Munich to Venice - 2018

I will always remember 2018 as the sad year when a young Canadian hiker, Jeff Freiheit, fell from the Aschelköpf Ridge on the Munich to Venice trail (theTraumpfad) and lost his life. Jeff had been in touch with me before embarking on the trek and was using my Cicerone guide to plan his itinerary. He was well prepared, and it was a terrible shock when this obviously fit young hiker went missing.

Jeff's death is a reminder to hikers in search of adventure and beautiful scenery that a missed step can have very serious consequences and that accidents happen even to the best prepared.

I've walked the Achselköpf Ridge twice and the advice in the guide is that it should be avoided unless you're an experienced hiker. It's the first serious stretch of exposed walking on the Munich-Venice trail, and cables and other safety features are limited. If you want to know what this section of the trail is like before attempting it than go to YouTube and follow this link to a very useful video.

It will be no consolation to Jeff's family, but lots of hikers successfully completed Munich-Venice in 2018.  Snow seems to have lingered on the passes well into July but, generally, the weather has been excellent through August and September.




It's great to get feedback and comments on the route from readers of the guide particularly updates and tips. Although most hikers on the route are German, who make use of one the excellent German language guides, my readers come from a diverse range of countries. This year I've had comments from Finnish, Italian, American, Australian and Spanish hikers. For the first time, I've had a report from a couple of hikers who've used the guide to travel in the reverse direction, from Venice to Munich, which I guess would have been a little confusing at times.




There were lots of comments about life in huts with some people encountering particularly crowded conditions in the first two weeks of August when the walking season hit full swing.  Huts that are full sometimes allow walkers who haven’t booked to sleep on the floor and have additional mats available for this purpose. Personally, I’d book at least 5 days ahead if walking in August and booking ahead is getting easier all the time as the websites improve.  If you insist on total improvisation and prefer to turn up fingers crossed, then consider carrying a lightweight sleeping bag.



Some walkers experienced problems towards the end of the walk at Ponte della Pruilla.  The historic bridge over the River Piave was damaged by floods early in 2018 and the only way to the other side involved a significant detour and a taxi ride.  My reading of local papers suggests that the bridge has now been repaired but I may have got the wrong end the stick so please check.

Finally, particular thanks go to Karolina who clearly enjoyed the walk and made some kind comments about the guide.  Karolina has shared some photographs with me and I have used them in this blog.

4 comments:

  1. John: I am planning to do the Karnischer Hohenweg next July but plan on reversing the route and starting in Arnoldstein going west to Sillian. Has the guide book ever been printed in the reverse way for the various stages and trail marks to look for turns ect.? (I am meeting friends to do the AV1 at the conclusion of the trek).

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    1. Good choice - its a great walk.

      In a word, no. It won't be a problem however the waymarking is good. The hike is of course a lot shorter than Munich to Venice but there is a lot to see and a lot of choices and the guide helps you work out which ones to make.

      The guide comes with a GPS file and if you use this you can't get lost. If you don't use GPS but you're willing to try, drop me another note and I'll send you some pointers.

      Best wishes

      John

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  2. Hi John. I bought your book and am planning to do the hike this coming summer to mark my 70th b-day. Can you suggest an English site, group, persons , video etc so I could talk to someone who had done the hike. I live in Ottawa, Canada. Thank you.

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    1. Hi there

      Good choice!

      I can't suggest a site to be honest but I could perhaps hook you up with some people who've done it if you want to talk to someone other than me. In the meantime feel free to ask me anything you want (I've done most of the walk twice) and if you want a direct WhatsApp conversation with me I'm sure we could arrange something.

      John

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