A trip in the Alps
Me and my friend Torge started planning our trip approximately a month before.
At first we weren’t sure where our trip should be located exactly.
All we knew was that we want to do a 6-day trip in the Alps with housing in different mountain huts. We searched for good hiking routes and found the „Heilbronner Weg“ hiking route. The route consists of different smaller routes so we could put all our stations individually.
Both of us weren’t 100% prepared conditionally or otherwise. I would say we both had a general fitness back then with pointing out that Torge had, due to his job, a slightly better fitness.
First Day Oberstdorf – Fidererpasshütte
We took the bus from the Oberstdorf Bus Station to the Bus Station so called „Spielmannsau“. Our first route would include appr. 1200 height meters. So far so good. While families can use the „Fellhornbahn“ to get up the mountain and walk then to Fidererpasshütte, we obviously decided to hike through the forest. It was a pretty nice beginning of our trip because we could see so much old trees, the quiet nature some streams and we were on ourselves. It took us 2 hours to get through the forest and the first 300 height meters. The next hour would consist of walking nearby the valley car route to get to the tough spot. We could briefly see the roof from the „Rappenseehütte“. It was a stunning view and from this valley you can see on the picture and a perfect location for a break. The next 3 hours would be the hardest hours of the day. We had to made 700 height meters in 3.5 kilometers. My fitness got to its limit in that 3 hours. But Still it was a nice hike with no complications or difficult spots. After these 3 hours, we had enough to time to make a brief stop to refill our water bottles. I would say that refilling water in the mountains especially in the alps is generally said easy. Everywhere is a stream, some cows are wandering around and they have a basked with at least rain water too or in the worst case you melt some ice, which I did on day 4.
The last two hours were chilled so we could reach the first mountain hut to drink the first beer and eat the first Schnitzel. The Fidererpasshütte is a frequent visited hut.
The sleeping places were fine too. The only thing that bothered me where the prices for some lunch boxes you can get in the morning. But I guess if you go to a frequent visited hut in the Alps you must lower your expectations in comparison to normal hotels and/or restaurants
Second Day Fidererpasshütte – Mindelheimerhütte + Day Trip to the Geishorn
After a busy night (the guy next to us was snoring) we packed our bags and started hiking.
The second day would consist of 7km distance and some up and down height meters.
It was the most laid back route of the whole trip. A nice and fast pace was possible and only some up and downs in measure of the altitude and nothing to mention except for a stunning view down to the valley the whole trip. If you are into climbing, you can use a so called “Klettersteig” which is shorter but takes appr. the same time
The more interesting part was after we reached the Mindelheimerhütte to make a day trip to the Geishorn. It took us about an hour from the Mindelheimerhütte to the ground of the Geishorn. On the way, we heard some small stones falling next to us when suddenly a Steinbock was coming down fast paced. I guess we wear lucky that he didn’t hit us, otherwise we would have been deadly injured by falling appr. 50 Meters.
After this little shocker, we continued to reach the Geishorn. When making 400 height meters within a 2km distance, you know if you are in good health and stamina condition or not. I wasn’t. But as you can see on the picture, we did it. That’s it for day 2. All in all, I would recommend doing the day trip to the Geishorn but not recommend the Mindelheimerhütte. If you are not into the Geishorn you might as well walk further to the Rappenseehütte.
Third day Mindelheimerhütte – Rappenseehütte
This stage of our tour was a real test for Torge’s and my stamina. Our trip guide said a total of 600m down and 650m up.
The sign on the Mindelheimerhütte declared a total of 5 hours. Well 5 hours doesn’t sound so hard, does it?
We thought wrong. On a rainy morning, we began our third stage and fought against wet stones and something between water and dirt on our way down to the Schrofenpass.
Hiking down sounds way easier than it is. It might not require the same muscle strength or stamina like hiking up, but it requires 100% of your concentration. That combined with the rain it took us 2 hours down for a part that should just take 1 hour.
After a long and sunny break we decided to do the last part of today’s trip.
Finally the sky cleared up and we had a tough but all in all nice hike towards the Mutzentobel.
The last section towards the Mutzentobel required the most concentration of the day. Only secured by a steel rope next to your right arm you had to go down and up again.
Due to the rain on the morning and the long break it took us 7 hours.
I recommend the Rappenseehütte. It’s a big place with good food and nice waiters/hosts.
The beds were tremendous. More than enough room for everyone.
Fourth day Rappenseehütte – Kemptner Hütte
We looked forward so much for this part of the trip. Today we would be on our highest point of the trip only walking over a ladder one hand holding a steel rope.
We planned 7 hours and got to the Kemptner Hütte on point.
The beginning was a grey morning going upwards to make some altitude.
It was the first time we required some “soft” climbing. It was a tough start but interesting to hike with not just your feet but using your hands from time to time. As you can see on the pictures the track was going up fast. Then there it was.
The ladder we looked forward to. Going ten meters vertical we could go over the next a ladder horizontal. Sadly, we had lots of dust around but still the feeling was amazing, although it felt like Frodo’s walk to Mordor. But see for yourself.
The funniest part of the whole trip was a walk through a snow field. We obviously were the first persons of the day to walk through this field because we couldn’t see any signs of shoe prints on the snow. When suddenly Torge fell, and slide some meters down the snow field I fell as well (laughing) and slide even more down the snow field. It was not easy to make my way back to Torge because it’s not easy with common hiking shoes to get enough grip.
After 2 hours of walking through a nice tundra we managed to get us our first and well deserved beers of the day.
The Kemptner Hütte is a great place. Due to its small distance to the towns it is as frequently visited as the Fidererpasshütte.
Fifth and last Day Kemptner Hütte – Oberstdorf
The last day was a short and fast paced trip. The green grass and flowers were all around the route and with a clear sky and bright sun it was a nice walk to the valley. I say walk because you couldn’t compare the route of this day with any other route of our trip.
As you can see on the pictures you should checkout some surroundings on this route but all in all its mostly it.
Back in Oberstdorf we got to the central station to take our train back to the north (and rainy) part of Germany.
If you are into a trip in the Alps and are not quite sure which route you should go as a beginner I can gladly recommend this route.
You can find further details on the official homepage.
Make sure to leave a comment with questions or your impressions of the Heilbronner Weg.