The Franz Fischer Hut AKA Oberreintal Hut is a small simple hut providing shelter and base camp for rock climbers in the Wetterstein Range. The hut is not like many of the big lodges in the central alps equipped with comfortable beds, restaurant, bathrooms or showers, it's just plain and simple, you bring your own food, beverages are sold by the host and you sleep in a bunk bed in the loft area.
The hut has an intensive history and bears lot's of funny stories and tales from past times. Well known climbers have stopped by and forged plans for big expeditions. Anderl Heckmair (Eiger North Face), Hermann Buhl (Naga Parbat) and Stefan Glowacz (Rock Master) were among many others, spending a few times in the rock walls of the Oberreintal Climbing Paradise.
In the past decade the amenities of the hut have improved quiet a bit and the owners raised the comfort and standard to a never seen bevore level. An outdoor shower operates with a solar heating system, a composter outhouse is installed and even the host is reached by cellular phone or email. If you are looking for a quiet place to stay over the weekend and relax, don't be surprised, the Oberreintal Hut is a crowded and thriving spot on sunny days in the summer season. Climbers also like to celebrate and party and often go to bed late.
The Oberreintal area
The Oberreintal is a high mountain valley branching of the Reintal in the Wetterstein Range. The Reintal is the main drainage from the Zugspitze, Germany's tallest mountain. The river Partnach, flowing through the Reintal is fed by the melting waters of glaciers and snowfields from the Zugspitz area. The Oberreintal has more the shape of a cirque, surrounded and formed by vertical rock faces, towers and needles, as well as knife sharp ridges leading down from the Wetterstein Crest. The Oberreintal drops into the Reintal over a steep and wooded terrace. A trail with never ending switch backs winds it's way from the river Partnach, gaining most of it's elevation in the steep high alpine fir forest, into the flat grounds of the Oberreintal cirque. The bottom of the cirque is covered with rock debris and scree and almost forms a round and level rock field of the size of a football stadium. The hut is located on the western edge of the field in a wonderful high alpine meadow. It is tucked under and in between big old Maple trees. The bench in front of the hut provides spectacular views to the legendary rock climbing walls rising across from the cirque.
The rock formations in the Wetterstein Range are Dolomite. Most of the climbing routes are solid rock, just a few routes and places are leading through some loose rock. The rock climber will find routes of all difficulties listed within the climbing grade tables. Many of the routes are equipped with drilled bolts, some are just clean free-climbing routes. High on the Wetterstein Crest, visible from the front porch of the hut, a bivouac shack provides shelter in an emergency situation. Most approaches to the climbing routes are short, and multiple climbing trips in one day are possible. If someone plans wisely it is even possible to return to the hut for lunch and go out for an other climb in the afternoon.
In the mid 1850's the Oberreintal area was visited frequently only by smugglers. There was an easy and hidden traverse crossing the Wetterstein Crest. The ridge line marks the border between Austria and Germany. In order to traverse from Bavaria to the neighboring Tyrol and vice versa the smugglers scrambeled over the Oberreintal Saddle (Oberreintalscharte) into Tyrol's Leutasch Valley. Mainly during the night hours smugglers carried coffee, tobacco and other important goods across the border. They took advantage of the darkness to be out of sight of the customs authorities.
- first filing for a petition for building permit through German Alpine Club, Bayerland
- second filing for a petition for building permit through German Alpine Club, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
- petition granted and building permit issued through the Bavarian Forest Administration
- construction of a primitive shelter in the Oberreintal, build by the Alpine Club Hoch Empor, Munich
- finish of construction work on September 10th
- first commercial climbing instructions & lesson in the Oberreintal area
- increasing visitor numbers and overnighters, to enforce the collection of overnight fees a host is hired (Local Mountain Guide Mr. Berwein, German Alpine Club Garmisch-Part.)
1934-1938 Franz Fischer
is named as the new host on the Oberreintal Hut. He is a full time care taker during the summer season and works on a number of improvements.
second period of Franz Fischer
as a full time host. His last season was the summer of 1953
- remodeling of sleeping rooms
- construction of utility shack on the back side of hut
- The owner, the German Alpine Club Garmisch-Partenkirchen, changes the name of hut officially from Oberreintal Hut to Franz Fischer Hut im memorandum of the legenday host
- new construction of an annex, private living room for the residing host
- 75 year aniversary of the hut, historical exhibiton, organized by Charly Wehrle (former host)
How to get there
In the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen take the Mittenwalder Road (B 23) towards the Ski Jumps. Before the road leaves the city limits turn right at a big trafic sign.
Park the car at the Ski Jumping Stadium in Partenkirchen. Hike through the Partnach Klamm (fee) and turn right onto the Reintal Forest Road (closed for motorized traffic). Follow forest road to it's end at the Hintere Klamm and continue the trail following the Partnach river. About after 30 minutes the trail splits at a fork into the Oberreintal trail. Turn left and climb through the lush mountain forest through about 55 swichbacks to the bottom of the Oberreintal Cirque. The trail flattens out and escapes the tree canopy leaving the hiker with spectacular views of vertical Wetterstein Rock Walls. A short climb over a steep section of scree and rock debris gets you to a little wooden gate. Walk throught the "door" and enter the Oberreintal Paradise. You will see the hut for the first time from about 500 meter distance. The entire hike takes about 3 to 4 hours.
Mountain bikes are allowed on the Reintal forest road. The Partnach Klamm is closed for bikes, but different trailheads access the Reintal road detouring the Klamm.
1) Elmau, long but easy access
2) From Garmisch, start at the Hausberg Cable Car and ride over the Partnachalm and descent into the Reintal; steep approach in the beginning
3) From the Ski Jump in Partenkirchen ride your bike towards the Partnach Klamm, about half way to the Klamm turn right on to the Partnachalm road; this is a very steep climb for about 4 KM, merges with the trail coming from Garmisch (2).
What to do and what to climb
Climb, climb, and more climbing, after that relax on the front porch with a cold beer and enjoy the gorgeous views of the vertical rock, sleep, go climbing the next day. You are in rock climbing heaven.
Just a few classic Climbs (UIAA scale):
Oberreintal Dom - Eichhorn Grat V-
Oberreintal Dom - Gonda VI
Oberreintal Turm - Brych V+
Oberreintal Turm - Fahrradlkante IV
Oberreintal Turm - Heisse Nummer VIII-
The place on this page does not allow to list all of them, they would deserve it because they are all classics.
The Wetterstein Guide Book
is the best source for all of them. This comprehensive and detailed guide book is written by Stefan Beulke, a long time local Oberreintal climber.
On lazy or rainy days, hike over to the Schachen Castle (1-1/2 HR) and visit one of the legendary King Ludwig II architectural monuments.
Other info and feesAltitude:
1532 m above sea level
May - October (depending on snow level)
a 40 mattress loft
DAV members: EU 5.50; all other: EU 11.00
Food and Beverages:
No meals available, bring your own food, the host will cook noodles, rice and soups for a small fee; Beverages like Beer, Soda and Tee is available
- German Alpine Club, Garmisch-Partenkirchen