were greeted with this beautiful sight.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):