It takes about 20 minutes to walk through the gorge area. You then emerge in an Alpine region, surrounded by pines with huge stone cliffs and mountains, many with small waterfalls, surrounding you on both sides at an elevation of 3914' (1193 meters). About 90 minutes of walking up a mildly steep slope brings you to the Hollental Angerhutte . This hut provides both food and lodging for travelers and is the launching point for most Zugspitze summit attempts. The well-marked trail to the summit takes you to the far end of the canyon in about an hour, which brings you to the headwall of the canyon. Along the route you are will see striking peaks of three mountains...Waxensteine, Riffelwande, and Zugspitze. Then itís up the ladders and dangerous iron pegs that you must traverse (with a 1000í+ vertical drop if you fall).

One of the many ladders required to reach the summit. Note steel cable safety line to the right. Also note that I'm dumb enough not to have brought my safety harness to clip in.

Then onto the last push to the summit. There is no easy way to do it, and you would be wise to bring a harness and appropriate safety devices to clip into the steel cables that run along the most dangerous sections of the trail.

Getting closer to the summit

Zugspitze itself is a large ski resort. In winter, skiers flock here and arrive at the summit by train or cable car directly to the summit. The train is a marvel. It travels through miles of tunnels through solid rock and ends in a modern train station (indoors), just a few hundred feet from the summit.

At the summit of Zugspitze- The highest peak in Germany

Zugspitze Summit

View from the summit looking south over the Alps- Both Germany and Austria are in view

Therefore, winter storms rarely stop train service, since the train is protected form the most sever weather, as well as avalanches. The train descends via gravity only. There were several hundred visitors at the complex of restaurants and shops located at the summit, but only a handful of the tourists traveled the somewhat dangerous path up the remaining 100í to the summit. From the entire summit area, the views are spectacular, with hundred-mile vistas over the snow-covered and glacier-covered Alps. Having reached the summit, many climbers decide to purchase train tickets and ride the cog-wheel train down from the summit. The train stops at Eibsee, Grainau, and Garmisch and runs (roughly) every hour, with the last service departing around 5:00pm.

You can get train, cable, weather, and other information from: http://www.zugspitze.de

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