Garmisch/ Zugspitz

9,000′ Mountain Peak On Border of Germany and Austria (April 2001)

On April 9th, we headed south to Garmisch, Germany on the Austrian border.  The big (and we do mean BIG – 9,000+ feet high) attraction there is Zugspitz, a mountain on the Germany/Austria border.  It was the site of the Winter Olympics several years ago, and is a skier’s dream come true.   Getting to the top required quite an adventure, starting with a regular train, then a cogwheel train (with a big toothed gear underneath that pulled the train along a special center track) to Eibsee.  From there, we rode a cable-car (about the size of a small van) up to the top.  At one point, we were several thousand feet above the ground, looking down on snowy peaks and valleys.  Mom did really well – she’s not one for heights, you know.  On the top, the observation building is half in Austria and half in Germany.  There’s even an official border crossing with customs and a guard!  We were blessed with a remarkably clear day, and could look out over hundreds of square miles of southern Germany and northern Austria.

We were in Austria briefly as the road loops through the Alps.
A pretty view driving through northern Austria.
Our Hotel in Garmisch. The Alps (and Zugspitz) are in the background.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a German ski resort in Bavaria, formed when 2 towns united in 1935. It’s a prominent destination for skiing and ice skating as well as hiking. The town lies near the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak, with a 2,962m summit accessed by cogwheel train and cable car. Garmisch is considered the more fashionable section, while Partenkirchen’s cobblestone streets retain a traditional Bavarian feel. ― Google

ZUGSPITZ – Highest Peak In Germany

The Zugspitz, at 2,962 m above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the Austria–Germany border runs over its western summit. Wikipedia

We awoke early (as usual) and hiked out to the train that takes us up to the aerial lift.
The first leg to Zugspitz – the train!
On the second leg – the cog-wheel train – we went through Grainau, a quaint village.
Now for the scary part of the adventure – the cable car ride to the top!
And we mean the VERY top of the highest peak.
Going up, up, up…….
up, up, …. Nearing the top.
The lower station is visible several thousand feet below us. If the cable broke now, we would first drop about 2,000 feet, then roll all the way down and end up in the lake. Luckily, we had a safe trip!!!
Finally, the top!  The Summit Complex.  Half is in Germany, half is in Austria.
View from the top of Zugspitz.  Looking north, down on Garmisch and southern Germany.
Looking south towards Austria from the summit.
Advice well taken.
A wooden bird feeder at the summit.
The ribs are filled with bird food.
Looking over the Austria side towards Triol.
A family picture at the summit of Zugspitz  — just over 9000 feet.
 (Sorry about the glare through the window)
Spencer and Beth enjoying the view. “Gee, Mom, it’s a LONG way down!”
Spencer, the Master Photographer, at work on the summit.
The Summit weather station. 
Let me guess – the forecast today is cold and snowy!


After an enjoyable day exploring summit of Zugspitz, we decided to walk around the town of

Garmisch/Partenkirchen at the base of the mountain.

Beth and Spencer exploring the town. Zugspitz is in the background. Beautiful!!!
It didn’t take long to find ice cream!
On the main street through town , you can find many old buildings like this.
The stonework and window frames are all painted on a smooth stucco exterior.
Another painted façade on a building entrance.
This man was busy in the shop behind his house.
Think he might have enough firewood for the winter?
With the narrow streets, the Deutsche Post Office delivers the mail with these special bicycles.

Hope you enjoyed joining us for a tour of Garmisch and Zugspitz.

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