Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home

Hanging out at the top of Germany, 3 of 4

I wrote previously about hanging out at the Zugspitze summit from the Austrian side. Conditions had been overcast, but I’m glad the chance I took coming up on the German side worked happily in my favour.

Zugspitze is one of many peaks in the Wetterstein mountains, which form part of the Northern Limestone Alps. The Limestone Alps are composed of “softer” porous rock, in contrast with the much harder granite composition found in the central and much taller Austrian Alps.

I was over on the Austrian side of Zugspitze, and by local noon, the clouds parted to reveal a fresh dusting of snow on all of the local peaks. At over 9000 feet above sea level, the mountains, regardless of composition, all look majestic, covered in snow and illuminated under sun.

Zugspitze AustriaZugspitze Austria

“Radiative transfer” : antenna/fixture by Telekom Austria & Katastrophenfunk.

Zugspitze Austria

Southwest view – upper-centre: Schneefernerkopf; left-centre: Sonn Alpin, Zugspitzplatt; right: Zugspitzeck.

Zugspitze Austria

West view – left-centre: Ehrwald, Tirol, Austria; centre: Tiroler Zugspitzbahn.

Zugspitze Austria

Northwest view – left: Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, Tirol, Austria; right: Eibsee, Bayern, Germany.

Zugspitze Austria

North view – left-centre: Eibsee lake, right-centre: Grainau.

Zugspitze Austria

Northeast view – left-centre: Grosser, Kleiner Waxenstein; centre-background: Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Zugspitze Austria

Left: cross on Austrian side. Centre-background: Cross on Zugspitze peak in Germany.

The series:

•   Ascent to Zugspitze, the top of Germany
•   Zugspitze summit : part 1, German side
•   Zugspitze summit : part 2, Austrian side
•   Zugspitze summit : part 3, Austrian side, after the clouds cleared (this post)
•   Zugspitze : part 4, the summit and the plateau below

I made the photos above on 9 October 2011 with the Canon EOS450D camera, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit-lens, and the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens. This post is originally published on Fotoeins Fotopress at

17 Responses to “Hanging out at the top of Germany, 3 of 4”

    • fotoeins

      Hi, Xandre.

      Thank you! The views were simply and unbelievably beautiful. After a few hours on the summit, however, it was getting difficult to hang around in below-freezing temperatures, but I wanted to see how the view, the light would change as clouds kept forming, dissipating, as they rolled over the summit.

      Thanks again for reading!


  1. Laurel

    Great photos! The Zugspite fascinates me. I’ve done the Hollentalklamm with the Zugspite imposing in the background and two weeks ago did the Wank in which I had a great view of the Zugspite from across the valley and over Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I’m determined that my first time on the Zugspite will be from climbing it though, so will have to wait until summer.


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Laurel.

      Thanks! When I was hanging out in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in early-October, the weather had just turned from glorious late-summer to the variability of fall. I was fortunate to have had a good day up at Zugspitze, but the weather turned crappy the next day, a number of hikes I was considering were “closed”, and I had to leave the following day (for Flughafen Frankfurt). A number of friends have said good things about going up to Wank and the Höllentalklamm, but I probably should’ve stayed another day to try the Partnachklamm (at least), or head out to Mittenwald and go up to Karwendel. Guess I’ll have to go back! 🙂

      The climb up to Zugspitze would be rugged, but I can imagine it would be an amazing view. I hope you’re on the climb next summer!

      Thanks again for commenting and reading!


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Sam. It really is a beautiful view up top, and at 2960 metres (9710 feet), there’s enough air and it’s not that hard on the body; there’s skiing at the glacier just below the summit!

      Thanks for your kind comments, and for stopping by!


  2. eric

    Looking down on the overcast weather you just left is ALWAYS a treat. Nice post. Haven’t wandered that part of Germany/Austria. Looks very worthwhile


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Eric. I was very lucky! I took a chance, and I’m glad things panned out; I even got some dramatic photos out of the visit. I hope you get a chance to visit this part of the Alps, and it’s not even the tallest part of the mountain range!

      Thanks for your comment!


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Christy. Thanks for your comment!

      I’m happy I took the chance to go up and break through the mid-level clouds for them to break up in time when I reached the summit.

      There is a way up to the summit by foot with the help of the “via ferrata” (climbing walkway or Klettersteig), but the one-way hike lasts somewhere between ten and twelve hours. The lazy arse that I am, I did not go through with this, and as I’m a nerd for trains and cable cars, I chose this latter method instead.

      From Garmisch-Partenkirchen, one can take the (cogwheel) train all the way up to the Zugspitzplatt plateau and a short cable-car up to the summit proper. The other alternative is to ride the same cogwheel train about two-thirds of the way out to Eibsee lake, disembark, and then take a steep steep steep cable car up directly to the summit.

      You can see more about my ascent here: 🙂


  3. Dayna

    WOW. I adore these photos! Great job Henry, can’t wait to check out more of your articles!


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Dayna.

      Thank you – I hope photos in previously-published and future posts of mine will elicit a similarly good response. 😉 Thanks again for commenting and for reading!


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