I kid you not, the mountain we hiked up last Sunday is called Wank. This beats my previous favourite unfortunate German name – the Bad Hotel in Überlingen. What ever the name, this was my first hiking trip this year. The 2014 hiking season has officially started!
The Wank (1, 780 m) sits just outside of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, facing the Zugspitze. It is part of the Ester Mountains, which in turn belong to the so called Bavarian Prealps. Btw. here is the Wikipedia evidence that Wank really exists: Wikipedia – Wank (mountain).
I picked the route from a standard Munich hiking guide as an easy first trip of the year. Although the risk of us having to struggle through old snow was low, as this year’s winter had been mild in the Bacarian Alps, I still wanted to start with a peak clearly under the 2, 000 m mark. The Wank seemed to be perfect.
The weather on the other hand was less co-operative. Saturday was terrible – cold, grey and completely filled with rain and drizzle. As we woke up on Sunday morning, I really hoped the weather had picked-up. And it did. That was good news. Pete picked Constantin and I up at 9 am in his car and we drove off to Garmisch, where we unfortunately caught up with the rain again.
We decided to wait for a while, as the weather was meant to be gradually improving during the day. A slow coffee later it stopped raining and we finally set-off. All the mountains tops around Garmisch were covered in a thin layer of snow and looked as if they had been dipped in sugar. Very pretty.
At 11.15 we finally got going on our first hike of the year. We reached the snow at about 1,500 m. It was just a thin layer, mostly completely melted on the path itself.
It took us nearly four hours to get to the summit. We didn’t take the direct route up. Walking past the cable car would have just been too depressing. And, we also got slightly lost on the way.
We had a late lunch in the Wankhaus and soon after started the descent back to Garmisch. This time on the direct route. The visibility at the summit was poor, but as soon as we started descending the weather finally improved for real and the sun came out. The walk back to the car was a nice 3 hr stroll. Again, we extended the trip with a d-tour. Too much chatting!
Start/ end: Garmisch-Partenkirchen train station
Ascent/ descent: 1, 200 m/ 1, 050 m
Time: 7 hrs
Travel from Munich: train to Garmisch (1hr, 20 mins), car (1 hr) parking at the train station