Zugspitze via “Stopselzieher” Via Ferrata
Zugspitze (9,718 ft), Germany’s highest peak can be climbed by many routes. The most direct route from Austria leads from the cable car station near Ehrwald via the Gamskar, the Wiener Neustädter hut and the so called “Stopselzieher” via ferrata to the summit. With @angela
While the distance measures a mere 3.7 miles, vertical meters to be covered are significant: 6,500 ft. The lake Eibsee close by and the Zugspitz summit are popular tourist destinations. On a sunny day, both the parking lot near the cable car and the Zugspitz summit can be quite crowded.
We arrived early in the morning, way ahead of the crowds. The first part of the route follows the ski slopes. Soon the trail becomes steeper and leads through rocky terrain to the pillar number four of the cable car above the Gamskar. It took us one hour to get to the end of Gamskar. From there it’s just a 30 minutes scenic hike to the Wiener Neustädter hut with breathtaking views of the lake Eibsee deep down in the valley. We took a short rest at the hut before we tackled the last part of the ascent which follows the so called “Stopselzieher” via ferrata. The difficulty of the via ferrata is A/B and route finding is easy as one simply follows the wire ropes. Once we arrived at the ridge that leads to the summit, we were lucky to finally get warmed up by the sun as for most of the ascent we were in the shadow of the north face. The summit was crowded, as always on a sunny day. We soon started descending toward Zugspitz Platt, a rocky and steep section with lots of gravel making for some good summer dry skiing. From Zugspitz Platt we followed the marked route to Knorrhütte, then Gatterl und continued via Feldernjöchl, Hochfeldern Alm, Ehrwalder Alm, Ehrwald back up to the cable car station where we started.