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View of the glacier from higher up the kletterstie...
Höllental translates as valley of hell, you decide how heavenly this valley is. Route is most pleasant in two days, but can be realistically done in one (6-10 hrs) to the summit and take the tram down. If you miss the last tram at 4pm, you may be able to get a room at the Münchnerhaus (DAV), otherwise you would have to be real to hike back down the same day, but if you do, you have options (see OPTIONS below).
Once you are in the valley from Hammersbach, follow the main trail to the Höllentalangerhutte. Fill up on water and get a meal, or...stay the night and do some day hiking in the Höllental. The trail is not so obvious after the Höllentalangerhutte because of gämse (goat) traffic, if you don't have a map (which you may want to have). When you get near the waterfall, cross the stream and go to the right of the fall, there should be an obvious trail to the start of the klettersteig (via ferrata). Once you are on the klettersteig, hope that others have left their trail in the snow, and your route-finding will be nearly done for the day. Otherwise, cross the Höllentalferner glacier heading toward the dark corner and mean looking wall to the southeast. Once you get there, the route should again be obvious, look for the klettersteig (binoculars may come in handy). From here there are some switch-backs mixed with some steep snow and highly exposed steel bar traverses that end at a steep snow and scree field. Front point or French step up this till you can find passage through the wall. Once on top, there should be a wide path with some steps and a beautiful relieving klettersteig cable. The summit is a short jaunt from here. To get to the stations, you have to cross a steep snow arete.
OPTIONS FROM SUMMIT:
1. Tram down
2. Go down through the Reintal: Descend the Zugspitzplatt (ski area, and obvious big flatt bowl). 2-4 hours later you will pass the Knorrhütte, eat and/or sleep. Continue 2-3 more hours to the Reintalangerhütte, eat and/or sleep. A little later you will come upon the Bock Hütte which has excellent tall glasses of buttermilk. Continue 2 more hours to the Partnachklamm, or you can skip the klamm if it is late, or want to save money, and descend past the Gästhaus Partnachklamm (stay on the ridge).
3. Descend the Austrian side: from the Reintalangerh hütte go south through the Wetterwand ridge, while you are up here, look down to your right, you will see Ehrwald, that is your destination. Once you get to the Loitasch saddle, go north (right) down to Ehrwald and Taxi or train back to Garmisch.
1. In 1820 the Höllentalferner glacier was recorded at 47 hectares, in 2006 it rang in at 24 hectares.
Start in Hammersbach, you can take the train there, or be real and just hike it from the city center, adds 30 minutes to your hike. Go toward the Alspitzbahn on Kreuzeckbahnstrasse, and follow the curve all the way to Hammersbach. Follow the Höllental signs, and take the overpass to der Höllental not through the Klamm to save money, and avoid closure.
Klettersteig (via-ferrata). You can sometimes rent these and a harness if you wish to pack your trip light.
Gore-tex, vibram boots, crampons, 2L water, 2lbs food
NOTE: If you plan to climb it prior to July, you may need an ice axe and crampons, and it is beneficial to go with someone that has been before as the klettersteig disappears into the snow about 700ft from the summit.
Ethics call for a helmet, though you will only wear it for an hour or two, your judgement, not as much foot traffic as the Alpspitze.
WARNING: Be prepared for thunderstorms, the route is exposed to the northeast and is blinded to the weather rolling in. If it starts to lightning...GET OFF THE KLETTERSTEIG and find shelter in a cave somewhere, and/or get in lightning position.
Super icy in early morning!
Klettersteig on Hollental Route
Forestvonsinkafinger, below the summit kreuz
By Owen Darrow
Oct 9, 2011
A correction on option 3 from the summit: You pass the Knorr Hutte and the ridge that you go over to the backside of Ehrwald Alm is called the Gatterl.