Hoher Fricken summit and Wetterstein range (april 2011)
Together with Krottenkopf, the highest peak of Estergebirge and the whole Bavarian Prealp range, Hoher Fricken is the most frequented summit of Estergebirge. This is mainly due to the fact that there are several easy hiking routes leading to the top which can be combined to nice traverses. It is, too, the beautiful landscape, the awesome views from the summit and the possibility for a combined “biking and hiking” which makes this summit a main target within Estergebirge.
Standing north of Wank and separated by Esterbergalm, a broad meadow col, Hoher Fricken is the southernmost “high summit” of Estergebirge, dominating the southern part of Loisachtal valley and Garmisch - Partenkirchen to the northeast.
Hoher Fricken is simply the highest point of a south - north and northeast running ridge which drops down with nearly 1.300 m of altitude difference to Loisachtal and Farchant, one of the trailhead villages. Steep meadows and woods are orientated in southeastern direction down to Finzbach valley and to the broad valley of Wallgau and Krün. To the northeast Hoher Fricken is separated by an unnamed col from the neighbouring summit Bischof.
On the southwest side of Hoher Fricken is located the Kuhflucht spring, a huge karst spring which has nearly the whole Estergebirge as drainage area. In times of high precipitation or during snow melting this spring can deliver incredible high amounts of water. The name has nothing to do with fleeing cows. It is a strangely altered latin name: ad confluctum, at the confluence. It is the confluence of this creek with the Loisach riverwhich gave the name for this interesting karst feature.
The Kuhflucht trail to Hoher Fricken is my favourite ascent route, very steep in parts but with beautiful views to the spring, the cascades and to the adjacent mountains and valleys.
Short video of the lower Kuhflucht cascades:
Hoher Fricken and Kuhflucht cirque as seen from Farchant (april 2011)
Main trailheads for Hoher Fricken are Oberau, Farchant and Garmisch - Partenkirchen / Wank cableway valley station.
use highway A 95 and road number B 2 to reach Oberau, Farchant or Garmisch Partenkirchen, Wank cableway station.
Lower Kuhflucht cascades (april 2011)
Kuhflucht spring(april 2011)
or Inntal valley leave the highway A 12 (toll road) at the exit Zirl and follow the road number 177 to Scharnitz and B 2 to Mittenwald and Krün. From there choose B 2 to Partenkirchen or Farchant.
The railway München - Innsbruck gives access to the Loisach valley and the trailheads Oberau, Farchant and Garmisch - Partenkirchen. There are railway stations at these villages.
See the railway schedule here .
It is best to use the Farchant trailheads with the railway because Farchant station is very close to the trailheads.
Main Routes Overview
View from Kuhflucht trail to Zugspitze(april 2011)
There are several hiking routes which can easily be combined to nice traverses of the mountain. Good hikers may summit neighbouring Bischof summit or go on to Weilheimer Hütte and Krottenkopf.
Red Tape & Accomodation
Hoher Fricken as seen from the north (april 2011)
In general there are, as far as I know, no restrictions around Hoher Fricken.
There are, however, two winter protection zones to be respected by ski tourists and snowshoe hikers: Hoher Fricken northeast ridge between the summit and the unnamed col between the summit and Bischof (retreat zone of snow grouses) and the lower wood zones directly north of Esterbergalm.