First day of winter on the Kampenwand

The boys 2

First signs of snow on the way up to the Kampenwand summit

It is impressive how different the weather can be from year to year. Last year on the third weekend in October I hiked to the Tegernseerhütte (1, 650 m) in shorts and a t-shirt. This year I was scrambling through snow to the Kampenwand (1, 668 m), wearing a woolly hat and a pair of gloves.

The last week and a half here in Munich have been very cold for October and we’ve even had our first snow in low altitudes in Bavaria this week. Since I couldn’t hike properly this summer and I also want to do more hiking and snowshoeing this winter (I am not allowed to go back to skiing until spring), it felt like a good idea to head out to the Alps for the day and see how things are with a little snow.

We managed to set off early and avoided any traffic jam out of Munich. It is more likely that there was no traffic jam, because it was raining and no one else thought of going hiking. Thankfully the rain stopped past Irschenberg.

A valley in the Bavarian Alps in autumn

While the valley was green, the mountains around had a dusting of snow

Our destination for the day was the Kampenwand (1,668 m) – a rocky summit above Chiemsee and a popular destination for day trips from Munich. When we arrived in Aschau it was clear there was snow waiting for us at higher altitudes. It was less clear, whether we would make it all the way to the summit.

After a two hour ascent from the parking lot through a forest full of autumn colours and an increasingly thick dusting of snow, we were about to find out. We were at the Steinlingalm where the final ascent towards the rocky summit starts.

From there the going got fairly difficult, as we had to scramble over rocks fully covered in snow. There were still quite a few people on the trail (I can’t quite imagine how busy the trail gets in the summer!), so at least looking for the path was relatively easy.

The very final section towards the summit starts with a short exposed traverse along the summit pinnacle, which is however secured with a thick metal rope. Here it helped that the summit was shrouded in a cloud – we couldn’t see the drop to the side. After 50 fun minutes of carefully navigating towards the summit, we were up there!

Happy hikers on the Kampenwand summit in snow

Elation on the snowy Kampenwand summit (1, 668 m)

On the way down we stopped at the Steinlingalm for a long lunch break. The only disappointment of the trip being that they didn’t serve Keiserschmarn. For the descent we chose a different, more popular route along the ski lifts. It took us two hours to walk back to the valley, even if at times it felt like eternity.

Trip summary

Start/ end: Aschau in Chiemgau; Kohlstatt parking lot

Ascent/ descent: 1,060 m up and down

Walking time: 6 hrs

Travel from Munich: Train (change at Priem, 1.5 – 2 hrs); Car (1 hr without traffic)

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One comment

  1. We did this hike last spring, but it looks a lot tougher in winter with all that snow!

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