Visible from Munich, it is no wonder why the Zugspitze is one of the most iconic peaks in the Garmisch alps. It’s little sister the Alpspitze protrudes from the ridge like a pyramid perched at 2600m and it one of the most iconic peaks of the Garmisch region.
Although the Alpspitze is the little sister of Germany’s highest peak the Zugspitze, this ascent and descent should not be underestimated.
Are you game for the ascent? Here are 5 things to know for climbing Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze & sister peak, Alpspitze
– Overview –
Zugspitze (Eibsee – Zugspitze)
Length (to Summit): 8km | Level: Hard | Duration: 7 hours | Elevation: 2962m | ↑ 2000m
Alpspitze (Hammersbach – Alpspitze – Alpspitzebahn)
Length : 10km | Level: Hard | Duration: 7 hours | Elevation: 2628m | ↑ 2016m | ↓ 600m (to the Bergstation)
– It isn’t a walk –
The Zugspitze and Alpspitze ascents include scrambling and a grade B via ferrata (where the steel rope is not connected in some places); therefore, you should be comfortable with using the rocks for support and climbing easy grades without being attached.
Additionally, there may be points where you will be required to traverse 50-degree scree and snow fields.
– Mountain Fit –
When we say mountain fit, we don’t mean being able to walk for 4 hours on a steep incline on the treadmill. When attempting the full summit ascent from Eibsee (for Zugspitze) and the Hammersbach (Alpspitze ascent), you should be comfortable enough to ascend 2000m of steep and technical hiking/scrambling terrain which includes using your whole body.
It feels like you’ve done 6 hours of lunges, squats and steps.
– Experience –
You should be comfortable with scrambling, have no fear of heights and be confident with footing. Last but not least, you should have experience using:
- Climbing harness
- Via Ferrata set
- Via Ferrata routes
– Fuel up –
Would you try to drive your car without fuel? Don’t try to push yourself without fuel.
You should pack enough for the amount of time you’ll be out (the ascent could take 7 hours and if you decide to descend, this will be another 6 hours approximately).
There are huts at the mountain lift stations, plus huts on the side of the mountain, however some huts are not open all year, so do not rely on them to fuel up.
- Zugspitze from Eibsee: Wiener Neustaeder Hut at 7260’ (2213m).
- Alpspitze from Talbahn: Hoch Alm (1705m) and Kreuzeckhaus (1652)
– Preparation –
If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail…
We started in 25 degree warmth in the valley and it was zero degrees at the summit, with remaining snow. Only attempt this route when there are no storms. Lightning is not ideal when you are on exposed areas and rain will make the rocks slippy.
Pack according to the weather at the town and summit. Don’t get caught out!
Ensure you have your via ferrata gear with you.
Unsure? Then take a guide!
What are your favourite mountain climbs?