Koenigssee circuit compressed

Koenigssee circuit compressed

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 47.54531°N / 12.97297°E
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 21, 2010
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer

The plan

After returning from the Ecrins tour with Sebastian my mind was up for some solo trekking.
On Wednesday the 18th of August the radio promised great weather for the upcoming weekend. This was for sure the last rise of summer 2010. I spontaneously planned a hiking circuit around the Königssee, located at the most south eastern part of Germany.

The area is a protected national park. The Königssee is only 600 meters above sealevel. To the west of lake the famous Watzmann eastface rises more than 2000 meters and therefore is known as the highest face in the eastern Alps.

The circuit is called “Reibn” which is Bavarian slang and hard to translate. Maybe “burner” might come close but please don’t blame me if that’s not a good translation. The “Reibn” is pretty popular for a multi day lasting ski tour in winter ( Große Reibn - A Berchtesgaden Ski Adventure ). In summer most online entries I found used to do the round in 4 hiking days. There are some variations and different possibilities using huts.

I studied some digital maps, read the reports of others to find out, that the many huts on the track make this circuit popular for all kind of hikers. Since I was solo and wanted to use the hole day with no need to arrive at a hut after 4 hours I decided to go for a two day try starting at the parking area at Königssee. From there I wanted to go around in the order of the clock doing a big right round.

Day one

Profile day one
Close to Stahlhaus ...

I drove in Friday night, slept in Berchtesgaden in hotel and started before the sun came up behind the eastern mountains around 8 on Saturday.

My first goal of the day was the 2276m high Schneibstein.

Starting at some more than 600 meters this was some altitude to cover. The route follows parts of the Jenner skiarea which was not very inspiring at the beginning, but after passing by underneath the Jenner summit cablecar station pretty soon the Stahl Haus hut is reached.

I continued to Scheibstein summit and reached it around noon.
Schneibstein summit ...
On the way to Seeleinsee (1/3)
On the way to Seeleinsee (2/3)
On the way to Seeleinsee (3/3)
Seeleinsee (1/2)
Seeleinsee (2/2)

Weather was fine but I was a little disappointed to find the Watzmann on the other side of the valley to be covered in thick clouds.

From Schneibstein the track leads south slowly loosing altitude through pretty stony valleys until a nice blue lake (Seeleinsee) is reached.

This part of the route was pretty high frequented by day tourists. Some meters after the lake the tracks divide and most day tourists take it to the right and return in the valley to catch one of the boats that bring them back to parking lot.
looking back to the pass
Into the forest again (1/2)
Into the forest again (2/2)
Looking back to the forest

I went straight up into a small pass. From here on I was nearly alone. My following decent lead me down over rocks and meadows continuing into green forest. This was why I came here.

To the west I could catch some breathtaking views down to The Obersee and the southern part of the Königssee.

The track rised up again through steep areas and I came closer and closer to this days target. Before 17:00 I reached the small Wasseralm, where I had done a reservation for the night.
Obersee (in front) - Königssee (behind) - Watzmann (in clouds)
A long hiking day came to its end covering over 17 kilometers and more than 2.100 meters of climbing altitude.

After some warm food the hut keeper offered me a military bed (Feldbett) which felt pretty comfortable after a long day. The only thing that was not so nice were other hikers drinking way to much alcohol and making lots of noise so I woke up many times after already falling to sleep.

Day two

Profile day two
Wasseralm in the morning fog
First sunlight in the forest
Green forest along the route
Green forest, grey rocks and blue sky

Next morning I started at 7:30 and enjoyed to be ahead of most others still hanging around at the hut. The track went through different parts of forest and offered spectacular views down the lake and on the Watzmann.

This day was a cloud free one. From the valleys some fog and clouds came up and disappeared as soon as the first rays of the sun collided.

I reached a nice viewpoint the so called “Halsköpfl” and continued along the Schwarzsee and the Grünsee.
Watzmann (left) and Königssee (right) ...
Königsee ...
Schwarzsee (1/3)
Ducks @ Schwarzsee
Schwarzsee (3/3)
Schwarzsee (2/3)
On the way to Grünsee
Reaching  Via Alpina

After Grünsee the track went up pretty steep with the sun burning in my back. Noon was close and Sunday was definitely warmer than the day before.

The nature around me at this stage of the circuit was pretty beautiful and almost movie like.
Watzmann traverse
Saugasse (1/2)
Saugasse (2/2)
Dense forest (2/3)
Dense forest (3/3)

I continued through a valley lowering altitude pretty fast decending through the “Saugasse” (engl.: pigs-alley). This was a kneekiller and I gave myself the first rest of the day after reaching a flat spot.

After that my trip crossed a Lord of the Rings like forest and soon after I could see the Königsee and the tourist boats cruising on it.

Final joy was still to come. Arriving at the beach of Königssee I took a refreshing bath in the crystal clear water.
Königssee, Obersee and Teufelshörner
The beach @ Königssee
Swimming @ Königssee
Tourist boats @ Königssee
St. Bartholomä chapel @ Königssee
Looking back from the boat

I continued the last meters to arrive at the St. Bartholomä chapel.

Many tourists leave the boat here, to visit the chapel, so from one to another minute I was back from nature into tourism.

I enjoyed the offers of tourism and ate a Wiener Schnitzel with fries and drank a liter of Bavarian beer before the boat took me back over the lake to the parking lot, where I had started 32 hours before.
Watzmann (right), Watzmannfrau (left) and Watzmannkinder (middle) ...




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