Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Welcome to Bavaria

Wilder Kaiser from Rotwand

The weather was so good. Why not just stay in the Tyrol? I was so tempted. But I knew I had to head north and better to do it at a leisurely pace in fine weather. So, I crossed the German border near Kiefersfelden by the river Inn and headed into the more gentle Bavarian Alps.

As it was still very sunny and a weekend the roadside huttes and car parks were very busy. And I had some difficulty finding anywhere to park near the lake Spitzingsee. I started from the Stumpflingbahn ski-lift car park on a traffic free but people busy tarmac road. There weren’t many people going up, but a lot coming down. At a junction, not having a map, I took the gamble that the Hermann-Klebber Weg would lead me to the summit of Rotwand (1884m P741 – a Major) – which in English means red wall. This unpaved road traversed back and forth through the forest before breaking out onto the alp meadow below the decidedly non-red wall of Rotwand. 
Not red wall
There was a very well worn track to the summit. 

Ignoring the cross, I admired the view south the Austrian Tyrol and north to the lowlands of Bavaria. Hey look , there’s the Wilder Kaiser.

Trig point

There was a rougher track that traversed below the wall that met a maintained path heading north. I took another gamble that this might take me back to the junction by an alternative route. Where it did take me was to a hut and a ski lift that was operating. That explained the crowds. Not for me though – there were a few hours of daylight left, the weather was great, there was a big queue, it would cost money and all I had to do was walk downhill, if I could find a way. 

Below and, sort of, in the right direction I could see another hut, the Obere Maxlrainer Alm -  but there were no signs to it. I made my way down a rough track and found that it was open and had a welcome glass of pop. No evidence of a path, though. Isn’t it odd how quickly you can become Europeanised? In GB in a similar situation I would just simply walk downhill and thrash my way through the pine forest in the hope of picking up a forest road or firebreak. I was so busy berating myself for becoming so trail dependent to notice that there was a skilift – surely one end of the skilift will have an access road going to it. So down I went and yes, there was a track and this eventually took me back to the unpaved road I had started on.
Grosser Traithen (on left) from Rotwand

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