“If I’m at the highest point in Germany, can I see Italy?”
Over the years, I’ve seen at various times the claim made about seeing Italy from the tallest mountain in Germany.
I’m startled by the winter morning sun, streaming through the window into my hotel room in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I rise slowly from the bed, barely able to keep my eyes open. I shuffle across the room, and pull the small linen drapes aside. It’s blue everywhere, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. My eyes are now wide open, heart pumping with excitement, because I know skies are gonna be clear up top. Later I learn forecast conditions for the Zugspitze summit are excellent: mostly sunny, visibility out to 160 kilometres (100 miles) with a high temperature of -8C/+18F. Cold, but very doable. It’s also why I have with me 70-300 glass for the long zooms.
Below I show photographs with sightlines and their corresponding average azimuths*: east-southeast (107 degrees), southeast (138 degrees), south (175 degrees), southwest (210 degrees), west-southwest (250 degrees). I label specific mountain peaks of interest in addition to the flag of the country where the mountain is located. In a few cases, mountains lie along the border between two nations in which case I provide two country flags. For the labeled peaks, I’ve also provided further information about mountain heights and sightline distances in the map below.
Spoiler alert: not only am I able to spot mountains in Italy, but also other peaks in Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
( Click here for images and more )