Sometimes there is only half a day left for outdoor activities. Like one Sunday in the incredibly hot summer of 2015 when the weather forecast tells us about clear skies in the morning and severe thunderstorms in the early afternoon.
For those occasions you need a nice half day hike which is worth the trip. Rabenkopf is such a hike. So I like to introduce this mountain to the SP community.
Rabenkof is located in the Bavarian Pre-Alps in the immediate vicinity of the village of Kochel am See. It is a “first-row” mountain which means that you look directly down to the Upper Bavarian plains. Well known Benediktenwand is the next major summit to the east, equally well known are Jochberg and Herzogstand summits to the west. There are some minor summits surrounding Rabenkopf, like Glaswand, Bergelskopf and Hirschhörndlkopf, which are, with the possible exception of Hirschhörndlkopf, are not important summits of the area.
South of Rabenkopf is Jachenau valley as a limitation of this first alpine ridge of the Kochelsee – Walchensee – Lenggries region within Bavarian Pre-Alps.
Rabenkopf is not the highest mountain of this region but you have wonderful views from its summit as Rabenkopf stands out alone and higher mountains are a good portion away.
In june and july there is an incredible abundance of alpine wildflowers thus adding another interesting aspect to this small mountain.
I recommend the north ascent to the summit as this side has, in my opinion, the most beautiful landscape and scenery. There is a west and south route, too, but there you have to use many forest roads and the landscape is less interesting.
Trailheads for Rabenkopf are:
Cross the road and follow the forest road to Orterer Alm into southeastern direction. After entering the woods take the old, sort of deteriorated left hand forest road and ascend steeply through woods until you reach the upper part of the forest road to Orterer Alm (trail number 454). Follow this road to a huge level part in the woods, take there the right hand road and reach Orterer Alm, where you can get some drinks and food.
The forest road ends above the Alm hut. Follow the trail zigzagging up to the unnamed col east of Rabenkopf with a trail junction. Take the right hand trail and ascend the east ridge to the foresummit of Rabenkopf, called Schwarzeck. Descend shortly into a meadow col and ascend the steep summit block of Rabenkopf; the route is secured with a short iron cable, some rock scrambling included.
The route above Orterer Alm to the summit is simply beautiful!
To have a nice variation for your way back descend the south side of the mountain on a good trail until you reach Staffel Alm. Follow the left hand forest road for about 400 m and leave the road on a trail branching off to the left. Follow this trail which navigates arount the south and east side of Rabenkopf and reaches the col with the original north route. Descend to the trailhead.
The south route follows the forest roads up to Staffel Alm, starting at Jachenau village. From Staffel Alm use the summit trail zigzagging up the upper south slopes of Rabenkopf.
Starting at the trailhead there is a trail along Große Laine creek, which reaches the forest road a good bite north into the Große Laine valley, crossing the meadows of Brunnenmoos and Ascher.
Follow the long forest road to Talfleckalm and Kochler Alm. Take the left hand trail up to Staffel Alm and ascend the south ridge to the summit.
Red Tape & Accommodation
No Red Tape as far as I know.
Kochel am See
Orterer Alm; only food and drinks
Gear & Mounatin Condition
Rabenkopf is a hiking summit and can be done in spring, summer and autumn and, depending on the snow cover, in winter, too. You need normal hiking gear, in winter walking poles and gaiters.
The altitude difference on the north route is 880 m. The hike can be done with children, too. For good walkers it’s a half day hike.
MapsDeutscher Alpenverein, scale 1 : 25.000, map number BY11, Isarwinkel – Benediktenwand, edition 2011, with trails and ski touring routes, UTM-grid
Topografic maps of Bavaria, scale 1 : 50.000, map number UK 50-52, Tölzer Land - Starnberger See, Wolfratshausen - Lenggries - Kochelsee – Walchensee, trails and MTB-routes with Via Alpina, UTM grid, edition 2014
There are other maps, too, like Freytag & berndt, Kompass, which are, in my opinion, of minor quality.