With 2000m of altitude difference from Lake Königssee to the Watzmann-Südspitze Watzmann-Ostwand (E-face) is the highest rock face of the Eastern alps. As it is technically not very difficult, hundreds of climbers make their way through Watzmann-Ostwand every year. The altitude difference, the danger of unforeseen changes of the weather and the difficulties of finding the routes, however, should not be underestimated.
Berchtesgadener Weg is the least difficult (short passages III) and the most popular route through Watzmann-Ostwand. More than 2/3 of the climbers choose this ascent. Compared with the other classic routes it was discovered very late (Aschauer and Schuster 1947, missing Münchner Weg). You do not need no ice equipment (like Kederbacher Weg) and many parties even climb Berchtesgadener weg without a rope.
From the village Königssee take the boat to St. Bartolomä. You can stay overnight at the Watzmann-Ostwand-Hut (only for climbers!). Some climbers start with the first boat in the morning, but this can only be recommended for those who know the route or intend to bivouac anyway. If you miss the last boat in the evening, it is NOT recommended to hike to St. Bartolomä via Kührointalm (the only possible way). This takes 4h and you have to descend the steep Rinnkendlsteig by night. So check the timetable or call Königssee-Schifffahrt (Tel +49 / 8652 / 9636-18).
Start early in the morning (1h before sunrise!) and hike to Eiskapelle (830m) on the marked route (1h). Here all Watzmann-Ostwand-routes begin
From Eiskapelle nearly 1900hm. III (some short passages, altogether 60m), II (long sections) and easier. 6-8h.
A detailled route description will follow soon!
Best season: Due to the snow on the inclinated bands the danger of avalanches persists at least until May. Be aware of rock-fall until the last snow has melted in the summit zone. You can expect the best conditions in late Juli, August and even September.
As I said before, a rope is not compulsory for experienced climbers, but nevertheless highly recommended.
The booklet "Watzmann-Ostwand" (ISBN 3763341412, delivered by buecher.de or amazon.de contains all necessary route-information and very good overview photos.
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