As we started the tradition last year with MännerMitÄhre (=MenOfHonour) heading up for the Zuspitze, we continued in the same quartet of Rainer, Stephan, Werner and me for the tour to the Meilerhütte. (All the pictures here on this Flickr-set). As the three guys have not changed at all being “the machines”, I took my preparation in the last 8 weeks quite seriously with regular spinning sessions, bodypump-classes, leg muscle-exercises and obedience towards my nutritionist Ashwini in my gym in Bangalore. Writing these lines is the best evidence that I made it both alive and in one piece ;-)
We started out from Partenkirchen (altitude 700 m MSL) through the ever astounding Partnachklamm where the river Partnach gets compressed into a dense bed between the rocks of the canyon.
After that, without any notable mercy from the mountain, quite a steep climb up the Kälbersteig towards the Schachen. After breaking through the forest, with stunning panoramas like this one of the Reintal.
An absolute must, at least with good weather, is a small deviation down to the Schachensee whose chilly temperatures provide a worthwhile refreshment after the 3 hours of walking uphill.
From there is short of half an hour along grazing cows up to the “Schachen” (altitude 1,866 m MSL) with the little hunting castle “Schachenschloss” of the Bavarian “Fairy Tale King” Ludwig II. Rather unassuming from the outside, likewise in the ground-floor during our guided tour, the miracle reveals itself in the first floor of the building.
And that’s in the so called “Turkish Room” (see the link for the picture). King Ludwig used to come here regularly for his birthday and, if I translate the political correct insinuation of our tour guide into plain language, the party must have looked like this: The King stoned himself with smokable drugs indulged in the company of his orientally cross-dressed gay entourage (=MännerOhneÄhre).
From the Schachen it’s another 1.5 hours and plus 500 meters of altitude up to both our summit and our place for the night, the Meilerhütte (2,374 m MSL) which stands like an “Eagle’s Nest” on top of the ridge of the Wetterstein-Mountains.
There is nothing more thoroughly well deserved after alighting from the backpack and taking off the heavy shoes than having the first beer together with the comrades and enjoying the view to both the Bavarian and Austrian side of the mountains.
That’s the funny thing anyway with the Meilerhütte: It lies exactly on the border between both countries, Bavaria (note: NOT Germany! ;-) and Austria. So what happens when you go for a wash, you leave the house which stands on the Bavarian side, the path in a slight right-turn bow comes over to Austria, …
… before it comes back to the Bavarian side again …
… and leads to the separate washing hut. That can indeed be called effective border crossing. Food on the hut was simple, but super-yummy with the classic of all foods on the mountain, the legendary Kaiserschmarrn.
Next day, Monday August 2nd, we were prepared that the weather wouldn’t be a nice as the day before. So we started our descend downhill to the South onto the Austrian side towards Leutasch (~1,100 m MSL) in cloudy conditions.
We couldn’t have been luckier, when we arrived at the bottom, it started to drizzle. After another 10 minutes, just when we found shelter waiting for the bus, a heavy thunderstorm started to pour down an ocean of rain. So we just-in-time escaped into the bus which brought us back to the Bavarian side – first to Mittenwald, then back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
There we treated ourselves for the finale grande with Schweinsbraten (roast pork) and Weißbier (wheat beer). Overall, a memorable and highly recommended tour, especially in the right company like with our comradeship of MännerMitÄhre.