Hey everyone, very helpful responses. Thank you.
(and western Czechoslovakia)
Hi icypeak, not withstanding the crowd factor I like Chamonix very much... but train access is not great at the best of times, especially from Dusseldorf
Thin Air - PM on the way, thanks for the suggestion. Salzburg is a long but easy overnight train ride, worth the effort. I'll being doing it.
Moni & pinzingr - yes, I am heading to near Garmisch this weekend... the small peaks and lakes near Reutte. As suggested, Oberstdorf is also on my radar, good to know about the train connection.
Mathias et al - Duss is a very long way from the alps, but since last December last year I made 15 weekend trips. At one stage I slept in a car for 4 weekend in a row. It takes some effort, but its better than sitting at home. Bad for the environment. I leave Friday night after work, drive 5-6 hours solid to reach AT. Sleep in car. Wake at 6am, drive 1-2 hours to reach my target in the Alps. Spend the day ski touring. Drive 1/3rd home Saturday evening, sleep in car. Wake up at 6am, drive a lazy 4 hours and get home before most people are out of bed on a Sunday. If the conditions deserve it i will sometimes go for a early morning tour on Sunday. But that leaves a long drive all Sunday afternoon with tired eyes.
Nikman - The train is an appealing option, although its just far enough that overnight trips are best. Ending up in Ulm at midnight is somewhat inconvenient. Trains are expensive. For some reason flying is cheaper.
I have also been looking around a bit of a wider scope and notice that the border with Czechoslovakia is relatively close, not far from Nürnburg. I think I saw some nice photos from along the Czech border, just west of Plzen? Can anyone confirm this. It would be great to visit an area that I have never ever been to.