On the border between South Germany and Austria, the Garmisch area offers a wide range of activities, from rock climbing to ski touring. Surrounded by a wild unspoiled environment, this all-year-round destination will certainly amaze you.
Discover the top 5 programs in this area together with Rudi Muller, a local IFMGA mountain guide, who is a member of the Explore-Share guide’s community.
Only 1-hour drive from Munich, the German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen awaits you with outdoor activities for every season of the year. Lakes, conifer forests and rocky mountains make this place a true natural paradise!
This large area in the Bavarian Alps is ideal for hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. It’s also a top winter destination for ski lovers.
At Explore-Share, we help you to organize your next trip by connecting you with certified mountain guides around the world. Thanks to guides’ deep knowledge, we are able to provide information about the best itineraries and activities in each travel destination.
This time, we talked with Rudi Muller, an IFMGA mountain guide based in Garmisch. He offers many trips in the South of Germany, so we asked him about his five favorite activities and where you can do them. Here they are, so take a look and start planning your next adventure in the mountains!
1. Rock climbing in Oberreintal
If you want to start alpine climbing, this is the ideal playground for you! Close to Garmish, the Oberreintal Valley is considered a Mecca for rock climbers. However, still very few people come to this remote area.
Oberreintal has a lot of history. In fact, climbers started to go there in 1920. Rudi enjoys this place very much because it looks today as it used to be in the past.
Besides, he considers it an ideal destination for a short weekend break. After an intense day facing the classic climbing routes, you can hike for 2 or 3 hours towards Franz Fischer Hut, a small and simple mountain hut where you can spend the night.
If you have a trip in mind involving both a basic training and some practice in the rocks, you should join Rudi’s program for a 2-day alpine climbing course.
The best time of the year for this trip is between June and September.
2. Hut to hut hike in Garmisch-Meran Alps
A great 7-day hike, not very difficult, but for people with some experience! Rudi recommends this trip as a very good alternative to the popular E5 itinerary, that is usually very crowded.
Starting from the town of Garmisch, following the Alpine ridge through Austria until reaching the Italian destination of Meran, you’ll explore an amazing region of the Alps.
Plus, you’ll stay each night in a different mountain hut of Germany, Austria and Italy. Some of these huts, says Rudi, are in such remote places that you’ll have the feeling of being alone in the mountain!
When is the best time to go? From June to September.
3. Ski touring in the West and East mountain ranges around Garmisch, in Austria.
In the Garmisch area, in the border between Germany and Austria, there are very nice places to go ski touring. To the East, the region of Mittenwald and the Natural Park of Karwendel. To the West, the Lechtal Alps Region.
Even though the mountains here are not as high as the French and Swiss Alps, you can find long ski runs up to 2000 meters down.
One of the best things about this region, says Rudi, is the great mix of cultures from Bavaria and Tyrol.
Another important thing is that there are comfortable, charming and historical huts where you can stay for the night at a good price. And food is very good too!
The best time to plan a ski touring trip here is from January to April. You can take a look at Rudi’s programs in Kardenwel, Otztal and Stubai. All of them are great opportunities to learn the basic things about ski touring and enjoy this exciting activity!
4. Ice climbing in Pitztal
Pitztal is -without any doubt- a paradise for ice climbers. Its frozen waterfalls, incredible gorges (some of them, very difficult ones) and even a glacier ice cave, are some of the reasons why crossing from Germany to this Austrian spot should definitely be on your list.
For advanced ice climbers, Rudi offers a 2-day ice climbing course, exploring some of the best multi-pitch routes in this alpine valley. After a very complete training, you’ll practice ice climbing in mix routes with both rock and ice. To reach these routes there’s a 1-hour hike. Then, you can stay in a nice and charming hotel in the valley.
If you are a beginner trying to make your first steps into this sport, you will also find an option suitable for you. In Pitztal there are more than 50 climbing routes for almost every level of difficulty.
The season for this activity is winter, between January and March.
5. Freetouring in Zugspitze
Have you ever heard about freetouring? Well, it’s a mix between ski touring and freeride skiing. You can enjoy an amazing freetouring journey in Zugspitze, the best skiing spot in Germany.
At 2962 m, Zugspitze is the highest mountain in the country. It’s also a top destination for winter sport enthusiasts, with 20 kilometers of natural snow slopes.
Taking the cable car to the top of this mountain is certainly another highlight of this trip. The summit of Zugspitze offers a stunning view of almost 400 peaks in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
About Rudi Muller
Even though he began his career as a pilot, he soon decided to follow his biggest passion: the mountains.
Nowadays, he’s a certified IFMGA mountain guide taking clients for amazing ski and climbing adventures not only in Germany -his home country- but also in many other European destinations like Spain, Italy, France and Norway. He also likes exploring other countries such as Nepal, Chile and Kyrgyzstan.
He is currently working together with another local IFMGA guide, Alexander. In addition to the trips we mentioned, Alex is also offering trail running courses.
Even though there are many possibilities for traveling around the Garmisch area, you can always go a little bit further. If you are traveling for several days during winter season, you should also consider the famous ski resorts of Arlberg and Innsbruck, in Austria.
We hope you find this article inspiring if you are planning a trip around the South of Germany. Don’t hesitate in contacting Rudi to practice some of these exciting mountain activities!