No two mountains are the same. And no two routes are the same. This is why mountaineering requires experience. The kind of experience you can only acquire by spending time in the mountains. Or rather, by being lucky enough to spend time in the mountains. Because any time we spend in them is nothing less than a privilege. Welcome to the Hanwag Alpine Experience!
We’ve been inviting people to come and climb the Zugspitze together with us every year since 2014. OK, so there may be a fair few kilometres and some decent hills between Vierkirchen, where Hanwag is based, and Grainau, the village at the foot of the Zugspitze. However, we think of it as our Hausberg(our local mountain). There might be other mountains that are higher, more difficult to climb or more interesting from a mountaineering perspective, but they are not right here on our doorstep. So, as Bavarian bootmakers, we’re proud of Germany’s highest summit.
The Zugspitze spans the border between Bavaria and Austria, and at 2,962 metres is Germany’s highest mountain.
The Jubiläumsgrat (Jubilee Arête) that runs between the Zugspitze and Alpspitze is one of the most spectacular ridge traverses in the Eastern Alps. The Zugspitze massif attracts mountaineers from all the world, including those intending to reach the summit by one of the many routes.
No matter which route you take to the top, Germany’s highest mountain is Germany’s highest mountain. And this is why the Zugspitze has such a strong pull. That means us at Hanwag too.
Sepp Wagner, the nephew of the company’s founder and Hanwag managing director for many years, was not only passionate about making mountain boots, he was also passionate about climbing the Zugspitze.
It was therefore a great honour to be able to give something back to the mountain and those who climb it on the occasion of our 90th anniversary, in 2011.
We wanted to do something to serve mountaineering. What greater service could there be, for a company, than to be able to replace the popular mountain shelter that had been well used for years, but that had become unsafe?
So, we installed a new, bright red bivouac shelter on the Jubi Arête. It was a labour of love for us at Hanwag, and serves as a permanent emergency refuge for mountaineers that is always there, to use when needed.
Why are we telling you this? Because it’s important to us. And because we still love climbing the Zugspitze and sharing the experience with other mountaineers – like on the Hanwag Alpine Experience.
All roads lead to Rome – but which paths
lead to the summit of the Zugspitze?
Technically the most straightforward of routes to the summit of the Zugspitze, it starts off through the Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge) and then leads through the Reintal Valley. However, it still requires a good level of fitness and surefootedness. It approaches from the east, is over 20 kilometres long and takes in a good 2,200 metres of ascent. Explore more!
The Höllental (Hell Valley) route might not sound like it, but is probably the prettiest route up the Zugspitze when it comes to the scenery. The terrain is very mixed, but it is also very demanding. Covering 2,200 metres of ascent and with via ferrata sections above Höllentalanger and again below the summit, it requires a good level of fitness, surefootedness, a head for heights and a good level of alpine experience. The route passes through scree slopes and over glacier ice. Explore more!
The shortest and fastest route to the summit of the Zugspitze is on the Austrian side. It heads up to the Wiener Neustädter Hut via the Schneekar. The Stopselzieher (corkscrew) involves 1,700 metres of ascent through wild, rocky terrain and requires a good level of fitness, surefootedness and a head for heights. This is a via ferrata route and, as such requires previous experience.Explore more!
The Jubiläumsgrat (Jubilee Arête) is, without a doubt, the most well-known alpine route on the Zugspitze. But it’s a serious alpine challenge. The long, high ridge traverse is unprotected and has sections of grade 3 climbing. This is a route for experienced alpinists only. It leads through very exposed terrain. Surefootedness, a good head for heights and a realistic assessment of your own abilities are essential. In addition, the Jubiläumsgrat requires a very good level of fitness. The views are outstanding, but with eight hours of ridge climbing, this route is a long one.Explore more!
On each of these routes, participants will be accompanied by mountain guides from Mountain Elements.
We have been working together with the owners Benno Keil and Michael “Staxi” Stacheder for many years now, on the Hanwag Alpine Experience days, but also throughout the year, as they provide important feedback on our footwear.
And of course, the Hanwag team will also be there. After all, the Hanwag Alpine Experience is a great opportunity for us to get away from our desks and pull our own mountain boots on.