rail tripping: hiking at tegernsee

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Our new boots!

After we’d decided that we wanted to take more trips to the mountains, we made the next logical decision to say that we’d also like to hike in the mountains. With that in mind, we invested in some good hiking boots.

And before breaking in our new boots, we just headed off to a nearby destination in the Alpine foothills and decided to hike. Not the smartest idea… Julius had the blisters to prove it.

Again, on a Sunday afternoon, we headed out from Munich to another place within an hour away.

Our destination? The Wallberg at Tegernsee.

The BOB train (Bayerische Oberlandbahn) connects Munich to lots of good destinations south of here in the direction of the Alps. And the good news is, although BOB is run separately from the Deutsche Bahn (DB), you can ride it with the cheap Bayern Ticket. (Maybe DB will pay me for always mentioning the Bayern Ticket?)

We got off the train in Tegernsee after about an hour’s trip, and then took a bus another 15 minutes or so to Rottach-Egern, then walked about 30 minutes to the foot of Wallberg, a beautiful mountain that sits above the lake. A bus would have taken us straight there from the Tegernsee station, but we’d just missed it when we arrived, hence the more complicated route.

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Walking this path toward the Wallberg. Such a pleasant day.

Wallberg is a popular destination, because there’s a cable car – the Wallbergbahn – that takes tourists to the top and back down. Apparently there’s still a 30 minute hike from the top of the cable car to the actual peak. From the Wallberg, the view in one direction is onto the lake Tegernsee and in the other direction into the Alps. You can, however, also hike to the top. While we were there in mid-April, they were doing work on the cable car, so the mountain was only open for hikers. No worries, we wanted to hike anyway! I’ve read that the Wallberg can be really crowded, because so many people want to ride the cable car. However, since it was still off-season, we had a really quiet day, and only encountered a few other people out hiking.

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At the foot of Wallberg, optimistic that we’d make it to the peak.

We went with the full intent of hiking all the way to the top of the mountain. However, by the time we actually got there and got started hiking, we realized we weren’t going to be able to go faster than the estimated 3 hours it took to get to the top. It was too late to make it to the peak and back down before dark, so we hiked about 1.5 hours up before turning around and coming back down.

Although we didn’t make it to the top, the views on the way were still stunning.

Within about thirty minutes, we were able to stop and capture this:

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Tegernsee

At the 1.5 hour point, we stopped for a snack and could see this:

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Looking over into the Alps

The path on the way up was smooth with gravel, but quite steep. The web site that I read called it an “easy” hike, steep, but possible for children and even strollers. (I’d like to see some fit mama or papa huffing it up that path with a stroller!) So, I was not expecting this level of steepness. It showed me how out of shape I am! The hardest thing for me was that the path never leveled out. There was no alternation of up and down. Just UP the whole way. And then DOWN the whole way.

It was mid-April, and the higher we got, the more snow we encountered. We could have made it to the top if we’d set out in the morning, but the last hour of the hike would have been with an almost entirely snowy path.

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Julius on the snow

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Cabin near the Wallbergmoos-Alm. An Alm is a pasture on a mountain where the shepherds and sheep live in the summer. I don’t know if this is a shepherd’s cabin, or not… I need to research!

So now, we are just convinced that we need to go again to make it to the summit! We will do it soon!

We came up the Sommer-Wanderweg, and went down the Winter-Wanderweg. The Winter path was not wide and paved with gravel, it was just dirt, narrower, with more tree roots/less even. But there was also less snow.

There are a couple of restaurants. One is at the top of the Wallbergbahn (cable car). Along the Winter path on our way down, we came across the other restaurant, the Wallbergmoos-Alm Berggaststätte. Another place to look forward to on a return visit!

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Happy that spring has truly sprung.

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