The most interesting and rewarding track up to the Schwarzenkopf must surely be that from Hammersbach via the Höllentalklamm and Höllentalanger Hutte. A route where the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist areas near the Hausberg and Kreuzeck mountain cable car stations are out of sight.
But through those busy locations runs another route to the Schwarzenkopf. Not one maybe for the busy summer months, but one that may be the only route to follow during the snowy winter months. Months when the Höllentalklamm is shut and a high avalanche risk makes that route impassable. Even though this route mainly heads up though areas used for toboggans, (lower down), and pisted ski slopes higher up it is still necessary to check avalanche risk levels. Especially after Kreuzeck when in severe conditions the track may become dangerous and impassable.
Details of how to get to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the starting point for this route, are on the main page for this mountain.
Route starts here.
This is a very straightforward walk outside of the winter snows. For the purposes of simplifying this route description it will be described as a winter route, when, avalanche conditions higher up permitting, it is likely to be the only way to get to the Schwarzenkopf.
Head West from Garmisch-Partenkirchen railway station through a couple of road intersections until joining a road that heads south towards the Hausberg Valley cable car station. Before nearing that, cross both the German Rail railway and Zugspitzbahn narrow gauge railway, (at one quite wide foot level crossing), after the road becomes a track through what, outside of winter, is meadowland.
A narrow road, usually kept clear by snow ploughs heads through a group of houses in an area named Kochelberg before starting to climb up towards Bayernhaus. At this stage Bayernhaus, Kreuzeck and sometimes the DAV unmanned Trögelhutte are the names on the route signs to follow. Before long the track should become pisted if, as in winter 2005/6 it is used as a twice a week evening toboggan run down from Bayernhaus to the valley cable car station of the Hausbergbahn. If not, as in winter 2004/5, snowshoes or skis will certainly be needed by now!
Just stay on that track until passing the Bayernhaus Gasthof at around 1250m where a left turn sees the track continue to the mountain station of the Hausbergbahn and then the quite large building of Garmischer Haus There will be significant ski activity around here with pistes and lifts, and skiers on a broad pisted area that needs to be followed gently uphill in a SW direction. Before long a winter footpath sign should be seen with the path having been ploughed to some extent, (it was in 2005/6). If not, just follow the parallel and wide pisted section that comes downhill from Kreuzeck and past the Trögelhutte, (1429m).
Soon after the Trögelhutte and heading now in the direction of Kreuzeck, the track crosses the Kandahar ski run, as used when Garmisch-Partenkirchen hosts a round of the ski World Championship. At this point the track divides into a narrow pathway and a wider pisted track, both heading to Kreuzeck. The narrow track rises at a steady grade and shouldn’t see high speed skiers coming the other way! That track emerges from woods just before Kreuzeck: the Almhutte first on the left, then the cable car station and larger hutte higher above on the right. The route up is now back onto a medium width pisted track firstly slightly downhill then uphill to a junction with the path to the Hupfleitenjoch, (the middle of three paths with only that to Hochalm signposted), climbing gently away to the right, (West). At this point you must either turn right or turn back. The track straight on is banned to pedestrians in winter, with a sign saying police enforcement of that.
And also to Schwarzenkopf! Turn Back!
Up until here it is likely that the route followed has been well used by a mixture of winter sports people. From now on it is possible that there are no tracks at all, and it is for this final section in particular that avalanche warnings must be adhered to. The track climbs at a steady and not too an steep angle with Hupfleitenjoch being the initial destination. Once onto that small saddle the route up to the Schwarzenkopf is initially quite steep and in a Northerly direction to start with.
Normal winter hiking gear including skis or snowshoes if significant snow depths are expected.
External Links are on the main Schwarzenkopf page.