July 11 2024

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austria-walking-holiday-zugspitze-arena-01-11.jpg

Conquering the  Zugspitze Challenge (2,962m)

As we laced up our hiking boots in our base in Ehrwald, Austria, we were both filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension. We were about to embark on the Zugspitze Challenge, one of the toughest hikes in the Austrian Alps. The hike promised breathtaking landscapes, crossing borders on foot, and the thrill of standing atop Germany’s highest peak.

So, with our Collett’s Walk Notes safely tucked in our day bags, we headed out the door…

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Crossing Into Germany On Foot

Our journey began early in the morning with a ride up to the Ehrwalder Alm via the cable car. From there the path wound through lush meadows and dense forests, gradually ascending as we moved closer to the mountain. The initial part of the trail was gentle, allowing us to soak in the stunning scenery of the Austrian Alps.

As we approached the Gatterl, a mountain pass that marks the border between Austria and Germany, the terrain became steeper and more rugged.We paused briefly at the pass, taking in the panoramic views of both Austria and Germany. The sense of crossing into another country on foot was something quite unique!

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Visiting the oldest alpine club hut in the German Alpine region

Continuing our ascent, we navigated a series of rocky switchbacks. The path was challenging but manageable, and the stunning vistas spurred us on. We encountered a few fellow hikers along the way, and although our conversations were a blend of different languages, the shared smiles and nods needed no translation.

After a couple of kilometres of crossing the bouldery landscape, the Knorrhütte came into sight. It’s the oldest alpine club hut in the German Alpine region, sitting at 2,051m above sea level. We had a short break soaking in the stunning views before heading on the final stretch of the Zugspitze Challenge.

Image by Alpenverein Muenchen.

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Reaching the Zugspitze – Germany’s Highest Mountain

After some false summits, we arrived at the Sonn Alpin cable car. It was an impressive sight!

On reaching the cable car, we purchased a ticket and headed up towards the summit of the Zugspitze on what can only be described a nostalgic cogwheel train. Once arrived at the top station we headed out onto the viewing platform and took in the spectacular 360-degree views. Standing on the summit, at 2,962 meters, the magnificent peaks of the Alps were simply breathtaking.

So, it was time to crack open a well deserved beer…

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Take on the Zugspitze Challenge with Collett’s

The ‘Zugspitze Challenge’ is one of the more challenging walks during our centre-based walking holidays in the Austrian Alps. When joining us on one of these uniquely flexible walking holidays, we’ll provide you with a selection of tried and tested walks such as this one. So, when will you be heading to the mountains?

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