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.
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!
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.
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)
- The last day of summer at the Tegerseerhütte
- 7 hiking trips from Munich
- Walking at the foot of the Zugspitze