There is a nice deliberate play on words in Bavaria with this well known Chiemgau summit, a sort of spoonerism which, sadly enough, cannot be translated exactly to show the fun in it:
I gangat so gern auf d´ Kampenwand
wann i mit meiner Wampn kannt
(I would like to summit Kampenwand
but my large fat belly does not allow it)
Thankfully for those with a “Wampn” (a beer-fed, fat belly) there is a cablecar up the north slopes of Kampenwand. The summit zone, however, is mountaineering area and, as Kampen means a sharp rocky ridge or an arête, Kampenwand, the Rock Ridge Face, is an impressive feature among the more gentle mountains and subranges of Chiemgau Alps. Some people say that the denomination derives from cockscomb (in Bavaria Hahnenkamm or Hahnenkampl) as indeed the summit ridge looks like that.
Kampenwand is a sort of alpine sport arena, so don´t suppose to be alone there. Besides of hiking Kampenwand offers a nice little skiing area with several ski lifts. In winter you can do ski touring and snow shoe hikes. In summer mountain bikers and paragliders use the routes and slopes of Kampenwand. Several mountain huts are present for food and lodging. Many short and difficult climbing routes line up at the north and south side of our Chiemgau cockscomb.
To the north Kampenwand is the first mountain ridge south of Chiemgau plain. To the south the Schleching / Tiroler Ache valley and the Geigelstein subrange are the limitation of the mountain. Chiemgauer Hochplatte is the next summit to the east whereas to the west Prien valley is the limitation of the Kampenwand ridge.
Kampenwand has several main and minor summits, some of them like Gedererwand are seen as summits on their own. The Kampenwand main summit, however, can only be reached via an off-trail-route through dense dwarf pine thickets and some short rock climbing. The some meters lower east summit, however, bears the hugest summit cross of the German Alps. It is dedicated to the local victims of the two World Wars and can be illuminated during nighttimes. For me it is more a sort of a nightmare due to its height …
Nevertheless I like to summit Kampenwand from time to time, especially during springtime. Snow still lingers on the north and east sides of the mountain and there are less hikers than normal roaming up and down the routes.
A nice route is to ascend the south side from Schleching/Mühlau (see the Route – section), traverse the summit and go on to Chiemgauer Hochplatte. The descent to Mühlau crosses some excellent beech woods with even more excellent wood garlic plants, growing in abundance during April and May. A good harvesting action to enrich evening salads assures a healthy and great smell for the next days …..
Getting ThereMain trailheads are:
You reach these trailheads by car
The nearest railway station is Bernau am Chiemsee.
RVO bus number 9502 goes to Aschau, number 9505 and 9509 via Marquartstein to Schleching.
Routes from Schleching
These are the south routes which can be done as a hike early in the year.
Follow forest road, marked “65” to Steinbergalm and to Sonnenalm near the mountain station of Kampenwand cable car. Turn on trail number 20 to Steinlingalm. Follow trail number 66 to the summit, crossing the impressive Kaisersäle.
This route is a ski route, too
Alternatively follow trail number 62 up the southwest ridge of Hochplatte below Teufelstein, traverse to Piesenhauser Hochalm and follow trail number 65 on the south side of Hochalpenkopf and Raffen to a col southwest of Kampenwand.
Use the steep and partly secured (steel ropes) trail scrambling up directly to the summit.
Both routes are my favourite loop on that mountain. Chiemgauer Hochplatte can easily included in this round trip.
Another alternative is the forest road “206” to Dalsenalm and the southwest ridge via Markkaser to Sonnenalm and Steinlingalm.
Route from Aschau
If you don´t use the cable car, follow forest roads and trails, marked with “200” or “20” to Steinlingalm and use the trail via Kaisersäle to the summit.
More routes, especially on the north side of the mountain, start at
Hintergschwend near Aschau; the summit of Gedererwand can be included in a trip to Kampenwand; this is the main northern ski route, too.
Another northern route is that from Rottau via Rottauer Tal to Steinlingalm and to the summit.
Follow forest roads from Grassau or Piesenhausen to Piesenhauser Hochalm and the east ridge to Kampenwand.
Red Tape & AccommodationThere are no protection zones or restrictions at Kampenwand, as far as I know.
All types of accommodation can be found at
Gear & Mountain ConditionKampenwand is a fun and alpine area.
Hiking can be done mostly from early spring to early winter. You need normal hiking gear for spring, summer and autumn, hiking poles and gaiters in spring can be useful. The trails are all well maintained and marked.
Ski touring and snow shoe hiking is for early winter and spring times. Check the Bavarian avalange bulletin for your ski undertakings.
The north slopes host a nice and wellknown ski area.
Climbing routes can be found on the south faces of Kampenwand summit rocks.
Paragliding is possible in the Kampenwand area.
Mountainbiking is allowed on all forest roads. Meadows and hiking trails are closed for bikes.
Alpenvereinskarte, Bayerische Alpen, number BY 17, Chiemgauer Alpen West; with trails and ski routes, UMT-grid, scale 1 : 25.000, edition 2009
This is the best map available even if the austrian part is only an enlargement of the austrian maps, scale 1 : 50.000. The map is part of the “Alpenvereinskarten digital” edition.
Topographische Karten von Bayern, number UKL 50-54, Chiemsee, Chiemgauer Alpen, trails and MTB routes, UTM grid, scale 1 : 50.000, edition 2016
More maps are available at Kompass Verlag or Freytag & Berndt Verlag
An outburst of Daphne mezereumI have never seen such an abundance of Daphne mezereum in the Alps as on that early march day on the south slopes of Kampenwand. Enjoy some pics from this feast of blossoms and scent:
The abundance of life in springtimes showed itself in a pond full of frog spawn: