For this tour you will need to be in good shape since you will climb quite a few feet uphill. The reward for doing this is an awesome view almost all of the time over the Ehrwalder Basin and the Zugspitze. The trail is easy to walk and apart from the last piece to the summit of the Ups there are no difficult points to master. The ridge between Ups and Daniel is rather narrow. For this stretch you shouldn’t be afraid of heghts. This hike definetly enters my top ten.
Height differnce in the ascent/descent: 4,365 ft.
walking time: 6.5 hours
The big summer heat had cooled down a bit and the weather was supposed to be quite good. So there was no holding back and off I went into my beloved mountains. I had this hike on my bucket list for quite some time already but always decided to take another tour. By hindsight I can’t understand why. These breathtaking views outnumber by far many of the ones I saw so far.
You can reach Leermoos easily by train and the tour starts right at the train station. However on this special morning I didn’t get ready in time and decided to go there by car which I could park right at the station in Leermoos.
The trail passes on the other side of the tracks. There is no official crossing, so I walk over the rails. Already here at the train station the views are incredible. To one side the Zugspitze with the Ehrwalder Alm and the Sonnenspitze next to it. When I turn around I look straight at the Grubigstein. It still is rather cool on this morning and the sky starts to get covered with clouds. Doesn’t look like this will be a sunny day. Nevertheless I am looking forward to this demanding tour.
Shortly after the station I reach the first sign to the two summits. A short ascent brings me to this bench. Here I am leaving the gravel road and follow a small path into the woods. In the south I can see some blue dots on the sky. Will the sun come out after all? On one side it would be great, on the other I do enjoy the cooler temperatures at the moment.
The trail runs sideways along the mountain and rises slowly. Here in the woods I see the first mushrooms. The air smells tangy and I enjoy the silence. Soon I reach an opening with grazing sheep. Untill now I just saw two other hikers that are going on this same tour.
A few minutes later I cross another forest road. I guess that’s the road leading to the Tuftlalm. Unfortunately there is no real signage here. But at the far end of this turn I see a path leading back into the woods. That has to be the trail I am looking for.
So I take a few shots of this great panorama and continue. Just a few feet later I reach the path again. That’s the beginning of the most strenuous part of this ascent. The trail leads straight up a steep hill. I just hope it doesn’t continue like this all the way up to the summit. This would be heavy duty and probably a bit too much for me. But I am lucky and about 45 minutes later I am reaching the forest road again. And there I stumble over a sign showing the way back to Leermoos. The sign showing back into the direction where I came from says that this is a difficult trail. Ok?! Why didn’t they put such a sign at the entrance to this stretch? Well, what doesn’t kill us, makes us just harder.
At least the way to the summit has good signs here. A few more minutes I continue to walk through the woods and soon I am standing on a pasture. From this meadow I do get the first glimpse of the two summits I want to climb today. Still a few feet to walk uphill. But now I have the goal in sight. That helps to motivate me when I am getting tired during the hike.
After crossing the pasture the trail leads back into the woods. Again there is a short stretch with a rather steep ascent. A few minutes later I reach a crossing. The trail to the right leads to a panorama platform they have built here at the Tuftlalm. Those rocky bulges look interesting. On the side of the trail I see a few larkspur in full bloom. But: You might admire them and take pictures but you shouldn’t touch them. They are poisonous.
I take the trail leading straight ahead to the cabin and shortly after I have this great view of the cabin and the two summits behind. There is another trail leading from the cabin to the platform. The location is chosen perfectly. Look for yourself.
This view is litterally breathtaking. I am standing on this platform and am thrilled. Just for this view it has been the right thing to do and get up early in the morning. Don’t you think?
At one point I have to get away from the platform and walk back to the cabin. For the time beeing I just pass it. I will come back on my descent. And then I’ll certainly take a break here.
The cabin looks very inviting. There is a sign that the landlord will offer grilled chicken today. Sounds delicious. I’ll see if there is one left for me when I return. Here at the cabin I see a few more people for the first time today. But it’s still rather early. Guess there will be more people when I’m coming back. At the mountainside behind the cabin sits a small chapel. Here I have two choices. One trail leads straight to the summit of the Ups. I read somewhere that this path is very rocky towards the end. That’s why I decide to follow the sign, leading to the Daniel.
The trail leads again into the woods and rises slowly over serpentines to the summit. From time to time I get great glimpses of the Ehrwalder Becken on the valley floor. Since the sky is more and more overcast the temperatures stay in the comfort zone. But for my shots I would appreciate a bit sun. One can’t have everything.
While I am marvelling once again at this panorama I have to think at one of my hikes from last year. That time I went to the Ehrwalder Alm at the bottom of the Zugspitze and walked from there to the Seeben- and Drachensee.
This incredible mounatin scenery fascinates me again and again. It is very impressive to see what mother nature has created here. Meanwhile the forest has turned in woods of mountain pine and I do have the full panorama in front of my eyes. And the two summits I am ready to „conquer“. The goal seems to be close.
From time to time I have to cross rocky fields. That’s not too bad since the trail is still well beaten. Along the way I come across quite a few more flowers in bloom. I am a bit astonished to see alpine roses still in bloom. Their time is usually in early July. When I took this tour it was already mid-August.
The trail continues through a dense forest of mountain pine but the short rocky pieces are becoming more numerous. Since I am getting closer to the summit that’s no surprise. Those rocks aren’t that eternal after all. There is another crossing. To the left I would reach the rock across which I will have to climb to the Ups. That’s a bit busy at the moment, so I cross over to the summit of the Daniel first.
The last stretch to the summit of the Daniel is a bit exposed. When you are sure footed and not afraid of heights it is easy to master. The trail is well beaten and good to walk. And then I have accomplished it once again. I am standing on top of the summit and am once more speachless. This view is just awesome.
Too bad that the sky is now completely overcast. With sunshine and a clear view you could see a good deal farther. But even with this cloudy sky the view is very impressive. While I am sitting here and enjoy the scenery I am asking myself again why I didn’t do this tour earlier.
There are a few crows flying around the summit. They do know that those humans won’t do them any harm. The opposite is the case. The people leave them breadcrums that they only have to pick up.
I could sit here for hours and admire the scenery.
Isn’t that unbelieveable?
The view to the east direction Garmisch and Ammergauer Mountains is impressive, too.
When I am walking back towards the summit of the Ups I realize where it’s name comes from. Oops! That’s steep on all sides.
On the summit of the Ups there is no cross. A metal pole could be the rest of a cross, or a cracked sign. From this summit yu can walk on an alternate route back to the Tuftlalm. But as I already mentioned it apparently leads over huge rocky terrain. So I am taking the same way back as in the ascent.
Here on the summit there are a few more people. But not that many. So I soak in the fresh mountain deeply and enjoy the view for a last time. And then I am starting the descent with a heavy heart.
The advantage of the descent is that I don’t have to keep stopping and admire the view. I have in front of my eyes all the time. I am enjoying the descent to the full and soon reach the Tuftlalm again. Now it’s time for a longer rest. Instead of the roasted chicken I do order the Kasspressknödel (panfried dumplings with cheese). Extremely yummy!
Before going on the last stretch into the valley I admire the great view for a last time. I certainly will come back here. This time I take the trail that runs underneath the platform and thus come across those interesting rock formations with fascinating colours.
On the descent into the valley I do find the „easy“ trail back to Leermoos and reach the forest road at the point where I crossed to the difficult trail. On the ascent I just should have follwoed this road for a few feet to find the sign.
Thus ends another spectacular day in the mountains. On my drive back home I have to realize though that it wasn’t a good idea to take the car. I hit the exact moment when the last teleferics came down from the Alp- as well as the Zugspitze. It takes me almost an hour to make the 15 miles between Leermoos and Garmisch. The next time I am taking the train again.
I hope this tour does fascinate you as much as me. If you want to hike it and have questions do not hesitate to contact me.