Adventures in the Alps -- Part I: Mittenwald

We arrive in Mittenwald on the afternoon of Thursday, 15 September 2005, after journeying for seventeen hours (by car, train, plane, plane, train and train). From the Mittenwald station, Scott took this shot of the Karwendel, where we would go the next day. If you look closely, you can see the top of the Karwendelbahn (the cable car to the peaks) at the top, just left of center.

We walk to our lodging with our suitcases on our backs, passing this hayloft along the way.

We stay the first night at Haus Kriner, at 25a Schöttlkarstrasse. It is very nice, just what we wanted.

Tel: +49 (0) 8823 8439
Fax: 0049 8823 8038

Mittenwald is a lovely town. It is famous for the painted walls of its buildings. We loved the fact that many people were bicycling and walking.

On Friday, once more wearing our bags on our backs, we take the aerial tram up to the Karwendel. Here we are looking down on Mittenwald from the cable car as it leaves the town. Off to the right in the distance is the Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany. (We're glad we took a look at it from here. By the time we get close enough to go to it, it will be socked in.)

On the way up, we can see the trail down to the Mittenwalderhütte where we intend to spend the night. It looks... er... exciting!
Here is a Karwendelbahn car arriving at the top.
At the top, we take our time playing around, climbing up to the high points. Here we are looking down on Mittenwald below. You can pick out the Haus Kriner, right next to the railroad tracks.

Scott is delighted to find we can follow a Klettersteig (climbing way).

Nice view, eh?
Scott is totally in his element! Some of those peaks behind him are in Austria.
More Klettersteig. Look closely, Ellen is standing on iron pegs in the rock wall.
Back down at the Karwendelbahn station, we pause to take on some refreshment and bask in the mountain sunlight. Rascally birds seem eager to share in our booty.
One more adventure on top before heading down to the Hütte: walking through the Dammkar tunnel. This 400m long tunnel connects from the Karwendel to Dammkar.
Here's the scenery from the other end of the tunnel, at Dammkar.
Now we are going to hike down to the Mittenwalderhütte. This is not a ski route! "Lebensgefahr" translates as "mortal danger."

And, indeed, it doesn't look like you would want to ski down this.Can you pick out our trail? (Hint: it's switchbacking down on the left side of the photo.)

By this time, it is about three in the afternoon.

Needless to say, it is a LONG hike down. (Four hours, actually.) In this shot, it is starting to get dark, and there is Mittenwalderhütte below. Still quite a ways below...

But we arrived safely, had dinner, and slept as well as you can sleep sharing a room with five strangers, while the wind slams rain on the roof and windows all night long.

You can reach the hut at Tel.: +49 (01 72) 85 58 87 7

Here are our hut-mates, the morning after.

In the morning it is still raining, though not as hard. We decide, rather than hike to the next hut, to hike back down to Mittenwald and spend the next night in relative comfort. And by comparison to the day before, the steep trail down to Mittenwald from the Mittenwalderhütte is a piece of cake.

Go on to the next ALPS adventure.

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