High alpine experience Zugspitze
Germany’s highest mountain doesn’t just attract experienced mountaineers because of the superlative. There are many challenging routes around the golden summit cross, such as the famous Jubiläumsgrat. The modern cable cars operated by Bayerische Zugspitzbahn prove to be a reliable friend on the first or last stage of the day.
The craggy ridge between the summit of the Zugspitze (2,962 m) and the summit of the Alpspitze (2,628 m) is one of the most spectacular traverses in the Eastern Alps and is a parade route for experienced mountain climbers. The ridge runs for 5.3 kilometres and features continual ups and downs, demanding a high level of endurance, concentration and surefootedness from the climbers for the hiking time of 7 to 9 hours. They are rewarded with magnificent views over Werdenfelser Land and down into the imposing Höllental.
If you intend to tackle the Jubiläumsgrat, it’s best to get the first cable car to the Zugspitze at 8.30 am, so as to start your climbing adventure in the cool morning air. The passages are steep in places, but the Jubiläumsgrat is a strenuous undertaking in any case because of its exposed position. Once they’ve completed the traverse, the climbers then descend from the Alpspitze via the north face ferrata to the top station of the Alpspitzbahn on the Osterfelderkopf (2,050 m). If time allows, even hardened mountaineers like to take a detour to the adjacent AlpspiX viewing platform and dare to look down into the depths of the Höllental gorge, before boarding the Alpspitzbahn for the comfortable ride back down to the valley.
Besides the Jubiläumsgrat, which can also be tackled in the opposite direction, many routes lead to the Zugspitze from the surrounding valleys. The route through the Reintal is seen as the easiest, but broadest and most isolated option, offering few technical difficulties until the final ascent. A popular but extremely challenging ascent leads through the varied Höllental. You need to allow 6-8 hours for the route through the spectacular Höllental gorge and on over the Höllentalferner glacier to the Zugspitze. Ascending a total of 2,200 metres in altitude, this route is only suitable for very experienced climbers. The shortest and most direct ascent to the summit runs from Eibsee lake or Obermoos via the Wiener-Neustädter Hut and the Austrian Schneekar.
Whichever route you choose, everyone who reaches the summit can enjoy that special happiness of having conquered the Zugspitze under their own steam and will be glad of the trip back down on the Zugspitze cable car – fast and kind to the knees – after some well-earned refreshments in the modern restaurant ensemble Panorama 2962.