Lenggries – Brauneck
It was again one of those beautiful days this August as we had so many this summer. And it happened to be a Sunday. The tropical heat was gone for now and so I heard the mountain calling. The challenge was how to get there. I didn’t want to get up at 6 a.m. to be on the road before the masses block the highways. But during the summer school holidays they are blocked as of 8 a.m. So my search went for a destination where I could drive to without using the highways and at the end I chose Lenggries. This small town is mainly known for being one of the closest skiing resorts to the city of Munich and you can get there by following the river Isar on a state Road. During the summer the mountains here offer a good choice of hiking paths.
Lenggries, Ski Resort in winter, outdoor paradise in summer
Skiers and lazy people can get to the top of the Brauneck with a cabin, so there is obviously a large parking at the bottom. The shortest way brings you via the Garland Alm to the summit, but since I wanted to go on a longer hike, I opted for the longer track leading over the neighboring village of Wegscheid. A very wise decision as I will find out later today. I am starting the tour through the even terrain of the valley.
Easy warm up to start with
The sky is full of paragliders who find an ideal spot to jump on top of the mountain. Along my way I see a few farm houses that are so typical for the region. Balconies decorated with geraniums and the walls have the typical paintings. Fairy tale Bavaria so to say. I come across the valley stations of several Ski lifts. At one of them called the Draxlhang I start my ascent. To get here it took me already almost an hour. The path leads me along a gravel road that has been made for the snowcats. It is rather steep since it is going straight up the mountain.
A sudatory ascent
Soon I reach a hiking path that follows this gravel road and has the advantage of cutting through the shady woods. At a station called the milk house I have a first great view of Lenggries, the valley of the Isar and the mountains to the East. Time for a rest.
I have to continue on another gravel road in broad sunshine and I start dripping real fast. But that’s part of the fun and I am telling myself how many calories I will be burning. I pass a family with 3 kids between the age of 5 and 10. The 2 older kids are obviously not that happy and the parents have to tell them what kind of delicious food awaits them at their destination.
After another hour I reach a bit more even terrain in a valley called the Kotalm. In German this name has a rather bad tasting meaning, but there are signs telling you that the name actually comes from a old Bavarian word meaning fertile grounds.
Here you will find a typical mountain restaurant. You can find pictures under this link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kotalm-Reichart-Stefan/1622789868006033?sk=photos
It reopened in July 2015 after an extensive renovation. Time for a alcohol free wheat beer. The food they serve looks and smells delicious and the service is just great. If you are taking this tour you should stop here.
I finish my beer and move on along on my way to the summit. It’s still quite a bit to climb. There aren’t many flowers in bloom that late in the year, but I see a lot of those Carline Thistles along the path. They don’t have much of a stem, so you don’t see them right away.
The first leg is done
I finally reach the first ridge that gives way to great views over the Isar on the one side and the Alps in the southern direction. That’s why I love those mountains so much. Aren’t those views just great?
Since I am hiking through a skiing terrain there are a lot of lodges on this mountain where you can get food and drinks. So there is no way you will starve here. My guide book tells me that the Florianshütte has the best Schnitzel on the mountain so I descent a few meters to go for lunch. Unfortunately they don’t have any Schnitzel today, so I am going for a special kind of sausage with a vinaigrette. Cause by now I AM starving.
And it is really delicious. This is a self service place and you have a good view into the kitchen that is spotless clean and I can watch the chef preparing my lunch. Somehow I regret not having stayed for lunch at the Kotalm. But here I have the better view to go with my lunch.
After my luscious lunch I pursue my ascent to the summit. Here on the higher levels of the mountain the paths are narrower and to my surprise there aren’t that many people around. Most of them are taking the cabin to come up and the just walk around where they are being dropped off.
At the summit it’s getting busy. A lot of guys with heavy backpacks. Upon a closer inspection I see that these are the paragliders. I stop for a while and watch them jump off into the valley. It’s only 3 p.m. and I am trying to figure out, if I would rather walk around on top of the summit, or descend by foot instead of the cabins. But first I’ll have an Apple Strudel. And afterwards I opt for the descent by foot, since I will need to burn a few more calories. 🙂
Why I am glad that I haven’t taken the shortest way to the summit
So I am collecting my stuff and start towards the station where I find those 2 Lamas. I assume that a couple of hikers are using them to transport their luggage on a hike that lasts a couple of days.
The descent is very steep and I have to follow a gravel road which makes walking rather difficult. I am slipping all the time. Along the way I come across some beautiful flowers. Another reason why I like hiking in the Alps so much.
Mother nature really knows hot to fascinate me. And I am happy that I still can enjoy those little moments in life where a beautiful flower just fills me with awe.
The gravel road brings me to the Garland Alm, where the city has built a lake to collect water for the snow machines in winter.
It looks kind of idyllic, but I am still asking myself, if we really have to change our landscapes so dramatically so that the people can go skiing in winter?
The road is still very steep and slippery. I start to regret my decision. Although I have a good profile on my shoes it is very hard to walk here. This descent uses much more of my power than the ascent. The sky is all blue and it is hot, but suddenly it starts raining without a cloud to be seen. I enjoy this form of refreshment.
Finally I come across another path that leads me through the woods and away from this gravel road. I am passing this alp which is abandoned, but the amount of garbage and empty beer bottles tells me that this must be a popular meeting spot for the local youth. But why can’t they clean up after their parties?
And then my last view over the valley before touch down. And I find those beautiful berries. But something tells me better not to eat them. They don’t look very healthy. When I reach the valley and the parking lot where my car is parked, I take a last look towards the mountain and am happy. But there on top of the summit I can see now dark clouds forming, announcing a thunder storm. And this thunder storm will follow me on my back to Munich, where I just reach my home before the heavy rain starts poring down.