Bavarian Alps map

February 3, 2015
Bavarian Alps Map Card

The H2H starts in Munich, the beautiful, dynamic, and superbly livable capital city of Bavaria. It then goes south along the banks of the River Isar before turning to the west and climbing along the northern edge of the Alps.

Although not high compared to the peaks later in the H2H (the ridges and peaks along which you walk during this section hardly go above 2000m), the Bavarian Alps are nevertheless wonderful and challenging mountains. For the most part the trails taken are high-level ridge walks, but there is the occasional major descent and ascent to cross rivers such as the Loisach, Ammer, and Lech.

The relatively low altitude of the trails in this first section means that most years they are free of snow from mid-June on. In addition, if the winter's snows have not yet melted, or the weather is stormy, there are always easier and lower-level alternatives to the high passes and ridge trails along the way. In general, therefore, along this stretch the weather is not as much of a concern as it will be later.

Accommodations, however, are another matter. Although it will only be June, when fine weather is forecast for a weekend the huts along the way will be booked solid several days in advance. Munich is a big city and a large percentage of its inhabitants like to hike (there are over 100, 000 members of the Alpenverein in the city... out of 1.3 million citizens). A further complication: in some years Pfingstferien, two weeks of school holidays in Bavaria, fall in June. During Pfingstferien there are often school groups out hiking in the mountains, in which case huts can be difficult to book during the week as well as on the weekend.

As a result, and unusually for the H2H, for this section I recommend booking weekend nights (and weekdays as well during Pfingstferien) in mountain huts long before you start (flatland accommodations are less critical).

  • Time does not include time spent on breaks - the total time each day is probably at least an hour longer.
  • Difficulty refers to the most challenging section of trail on that day, not to the overall difficulty of the stage.
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