Heading up the Zugspitze via the Knorrhutte from Garmisch-Partenkirchen next week.
Wondering whether to bother packing an axe and crampons as this will be the only potential alpine venture of the trip. So wondering about likely snow/ice conditions between hut and summit.
Don’t know the area well - the Knorrhutte have advised there is currently very little snow but I see there is some forecast the next few days (although then warming up next week) and the hut refused to even hint whether people would normally carry crampons and an axe at this time of year on the basis that it’s our decision alone. Which of course it is but an insight to possible conditions would have been useful.
Will err on the side of taking them but any experience welcome. Thanks.
I haven't any up to date knowledge, but I did that (really enjoyable) route about 15 years ago in August. A friend asked me about it 4 years ago and I genuinely didn't remember much of a glacier/snow slope. Consequently they didn't take ice axe or crampons, also in August, and his wife had quite a scary fall/slide. Fortunately no serious injuries.
I would carry crampons and a light axe, even though you will not have glacier contact (what is left is on the Höllental route)
> Don’t know the area well - the Knorrhutte have advised there is currently very little snow but I see there is some forecast the next few days (although then warming up next week) and the hut refused to even hint whether people would normally carry crampons and an axe at this time of year on the basis that it’s our decision alone. Which of course it is but an insight to possible conditions would have been useful.
Even if you don't do any glacier, any snow could well be bullet-hard and icy in the mornings and thus you'd want 6 point crampons and walking poles at least to be safe - my experience elsewhere in popular snowy places is that the afternoon descenders turn the 'path' into a slush run where the footprints aren't flat, and often turn it into a pair of 'ski tracks' by glissading. Consequently in the morning it's a deathtrap - too hard to kick steps, and too slopey to be secure without crampons. Meilerhutte 2366m was -0.5 overnight last night so you'll probably experience this.
I've not done the route so would be interested to hear how it goes for you as I'll no doubt do it one day.
PS. Are you aware the railway line between Garmisch and Oberau is closed due to a derailment last week? The location appears to be right next to one of the main roads just south of the Burgrain motorway junction and they were using cranes on the road so there could well be more traffic jams than usual.
Thanks, yes I was thinking more about hard snow and slope as the main hazards rather than glacier.
Didn’t know about the derailment and we will be in a vehicle so thanks for the heads up!
I’ll report back after we do it, although a bout of nasty cold/flu/lurgy is currently putting the plan somewhat at risk. We’ll see!
The train crash was right by the south end of the Farchant tunnel, and google maps is showing road traffic between Oberau and Garmisch pretty much perma-red (just a couple of weeks after the Oberau tunnel opened too, which should have dramatically improved the traffic situation in the area!)
Personally I've pretty much written the Garmisch area out of my plans until the railway reopens, which is going to be a while. If you're dead set on the Zugspitze it might be worth considering avoiding the train crash location on the main road by going via Kochel/Walchensee
Not necessary, currently the easiest way to reach Garmisch is via Ehrwald on the Austrian side. If you are keen on Zugspitze, the normal and VF (Stopselziehersteig) routes from that side are good as well.
Thanks everyone for the updates. We went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen from Munich via the Neuschwanstein Castle so diverted through Austria via Fussen and so don’t have any updates on the derailment.
Unfortunately we opted to skip the Zugspitze due to us both suffering from an aggressive and lingering lurgy, so I didn’t get sight of the route and don’t have a conditions update worth anything I’m afraid. We had a partial view up what I think was the Hollental from town and it didn’t look very snowy but beyond that nothing definitive.
Thanks again for all the posts and sorry I couldn’t give any more useful info.
In reply to mcawle:
We did the Höllental route today. Long day. We took a pair of crampons, three poles and a v short rope which worked very well for the pair of us in lightweight walking boots/trail shoes on the glacier. Via ferrata was a little congested, hate to think what it’s like on a busy weekend. Significant numpty quotient, Mrs F was hit by a pair of falling poles while we waited to leave the top of the glacier. A demand for their return, rather than an apology was the best we got.
This week's Friday Night Video features 12-year-old Gianluca Vighetti, who in September 2021, climbed his hardest route to date with an ascent of TCT (9a), at Gravere, Italy. With his ascent, Gianluca became the youngest person to have climbed...