Ascent to the Watzmann

On the way to Hocheck, with Berchtesgaden in the background.

The crossing of all three Watzmann summits is certainly one of the most charming tours in the Berchtesgaden Alps. The first stage usually begins at the Wimbach Bridge. The way to the Watzmannhaus (1930 m) leads over the Stubenalm (1150 m) and the Mitterkaseralm (1410 m). This has managed a good 1300 vertical meters. After an overnight stay in the Watzmannhaus, the actual ascent of the Watzmann begins. It goes to the Hocheck at 2651 meters. In fact, the level of difficulty increases steadily from here. While the middle peak (2713 m) can still be climbed for leisure hikers with good alpine equipment, It is to create the 2712 m high southern tip only with very good condition and endurance, and a head for heights are paramount.   The descent then goes via the Wimbachgries to Wimbachgrieshütte (1327 m) and the Wimbachschloß over the Wimbachtal back to Wimbachbrücke. I know, a bit much Wimbach, in any case, a total of a distance of 23 km to run and almost 2100 meters to overcome.

Well, my way to the Watzmann was as follows:
One day I was riding with my bike comfortably in Obeschönau and was on my way back to my accommodation, when I unexpectedly saw my host sitting with three other unknown persons at the bakery in Oberschönau. These were a local acquaintance of my host, as well as a couple who was on vacation like me. Our eyes met, and so I headed the group. Grinning, my guests immediately confronted me with a suggestive question: " ... do you want to join the Watzmann? ". Of course it was clear to him what I would answer, and so I answered spontaneously, Without really seriously thinking about the implications of his question, I definitely would like to. Of course, I always wanted to do something extraordinary. At that moment, I did not suspect that it would take place today. Only in the further course of the conversation did he tell me that it is going to start today, and in the way he told me, I also assumed that he would come along. Because I understood myself very well with my host. We had already done some small tours together, Several times we have run together on the greenstone, the local mountain of Schönau. And I also tried the exercise climbing route Hanauer Stein in Unterschönau. However, I had absolutely no idea of ??the Watzmann let alone the alpine climbing up to this time. At that point in time, I still thought that everything would still be possible today. So ascent and descent. We had it at our meeting already 12:00 clock, and at 14:00 clock, it should start only.

We walk towards our 1st destination, the way to the Watzmannhaus.

"First" is good. For me, these almost 2 hours of preparation for such a mountaineering challenge was completely idiotic. Not only did I have no idea what it meant to climb the Watzmann, nor did I have any plan whatsoever for me personally. A good two hours I now had time to prepare for this madness. I also did not own anything that could even have done so far away as reasonably prudent alpine mountaineering equipment. So my preparation was rather to borrow the bare essentials of material from my host. First and foremost, this included a backpack, without which I could have stayed right down. But he stank so disgusting stale, sweaty clothes, that I almost vomited when trying to catch my breath. Almost fainting at the smell could have been an option then I would certainly have saved a lot. So also the bad news, that my host does not come along. That gave me a damper, as I had done most of my tours so far with him. He is a really good alpinist, and that, of course, always gave me the necessary confidence. I was indeed inclined to cancel, after all, I had permanently this evil smell from the backpack in the nose. But if I had even a rough idea of ??what would come to me today, I would have canceled the tour with security.

Mountain flowers line our way and are always a nice eye-catcher during the strenuous Aufstegs. In the background the Jenner and the new Jennerbahn.

Into my brain a thought carousel turned, I was directly something beside the trace, and so I had not consciously noticed the drive to the parking lot in the Hammerstielstraße. Then our, no, actually just my madness tour began. I do not remember exactly today, but at that time I already knew that there was an overnight stay in the Watzmannhaus planned. After the first few meters we quickly hit the Stubenalm. Here, the path of the hikers, who start their hike from the Wimbach Bridge, crosses. There were not many, but they were traveling at a different pace and quickly disappeared from my window. My feet were the first to speak after a few meters. I did not think much about it. Although only 300 meters of altitude are to be mastered up to the Mitterkaseralm, it became increasingly clear to me that I was on the wrong track with completely incorrect footwear. That should have been communicated with my fellow marchers. Even my host would have noticed that a Überreiutng with my shoes is not possible. Fortunately, at the Mitterkaseralm there is a Waasertrog made of a tree trunk, also called just a wooden well. In these I could cool my arms, and especially my head and neck. That was really good, these days it was pretty hot and so I was able to literally wring it out.

We reach the Falzalm with the Hocheck in the background.

We had to keep going. Really crazy, what a torture was coming to me now. The climb was basically over for me, but the terrain was a disaster for my shoes. The very same path to the Watzmannhaus was blessed with such uneven ground, Baumwurzen and boulders raped my ankle so much, that it became a miserable drag on my feet. I kept kinking, and sometimes I even felt like I was sliding out of the shoe. My feet cramped and fatigued quickly. It was as short-lived cramps as one knows from swimming. And in addition to this heat, that continued until the Watzmannhaus for quite a while. Of course, my three comrades could have put up a very different pace, but they had to take me constantly unintentionally breaks because of me.

I arrived at the top of the Watzmannhaus so exhausted that I did not perceive anything around me. I had actually thought of it, first sweat the sweat. Nope. To be fair, I must admit that I am one of the very few who, for want of an optimal preparation, knew nothing about it. Water is really precious up here and is only served as drinking water to the hikers. Unfortunately, glacier water does not flow past the Watzmannhaus. But even if it were, I'd like to see how long it can last under ice-cold water. The idea of ??getting so sweaty into bed tonight did not make me feel happier. The first few minutes I needed to regulate my pump down to a normal number of cycles down. I still remember how my comrades, as well as all the other arriving wanderers, ran straight to this book to register. I was also warned to sign up there. Dazed, I just said, "Yes, I'll do it." " But then I had forgotten completely. Then there was also such an extra space for the hiking boots. Somehow yes already clear that these Muffeldinger can gas the bedroom quite nicely. But the boot room was also a real challenge. As if I ran against a wall, so violently creeped me worst gammel cheese in the nose.

The Watzmannhaus perched on the Falzköpfl high above Berchtesgaden and the mountaineering village Ramsau. Finally reached!

Completely exhausted, I sat down on a rocky outcrop, slightly away from the Watzmannhaus, and sinierte over my previous tour, and what will probably come to me. I also thought about my physical condition, even my totally unprofessional equipment. I looked at my footsteps, as I could have started with beach laps. In any case, my footwear alone would have been a reason to cancel the whole thing at once. But also an optimally fitting backpack is certainly not less important in alpine terrain, maybe even vital. Especially on narrow ridges, where you should be sure-footed, free from giddiness and mentally in good shape, a swinging backpack can easily change the body's center of gravity. One should not underestimate that, just as one should overestimate one's physical condition. Once you have misjudged yourself up there, you may have gone one step too far. For such a tour you have to be physically fit. I realized that now.

The Hocheck in sight begins our ascent in the early morning from Watzmannhaus. The sun creates the slightly red impression on the rocks.

A new day has dawned and our next destination has received a raspberry-colored paint from the rising sun, This fantasy-inspiring play of colors left a little forgotten the hardships before me. And so my concerns changed to light euphoria shots, which put all earthly thoughts into the distance. How automated I did all the processes, just like everyone else did. I only had my focus. Leaving the Watzmannhaus, I already saw some hikers scattered on the way to Hocheck sticking to the gray rock. Looked like little Preiser figures on a model railway. The way from the Watzmannhaus to the Hocheck was then not even so difficult to master, only my condition made me take small breaks again and again, And so I certainly needed much longer for this ascent than loud yellow signs as a temporal orientation was provided. These signs are therefore not so stupid for inexperienced hikers, because so you can calculate very well, when to what reference point, So could reach Hocheck, Mittelspitze or even southern tip, about.

A look as if I was flying over the Watzmannhaus, Ramsau and Berchtesgaden with a glider. Further back, I can also see the Untersberg and also look into the Salzburger Land.

For example, to recognize where and when you may set a time for the return journey, as an emergency plan. But right at the beginning I realized that this night has not brought much relaxation to my feet. And so the other three are running away from me all the time. Because of me, they put a stop over again, which was not so good to me. Well, they did not have to, so I felt like I was spoiling their fun with it all. So I told them from about half of the way that they should continue regardless of losses, I'm already somehow and eventually up there. I had my own pace, I would not be able to change that. Partly the path sank on loose boulders, which sometimes gave me little support. The burden on my feet but also so strong that I was so glad to at least reach the Hocheck.

Somehow surreal to see myself here in the picture, with this breathtaking panorama below me.

Arriving at the summit cross of the Hocheck, I realized immediately, it will not go on for me. But for me anyway the way was already the actual goal, and so I just enjoyed the magnificent panorama, which was offered to me on 360 ° all-round view. First I took off my shoes and sat down to the alpine soles, which always hoped to get a bit away from the snacks. It was very nice to see these birds flying acrobatically through the air, they made the sight of the otherwise solidified rock formations a little more lively. It would not have been possible for me to go further than Hocheck. I did not feel so exhausted, but at the sight of the other hikers and the chasms ahead, To the left and right of the path, I realized that my crushed shoes would not carry me further in these levels of difficulty. I would like to have said now, the way was already the goal for me. And surely there is something true about that, but with better shoes I could have enjoyed everything even better. I enjoyed the time that stayed up here. While many people may be a thorn in the side of this migration, there are always nice encounters with people. I met a variety of people with different equipment and conditions that tell me about their inspiring impressions. Again and again you meet for a short time and share the exciting mountain experience in places together. In such lofty moments one likes to talk about the fact that the everyday life seems far away, the petty worries are blown away. But when it sweeps over one of the all-inclusive mass tourism and pulls its farewell greetings in the form of contrails, as if they were throwing trash carelessly out of the window, then this just mentioned "sublime" feeling but quickly disappeared again. Even today's smartphone hype, which is tirelessly continued here in nature, gives a very ambivalent feeling in me.

Man, is the destination closer? I have the feeling that Hockeck just will not shake my hand, no matter when I look up.

On the descent to the Watzmannhaus I actually managed a few Purztelbäume, which luckily went off lightly. As a result, I learned to appreciate the trekking poles especially when descending.

Finally, the summit is within reach. That's just a bit of a boost.

As already mentioned, I stood with my knowledge about a climb to Watzmann, but also for alpine climbing at all, in the dark. Actually, I thought all the time during our entire tour, there was only one Watzmanngipel. Today I can smile about it myself, because I did not get further than the Hocheck, I had thought days later, shit, now it has not even managed on the Watzmann despite these strains. The fact that the Hocheck also belonged to the Watzmann massif became known to me only days later by my host: " ... of course you were on the Watzmann! The Hocheck is already the Watzmann". Oh really? , I was quite devastated by me. Some people are thinking clearly now, they just want to hug us. But the fact is that in the team we never talked about being on the Watzmann. Only the Hocheck was always the speech.

Wow, I did it. What a sublime sight. Here I look in the direction of Hochkaltar and the Chiemgau country.

The Alpine Chough is always a pleasant companion up here in the alpine world. But it is found mainly where the hiker takes a break. Since then falls from something most of the snack brought.

Here I risk a look in the Wimbachtal and Wimbachgries. At the back left around the corner is probably the Wimbachgries hut.

Respectfully, I watch the brave with their good alpine equipment as they move along the ridge along the ridge, albeit with a little melancholy. I felt awe of this alpine mountain world, but at the same time I was a bit jealous of the other crazy people.

A little jealous, but at the same time with a certain awe I look after the well-equipped mountain climbers. Unfortunately, this is the end for me.

Neither, that there was such a kind of crossing on which you could climb three different peaks, nor of the times that we would need for such an ascent, I had an idea. I forgot to say that my three companions were well equipped. So they could have come even further. We did not talk much during the tour. Of course, that had to do with my slow and laborious steps. I always lagged behind. In the meantime I realized that I had forgotten my purse during the whole preparatory stress. Oh, such a crap, I thought, now I have to beg for money too. After all, my comrades were totally strangers to me. Already halfway to the Watzmannhaus I realized that I would have to be the total fun brake for the three. On the one hand there was my condition, that was not exactly the best, and then my feet, which I literally tortured. This combination kept me groaning and cursing. At the same time, my lungs were so moaning that every now and then one of the three turned and asked if I had said anything. But today I can say that they are a little bit to blame for taking me with them. Today I think that with my shoes would have to be communicated in any case. On the other hand, of course, today I am glad that I was up there. It opened my eyes for a lot. Above all, the wish arouses the Watzmann Ascension once again successful. Of course, then with better equipment, so I make it at least to the middle peak.

Maybe someday there will be a continuation inform of a total crossing of the Watzmann! Somehow that irritates me a lot. And at the same time I set a very nice goal for the future. To my last sentence, I still remember one last sentence: there is hardly any greater disappointment than when you meet people who are uninterested people with great enthusiasm!

I want to breathe again, the look suggests an early end to my hardships. But far from it, at least 5 more hours are in front of me from the current point of view.
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