Hike through the „Wolfsschlucht“
This tour is for the biggest part of it a rather easy walk but the ascent through the „Wolfsschlucht“ (wulf’s gorge) to the summit of the „Schildenstein“ should only be clambered up if you are in good shape and not afraid of heights. In tour books this tour is marked as difficult.
This year I wasn’t really looking forward to my birthday. Actually I don’t have a problem with my age, but in my head this new first number didn’t want to go together with how I feel. So I decided to proof myself, that I am not old yet and take this tour as a chance to get accustomed to the 50. It did work.
Wildbad Kreuth, ancient springs in the middle of the woods
You actually could reach the parking lot in Wildbad Kreuth a bit south of the Tegernsee with public transportation. But this takes quite some time and the journey to the starting point and back home would take too long. So I took the car and parked it at the Wanderparkplatz which is not too big and is against a small charge.
Before I start I use the map above for orientation. It’s supposed to get hot on this day, so I put on some sunscreen and off I go. To begin with I walk along a well prepared gravel road along the Weißach river direction „Fischzucht“ and „Siebenhütten“. The Fischzucht used to be a fish pond where trouts and other fish were bred for the Bavarian kings. This walk is a good warm up. The mountains on the left and right side aren’t that high and grown over with dense forest al the way to the top.
The Weißach valley
After about 45 minutes I reach the Siebenhüttenalm. It looks very nice and I probably will stop here the next time I am in this area, but today it is too early for a break. I just started the tour and I can’t eat and drink already. Right after the alp follows the first ascent which is not too exhausting and very shady on top. When I finally come out the forest I am on the Weißachalm.
Hike through the Wolfsschlucht
I am lucky and have great weather again but it’s getting pretty warm. And from this point there is not much shade. The rest of the tour leads mostly through open terrain and so I use the few places under shady trees for short stops. The road turns into a small path and leads along the Felsweißach. Why the name of rocky river is well picked, you will find out later.
After a while the path leads right into the river bed and you will have to check for the signs in order to not get lost. I guess that the creek becomes a river after every bigger downpour, especially in spring when the snow is melting, and therefore it is not possible to have a real hiking path with signs.
The small Wolfsschlucht
After a while you will reach the junction to the small Wolfsschlucht. This is a dead-end path and you will have to turn around and take the same way back to this junction. I follow it for a few minutes but decide to go back to continue my tour on the original planned path.
So I keep following the bed of the creek and soon I see the wall in front of me that I will have to climb through. This must be the heavy duty part of the tour that was mentioned in my guide book.
Most hikers just walk up to this waterfall and then walk the same way back. It is very refreshing. Those who dare can take a dip in the cold water of the waterfalls basin. I should have filled up my water bottle here. Later I will regret that I didn’t do it.
I take a break and watch the scenery in awe. It is very pretty here.
The difficult ascent
A few minutes later I continue my tour. I am well aware that the most difficult part of the tour lies ahead of me. According to my guide book quite a few hikers did give up while climbing through this wall and did turn around. Yes, it is rather strenous but to climb donwards seemed to me even more difficult than fighting my way up.
Right next to the fall the path rises steeply upwards and soon I reach the first part that is secured by a steel cable. I have to admit that I was sweating real fast and I had to take small breaks every once in a while to catch my breath. In between the rocks I found those small bell flowers, aren’t they cute?
Wherever possible the path leads uphill in serpentines. So every once in a while there is more or less even terrain where you can catch your breath. The turning points of those serpentines are close to the abyss. That’s why you should definitely not be afraid of heights.
A look back into the valley
During my short breaks I am getting a better view of the valley with every meter I gain in height. In the back you can see the Wenigberg and behind it the Risserkogel is rising slowly into view.
In one of the view small woods on the mountain I find these beautiful Turk’s cap lillies. As you might have noticed in my earlier posts I just love wild flowers. And I am happy that they are still here to be admired. Let’s hope this stays like this for generations to follow.
Difficult rock beams that are secured with steel rope alternate with green meadows and woods. A strenuous hike through ever changing scenery. But I am hanging on pretty good. No, I am definitely not old and rusty, yet. 🙂
Every once in a while I get glimpses of the neighbouring small Wolfsschlucht. It’s going on noon, the temperature rises, and my water is vanishing fast. Should have filled this bottle at the bottom of the waterfall. How far till I have reached the top? The beautiful views of the valley make the hassle worth it. Great scenery.
Just before I reach the top the terrain gets a bit smoother and is filled with blooming Alpine Roses. Also called the intoxication of the alps. This plant is related to azalea and rhododendron and if you see a meadow covered with those plants in bloom it is exhilarating. Well, at least I think so.
So finally I have made it and am standing on the saddle of the mountain. The path continues rather evenly over a green meadow. I enjoy one last view back into the valley.
The worst is done
I earned this short break up here. Beautiful scenery and the sky is very stereotype blue and white, just as it has to be in Bavaria. 🙂 Ok. The clouds are already over Austrian territory.
From the saddle you have a great panoramic view. Far in one of the valleys to the east I can see the Achensee. And then I suddenly see this impressing rock wall behind the trees. I am not sure but this should be a mountain called Halserspitz.
I had planned to walk all the way up to the summit of the Schildenstein. Would have taken just a few minutes but another ascent of about 300 feet. Since it was pretty hot now and I had to admit that the ascent through the gorge was somewhat exhausting, I decide to skip the summit and continue directly to the next alp where I will get a refreshing drink. This will take another while, but at least I am walking downwards.
The Königsalm, a small gem
The descent continues rather smoothly. Green alps are replaced by small woods and vice versa. Ever since I started my climb through the rocks I haven’t seen a living soul anymore and no animals either. Not even the obvious cows. The more I am startled when suddenly this guy comes out of the woods carrying his mountain bike on his back. Do I have to understand this? I can imagine that it is fun to ride down the mountain on your bike but it would never come to my mind that I want to carry my bike uphill for doing this.
And finally I see the alp down in the valley. Salvation is near.
A few minutes later I am crossing this wooden bridge. This is the chance to fill up my water bottle with the crystal clear water of this creek. A few more steps and I have reached the Königsalm. This was a hunting lodge of the Bavarian kings, thus the name. I have read somewhere that emperess Sissi did walk up here, while the Russian tsarina made her brought up here befitting her rank in a palanquin. I hope for her that it was an open one and she could admire the scenery. The first non-alcoholic beer is gone in one gulp, but for the second one I am taking my time. This is soooo good.
After this refreshment I continue my descent which is not very difficult. And there they are the obligatory happy cows. And a few fellow hikers I did meet back at the cabin. So I am not the only one left on this planet.
The descent, a leisurely stroll
After a while I reach the next cabin. But the Geißalm is not open to the public and apparently abandonded. Despite its idyllic setting.
On my way I do realize though that it is not that easy to reach this cabin. At least not with a vehicle of any sort. This means that you can’t easily transport things up here or bring anything down into the valley. Soon the path leads into a forest. Since it still is very hot, I am happy to continue the tour in a shady environment.
Soon I reach the valley of the Weißach. I was here already this morning. Passing the „Fischzucht“ again. There is a restaurant here, which certainly does serve fresh fish. This reminds me that I haven’t been eating a lot today, but I have something else on y mind for a snack. I haven’t seen this fir that surrounds this rock with its roots this morning. Soon I do reach the parking lot where my car is parked.
Here’s my conclusion: I still can hike tours that are a bit more difficult. And after such a beautiful day in the mountains I am ready to accept this so much hated figure.
Kloster Reutberg, a dream of a beergarden
On my home I take a break at the Klosterbräustüberl Reutberg.
I have a reservation here in September for a family reunion. Since I just knew their website and it was on way home, it does make sense to stop for a snack. The Obtzda (mashed cheese with spices, a typical Bavarian snack) is great. I am confident that my family will love this place. Especially the magnificent view. I hope the weather will be fine.
I hope you like my post and are ready for a tour in the mountains.
Talk to you soon.