Before winter arrives.
One of a number of fast flowing streams heading North from the Wettersteingebirge towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the Partnach. It flows speedily and nearing Garmisch-Partenkirchen goes through an 800 metre long and 80 metre high Klamm, (gorge or small canyon), the Partnachklamm. A superb Klamm that has enjoyed the status of a National Monument for close on 100 years, and rightly so as it is not just the Partnach racing though that is the attraction, but also the waterfalls crashing down the vertical sides of the narrow Klamm.
There is a high level bridge over the Klamm connecting the Hausberg and Eckbauer hiking areas, but to fully appreciate the magnificence of this spectacle it is far better to walk though, using the narrow path that wends it’s way in and out of short tunnels in the rock next to the rushing waters.
Curtain of ice
The path can be quite busy due to it’s close proximity to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, ( half an hours walk). But once through the Klamm that path leads to a number of tracks heading to local destinations such as the Eckbauer and Hausberg, or much further afield down to the Partenkirchner Dreitorspitze via Schachen Haus, the Alpspitze via Stuiben Hutte and the Reintal route to the Zugspitze. So it is not just tourists that can appreciate the splendour of the Klamm but also those intent on much harder and higher destinations in this superb part of the Bavarian Alps.
A Winter Wonderland
Whilst the Klamm is open the whole year, (maybe closed a few days in Spring when there is a risk of heavy pieces of falling ice), the winter can be the very best time to visit as the Klamm is transformed into a winter wonderland of frozen waterfalls and glistening ice: including inside some of the short tunnels! In winter also the walk down from Garmisch Partenkirchen, (take the slightly longer route, see under “Getting there“), can give superb “Christmas card” like views of the superb surrounding mountain scenery.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is just 88kms South of München, (Munich), by road on the A95 Autobahn, leaving that at Eschenlohe. From there it is the B2 then B23 main roads into town. From München Airport catch the S1 or S8 mass transit system trains into the main station, and that takes about forty minutes. From there an hourly service on the main German rail system runs to Garmisch-Partenkirchen from early until late. With a half hourly service in the peak hours. Journey time from the main station at München is around ninety minutes.
Before the Klamm, a view to the Jubiläumsgrat
From the centre of town, (i.e. railway station), the shortest way to the Klamm is to head SE towards the Olympic Ice Stadium, then follow the road due South into the Klamm, (well signposted). A more pleasant, if slightly longer route, is to leave the station to the West and after a couple of blocks turn left, (South), and over the two railway lines at a single foot level crossing, (German rail line to Austria and the narrow gauge Zugspitzbahn), near the valley station of the Hausbergbahn. Turn left immediately after crossing the railway lines and follow the path along just to the North of the Kochelberg meadows in an almost Easterly direction before picking up a choice of paths that head in a more Southerly direction to the Klamm.
When The Klamm is Open
Nominally all year round. But maybe closed on a few Spring days when falling ice is a hazard.
A small charge is made for passing through the gorge, (pay point at the North end of the gorge).
Trails Leading From The Klamm
Exhilarating as a walk through the Partnachklamm is, it is not enough to fill even a small part of a day! But as mentioned above there are a good number of trails that lead on from the path that goes through the Klamm. Set down below are very brief route details: insufficient to warrant separate coverage as individual route attachments to this page as they are purely added here to give an indication of what can be done after enjoying the Klamm.
View from Eckbauer
A pleasant short winter walk as the track that turns left, (East), shortly after emerging from the Partnachklamm is usually kept open. If not snow shoes should enable the views from Graseck, passed on the way, and from the top of the Eckbauer to be enjoyed.
Soon after the Eckbauer track heads east, another track heads South West across a small wooden bridge and climbs gently up to Partnachalm. Another short winter walk as the track is again usually kept open in the snows, if not snow shoes should enable the Alm to be reached, (hutte closed Thursdays).
Anyone attempting the Alpspitze from Garmisch-Partenkirchen is in for along day, and this route is no exception to that! Follow the track to Partnachalm and then head generally SW to pass near the Stuiben Hutte and later the Stuibensee before ascending the Alpspitze on the East Ridge.
Past the Partnachalm
Schachen Haus and Partenkirchner Dreitorspitze
Stay on the main track after the turn offs to Eckbauer and then Partnachalm. This track heads generally South for a very considerable distance down to Schachen Haus and the various mountains that gives access to.
The track through the Partnachklamm is the start of the very long Reintal route to the Zugspitze: see links below as this is covered on the SP Zugspitze page.
The general rule for the area so far as camping away from any organised facility is, "Bivouacking tolerated, camping discouraged".
Where To Stay
Garmisch-Partenkirchen has a very wide range of places to stay. From the simplest of bed and breakfast accommodation in Gasthofs up to large, (and expensive) hotels! The tourist Information service has an online system for you to find accommodation in your price range, (see links).
If you prefer staying in a village local to the town, many of those also have a good range of accommodation: usually cheaper than in the town! A GOOGLE search under the village name will show those that have their own village websites. And many of these sites will also an accommodation list.
DAV, (German Alpine Club), 1:25000 map series, No. 4/3 Wetterstein- und Mieminger Gebirge
Bayerisches Landesvermessungsamt München Topographische Karte 1.25000 series. No. 8532/8632 Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Kompass WK 5 Wettersteingebirge-Zugspitzgebiet 1:50.000 ISBN: 3-85491-007-X
Kompass No.790, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Mittenwald 1:30.000. ISBN 3-85491-581-0
Useful Links Garmisch-Partenkirchen's tourist information site
Description of Partnachklamm
English page describing the Partnachklamm, from the local tourist office.
Where to Stay
The town's own on line system that helps you to find overnight accommodation.
Local Town Bus Timetables:
All on down loadable PDF files
Use this to get timetable information for your journey by German Railways, (DB). This link takes you to an English language page.
I've found this to be quite a reliable weather forecasting service
And to see the actual weather have a look at the Jubiläumsgrat and other mountains to the South West of the Partnachklamm.
Read the actual weather data for Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Details of avalanche levels is displayed by this site in the winter months.