50 participants from eight countries, 14 mountain guides, Germany’s highest mountain, a hotel by a lake and ideal weather conditions (something to be grateful for, given Germany’s disappointing summer in 2014). On Sunday, 14 September, the first ever HANWAG ALPINE EXPERIENCE started at Grainau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen against the unbelievably beautiful backdrop of the Eibsee Lake and the Zugspitze.
Hundreds of hopeful HANWAG customers had registered online for one of the limited places. We were delighted to see so much interest, although it made the final selection a difficult matter.
On the first day (Sunday), after the welcome session and briefing, participants had chance to get to know one another and meet their mountain guides. In addition, everyone received a pair of HANWAG boots for their chosen route and hire equipment if required. There was plenty of time to get everything ready.
On Monday morning, some of the groups were up at the crack of dawn. The early birds caught not worms, but the autumnal sunrise at the foot of the Zugspitze. Each of the four groups was shuttled to their respective starting point for the four different routes: the Reintal, the Höllental, the Stopselzieher (Corkscrew) and the Jubiläumsgrat (Jubilee Arête). The teams were accompanied by twelve mountain guides from Mountain Elements in Bad Aibling. The mountain school is run by Hanwag ProTeam members, Michi Stacheder and Benno Keill. They specialise in mountaineering events of this nature and are experts at what they do.
Here’s a brief description of each of the routes: The high-alpine Jubiläumsgrat proceeds from the Alpspitze via the HANWAG Bivouac Shelter to the summit – an exposed, alpine experience. The Höllental is a more traditional and extremely varied route that passes through an impressive gorge and involves crossing a glacier. The Stopselzieher starts from the other side of the Zugspitze, i.e. in Tyrol and winds its way up through wild and isolated terrain – it’s still virtually an insider tip. The Reintal route is the longest of all four routes and offers the most spectacular views – for trekking aficionados.
All four routes shared the same goal. The plan was to meet the following day at the Münchener Haus on top of Germany’s highest mountain (2,962m). Words alone cannot do justice to the impressions gained en route, however the happy glowing faces at the summit and spectacular photos speak for themselves.
As the following day was a free day, everyone could really let their hair down and celebrate at the evening barbecue on the Eibsee Alm.
It was an unforgettable alpine experience – and a great premiere!