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Bavaria, Germany, Europe
Hiking, Skiing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
5840 ft / 1780 m
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Created On: Mar 31, 2010
Last Edited On: May 12, 2011


EstergebirgeWank and Estergebirge as seen from Kramerspitz (2009)

First of all - as this is an English speaking (and writing) community:

“Wank” in this case - let there be no mistake, folks (!) - is an old meaning for “slope”.

Standing high above Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Wank is, despite of the minor height, a remarkable mountain. In former times Wank was named “Eckenberg” (Edge Mountain) because it stands so impressive at the edge of Garmisch-Partenkirchen valley. It is a good viewpoint, too: you can study the huge western rockfaces of Karwendel ranges, e.g. Soiernspitze, Wörner, Tiefkarspitze and Westliche Karwendelspitze. The northern rockfaces of Wetterstein range from Innere Wettersteinspitze in the east to Zugspitze in the west are standing in front of Wank. With most summits of Estergebirge in the north and some Ammergau mountains in the west the 360 degree view is completed.

Wank belongs to the Estergebirge and is one of the southernmost summits of this small part of the Northern Limestone Alps. With routes coming up from the south, north and east you can combine a trip to Wank summit to a nice loop. Especially the southern route is full of vista points for the surrounding mountains and can be recommended.

Wank is a mountain with a cablecar leading to its top, which can be a sort of huge setback. There is an alpine club hut on the top, too. And yes, it can be crowded and noisy. But the good news is:

1. the cablecar does not run all year round - because they have removed some ski-lifts and you will have no more downhill skiers up there;

2. Wank consists of three different summits (Wank, Ameisberg - which, funnily enough, means Ant Mountain - and Roßwank), some equiped with wooden sun loungers - so crowds tend to disperse (or queue up at the counter of the hut for the next Weißbier.....).

The easy accessibility of the summit makes Wank a prime target for paragliders.

In winter Wank is a short and easy ski hike especially in times with high avalanche danger because it is nearly avalanche save. NEARLY !!

Wank is not a very demanding mountain and - maybe - most people will think it not worth climbing. But imagine one of those rather “special” weekend days: you went to bed very late and in the morning you don´ t want to get up and at 10 a.m. the sun is shining and at 11.30 you think, shit, why was it that late last night and then - maybe - Wank can be an option to get out and up just for the fun of it...............

Getting There

Fricken and Zugspitze...Wank (lower left) as seen from Bischof; Zugspitze in the background (pic of user Luidger)

Trailheads for Wank are

  • Farchant

  • Partenkirchen

  • Wank cablecar valley station

  • Kaltenbrunn

  • and Klais / Krün

  • From Munich

  • use highway A 95 and road number B 2 to reach the Loisach valley trailheads, Klais and Krün.

  • From Innsbruck

  • 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 and the Loisach valley.

  • Railway

    The railway München - Innsbruck gives access to the Loisach valley and the trailheads Farchant, Partenkirchen and Klais. There are railway stations at these villages. Kaltenburnn can only be reached by car or bus.

  • See the railway schedule here .

  • Regionalverkehr Oberbayern (RVO) runs the public bus lines in the valleys around Estergebirge. The lines number 9605, 9606, 9607 and 9608 do the service between Ohlstadt, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Klais and Walchensee.

  • See the schedules here .

  • Normal Routes Overview

    Krottenkopf and it s...Wank in front of Estergebirge (pic of user Bryan Benn)

    Trailheads are:

  • Farchant / Mühldörfl

  • Partenkirchen / parking area of the Wank cablecar

  • Kaltenbrunn / Schlattan-Höfle (signposts at the road number B 2, Partenkirchen - Mittenwald)

  • and yes, maybe, Wallgau / Krün

  • From Farchant
    A trail leads up to the forest road Partenkirchen - Esterbergalm. Proceed to Esterbergalm. There are two trails up the north slopes to Roßwank and Wank (via the old downhill slope or via Häuslboden cabin).
    A third trail leaves the forest road west of Esterbergalm to the right and ascends to Ameisberg and Wank.

    From Partenkirchen / Wankbahn
    follow the forest road to Esterbergalm and proceed as described above. Alternatively follow the south slope trail to Eckenalm and in some zigzags up to Wank.

    From Schlattan / Höfle
    follow the trail up to the broad col between Roßwank and Rotenkopf. The trail goes up the east ridge to Roßwank and Wank.

    From Wallgau / Klais
    follow the forest roads and trails through long Finzbachtal to the west until you reach Esterbergalm. Proceed as described above (Farchant trailhead).

    The ski route
    follows the old downhill route: from Partenkirchen / parking area up the forest road to Esterbergalm. Follow the old downhill slopes up the northern side to Roßwank and Wank. Downhill like the ascent route.

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    EstergebirgeEstergebirge as seen from Wank summit (2009)

    There are several protected sites (Naturschutzgebiete, Landschaftsschutzgebiete) with restrictions on the southern and southeastern side of Wank. Respect the restrictions there.

    Besides that, there are, as far as I know, no further special restrictions for hikers, paragliders and mountainbikers.

    Valley accommodations

    Hotels, Bed & Breakfast, restaurants and campgrounds can be found mainly in the following villages:

  • Farchant

  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen

  • Krün

  • Mountain huts

  • Weilheimer Hütte (1955 m; 6414 feet)

  • Esterbergalm (1264 m; 4147 feet)

  • Finzalm (1085 m; 3560 feet)

  • Cablecar

  • Wankbahn

  • Gear & Mountain Condition

    The Estergebirge with...Wank (left) as seen from Schachen (pic of user Benno)

    Wank is an all-season summit.

    In spring, summer and autumn it is an easy (half – days) hike which requires only normal hiking gear.

    In winter it is a ski hike for beginners but - as always on ski tours - don´t forget your avalanche gear.

    Check the weather forecast here.

    Check the Bavarian avalanche bulletin here.


    View of the whole...Wank (left) as seen from Wettersteingebirge(pic of user Luidger)

  • Alpenvereinskarte, scale 1 : 25.000
    Blatt BY 9: Estergebirge, Herzogstand, Wank
    DAV, 2009

  • Toporaphische Karte von Bayern, scale 1 : 50.000
    Karwendelgebirge, Werdenfelser Land

  • There is no special guide book available for Estergebirge. Nevertheless the Wank trails are described in many guidebooks covering the whole of the Bavarian Prealps. Just ask your Internet to get some ideas ….


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