Friday, September 27, 2013

Große Ahrnspitze & Porta Claudia

Just on the border with Germany is the Große Ahrnspitz with it's peak at 2196mtr. The Ahrnspitz is part of the Arnspitzgroup which is a freestanding formation between Tirol and Bavaria.  The große  Arnspitze is accessible via  Mittenwald, Scharnitz or Gießenbach / Leutasch. There is a possibility to walk a loop starting at Scharnitz/Mittenwald and then return via Giessenbach or vice-versa of course.

When you would like to walk the direction from/to Giessenbach/Leutasch, this part is the hardest way as it has plenty of loose gravel/boulders and is very steep for a large section at the top.
Therefore it is very important to be an experienced walker, have no vertigo and you need good balance. Important is to wear the right gear and when you have poles, these can be handy.

At Gießenbach I parked the car near the train station and walked down the trail to Scharnitz. This trail is an easy one, slighlty descending and goes along the train tracks and is about 3km to Scharnitz. When in Scharnitz, cross the main road and follow the Isar (Isar is on your right hand side) then there is the sign showing the direction heading to Mittenwald, Seefeld or Kalvarienberg.

To check out several landmarks, choose the Kalvarienberg, you will find this path on your left and you will find the steps with the monuments heading up the mountain. This path takes you as well to the remainders of "Port Claudia".

You will find many monuments 

Start of the Trail from Scharnitz

Build in 1640, destroyed in 1805 and rebuild in 1898

From the Kalvarienberg, you can continue to "Porta Claudia". Porta Claudia is a barrage between Tyrol and Bavaria and named after Claudia de 'Medici, the Archduchess of Austria and Princess of Tyrol.

Nowadays only ruins of solid barrier remains. In the photo on the right, you see the "Isar" and in the background Mittenwald, Bavaria.

From Scharnitz it is not far to reach "Porta Claudia" where you can explore these nice features which are still remaining from hundred of years ago.

From "Porta Claudia" the trail goes either back to Scharnitz or the trail is heading up the black Route to the Große Arhnspitze. I'm heading towards the gr. Ahrnspitze and from this point it is only ascending. 
The lower part takes me through lush forest where plenty of vegetation is found. The path is narrow but well indicated except for 1 spot where I probably missed a sign or one of the red painted rocks. I was following the track, as it seems like a path but then it didn't go any further. But lucky me, I wasn't that far from the trail so I continued. 


Some parts at the trail, there is an open view of the valley down below. The valley floor of Bavaria with the "Isar", Mittenwald and at the backdrop you see the massive rock walls of the "Karwendel National Park".

It has been a steep walk already, walking many altitude meters in the forest. But then, through the trees, a great wall is arising, pure rock... Just amazing to see.

Almost out of the forest and heading to the open field. That's a great feeling as it seems closer now. From the open field there is a good view of the Ahrnspitze. The lower left side is the saddle where the trails goes either up to the top or to Gießenbach / Leutasch.

The views 


Seefeld and the Gschwandtkopf

The path is crossing the debris towards the lower forest. This part is to be taken extreme caution of as the loose rocks are very slippery and some parts are really steep. There are no ropes to hold on.

The views from this side are AMAZING ! 
The Hohe Munde to be seen in the background.

The Inn-valley to the left of the Hohe Munde

The Arnspitz Mountains seen from below

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