Page 1 of 1

easy access hiking in northern Alps (and western CZ)

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 12:32 pm
by damio

Whilst I have researched quite a deal by map and have found a number of good prospects, I was hoping someone could narrow my area of focus with a friendly suggestion…

I am searching for an alpine or ‘pre-alpine’ area in the northern Alps for hiking and easy scrambling (solo).

My constraint is travel time: I drive south from Dusseldorf on Friday evenings and would like to arrive in my target area reasonably quickly.

I know the area near Lermoos, Austria, reasonably well but getting there that requires a slow drive on some country roads after leaving the A7, sometimes over an hour. Can anyone suggest a place in that district reasonably near to the end of the A7 (south of Kempten but not too much further, near to autobahan)? I have a feeling I still have to go as far as Reutte.

Likewise Switzerland: I can reach Basel in good time, but am not yet personally experienced with any good hiking nearby. My hesitation here is the population density and the distance required to escape it and reach some good hills.

Final question, one I really am having difficulty solving, but would be most helpful to me: Rather than drive I would much prefer to take a train, Friday evening and return Sunday afternoon. Absolutely perfect would be a town with a regular long distance express train service that sits within easy hiking distance of some good hills and peaks.

Oh dear, I don’t ask much, do I? Sorry.

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 1:28 pm
by Ski Mountaineer
You can take on of the trains going to Salzburg (many good connections from Germany), and then take the train to Werfen or Tenneck. Then you can hike to Hagengebirge, Tennengebirge or Hochkönig.
Hagengebirge is very wild (for Alps standards) and Hochkönig will serve all climbing/scrambling needs. Tennengebirge has a bit of both. For hiking to escape the crowds, no large city is better then Salzburg.

You can PM me for more info - when I am around we could also team up. The CAA experience might not be the only common background.



PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 1:42 pm
by icypeak
Hi there

You can take a train to Chamonix, France and from there you have your pick of absolutely anything you want. Lots of hiking, in valley or with lifts, all easily accessible from the town. Actually, it's kind of like heaven there! :P

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 5:36 pm
by Moni
The area around Garmisch and into Austria is train accessible and has lots of good hiking and scrambling.

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 7:41 pm
by pingzingr
I agree with Moni too...southern Germany has a wealth of hiking/scrambling routes in the Bertchesgaden and Garmisch area. And from Basel to the Grindelwald area is only two hours I believe. There are plenty of trails down in the northern Alps.

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:14 pm
by Mathias Zehring
I would think about Oberstdorf as a goal. This can be reached by train well. But IMHO Duesseldorf is just too far away from the alps for a reasonable weekend trip.

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:54 am
by Moni
Mathias Zehring wrote: But IMHO Duesseldorf is just too far away from the alps for a reasonable weekend trip.

From the western US point of view, a five to six hour drive/ride is totally reasonable for a weekend trip - we do this regularly. Leave Friday eve after work, stay somewhere in town. Leave early Saturday for a hut and acclimatize. Do the tour, hike out and go home on Sunday. Monday is hell, but it was worth it! That's why southern Germany is the first best goal for such an excursion. If you have a few more days, then further into Switzerland/Austria/Slovenia makes sense.

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 11:43 am
by Nikman
It takes something more than 6 hours one way by train from Düsseldorf to Oberstdorf, you have to switch trains 2 times and pay 117€. I would prefer a train compared to the regular traffic jam on a Friday-afternoon:

Düsseldorf Hbf Fr, 11.05.07 ab 13:26 16 ICE 519 InterCityExpress
Ulm Hbf Fr, 11.05.07 an 17:06 2
Ulm Hbf Fr, 11.05.07 ab 17:59 3 Süd RE 32659 RegionalExpress
Immenstadt Fr, 11.05.07 an 19:16 1
Immenstadt Fr, 11.05.07 ab 19:20 2 ALX86714 Länderbahn und SBB GmbH
Oberstdorf Fr, 11.05.07 an 19:48 4
Dauer: 6:22; fährt täglich, nicht 3. Jun 2007 Preis: 117,00 EUR

Find your connection at

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 12:33 pm
by schmid_th
This week I have been near Oberstdorf. As Nikman wrote there is a relatively good connection by train. There is less snow in the mountains of this area (no snow up to 2.200 m), so you have enough possibilities to climb this weekend.
Next weekend I will be in Pongau, Tennengebirge, also a really nice area with many possibilities. But I go there by car, so I can´t tell you about the train connections.

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 1:47 pm
by damio
Hey everyone, very helpful responses. Thank you.

(and western Czechoslovakia)

Hi icypeak, not withstanding the crowd factor I like Chamonix very much... but train access is not great at the best of times, especially from Dusseldorf ;)

Thin Air - PM on the way, thanks for the suggestion. Salzburg is a long but easy overnight train ride, worth the effort. I'll being doing it.

Moni & pinzingr - yes, I am heading to near Garmisch this weekend... the small peaks and lakes near Reutte. As suggested, Oberstdorf is also on my radar, good to know about the train connection.

Mathias et al - Duss is a very long way from the alps, but since last December last year I made 15 weekend trips. At one stage I slept in a car for 4 weekend in a row. It takes some effort, but its better than sitting at home. Bad for the environment. I leave Friday night after work, drive 5-6 hours solid to reach AT. Sleep in car. Wake at 6am, drive 1-2 hours to reach my target in the Alps. Spend the day ski touring. Drive 1/3rd home Saturday evening, sleep in car. Wake up at 6am, drive a lazy 4 hours and get home before most people are out of bed on a Sunday. If the conditions deserve it i will sometimes go for a early morning tour on Sunday. But that leaves a long drive all Sunday afternoon with tired eyes.

Nikman - The train is an appealing option, although its just far enough that overnight trips are best. Ending up in Ulm at midnight is somewhat inconvenient. Trains are expensive. For some reason flying is cheaper.

I have also been looking around a bit of a wider scope and notice that the border with Czechoslovakia is relatively close, not far from Nürnburg. I think I saw some nice photos from along the Czech border, just west of Plzen? Can anyone confirm this. It would be great to visit an area that I have never ever been to.

many thanks.

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 10:00 am
by barts
Please, read this:
There is NO Czechoslovakia. There are Czech and Slovakia.

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:46 pm
by damio
...and that is but one way I would benefit from visiting the country.