Day 5 Munich to Venice - Karwendelhaus

The big news from Austria is that for the first time on this trip we have had a whole day of good weather.  After yesterday's  mega hike in the rain, today was relatively short and took us up into the spectacular scenery of the Karwendel Alps.

We left the hotel at about 10.  With six days ahead of us in the huts we were making the best of its  comforts.

The route took us further south up the Isar valley, the familiar river now a rushing mountain stream. Ahead of us, dominating the horizon was the great wall of the core Karwendel ridge, huge limestone cliffs with summits exceeding 2500m.  If all goes to plan we climb the highest one, Birkkarspitz (2749m) tomorrow. From where we were standing on the path it looked like an impossible task.
Heading up to the Karwendelhaus

Initially walkers dominated the traffic.  A sunny Sunday in August was bound to bring out the locals.  Gradually the numbers of cyclists grew larger and soon they were everywhere.  Although there is an attempt to segregate the traffic it didn't work and the usually well behaved Germans were not stopping for anyone as they crashed down the mountains. 'Achtung' and it's your fault if you get in their  way.
Approaching the pass and looking east
Christine has been to Karwendhaus before.  It was the lunch stop on her first day when she joined me on the Via Alpina a couple of year's  ago.  She was so knackered as she approached the top that she went on strike and I had carry her bag.  No such problems this year and we arrived at the hut 30mins ahead of schedule.
Over the pass and looking west
The hut was packed, but fortunately with cyclists who had come up from Scharnitz in their hundreds.  By three o'clock things had quietened down and we spent the afternoon resting and psyching up for our big day tomorrow.  The bad news is that the route up to Birkkarspitz is marked as a black.
PS We got some excellent briefing from other walkers (the hut is absolutely packed)  - tomorrow  should be good.


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