photos around GAP
Once again, I have been stymied by the fact that I can only post a maximum of 5 x 8 photos of GAP on the introduction page. However, I have many more pictures of GAP which I would like to share. These do not really count as tips, but then again, what is better than a good photo to tell a story? The valley between Garmisch and the Hausberg looking in the direction of Grainau.
carry a shovel in your knapsack
I usally carry a shovel, probe poles, a first aid kit, a water bottle, a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman, a whisle, fruit & granola bars, gum, lip balm, sunblock, a dry under layer, ski goggles, an emergency blanket, and a water proof cushion to sit on in my 25-litre knapsack. And, sometimes my 0.5 litre thermos of coffee if its cold. Drinking warm water is better than cold water when it is cold out.
I wear my gortex outlayer - ski pants and ski jacket with hood - with the following layered underneath.
Synthetic socks, underwear, t-shirt, shirt, fleece or fleece vest, and then I take off what I do not need and keep it my knapsack. I wear thick, jockey short style underwear for a little extra warmth for sitting on those cold chairlifts.
Of course, if it Springtime I might wear lighter variations, but on a glacier you have to be prepared for minus 20 degrees to above zero and sunny and warm. The best is to wear layers and be prepared to change often. You want to avoid sweating profusely and then freezing, which is not easy when you are working hard. Therefore, it is not good to be dressed too warm, but good to have extra clothes in your pack. I have switched to a 3-in-1 glove system. The outer, leather and gortex glove has very little insulation and is ideal most of the time. When I am ski touring or cross country skiing, I often only wear the glove liners. Then if it is cold, they can be combined. They are so light, I always have them with me in my pack.
Good sunglasses are a must. As is a hat and or a touque depending on how cold and windy it is. I wear a ski hat, as normal ballcaps will blow off with a sudden gust of wind or when you are skiing. Also, ski hats have ear flaps which make me look like Elmer Fudd, but I can accept that.
Zugspitzbahn & other lifts
Once you reach Garmisch-Partenkirchen you will want to access the slopes via the Zugspitzbahn and connected systems of cable cars and lifts.
The Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG is located behind the Hauptbahnhof in Garmisch, about 2-minutes walk from the main arrival and departure tracks. Just walk under the tracks, away from the HBF and you will see it on your left as you step out into sunshine.
No fewer than eight cable cars and gondolas await you, giving you access to locations at differing altitudes. You have your choice of the Hausberg, Kreuzeck, Oesterfelder or Zugspitze. You cannot reach the Wank from here, so you will have to take a taxi from the HBF. The Wank is now closed during most of the winter months, except occasionally during peak holidays. It is open all summer and serviced from the Wank Bahn.
Travel on the Zugspitzbahn is free with a valid ski pass.
Highest peak in Germany
The Zugspitze lies at one end of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and sits on the frontier between Bavaria (Germany) and Tirol (Austria). It's the highest peak in Germany and on a clear day you have a breathtaking view.
Inthe winter the Zugspitze attracts skiiers as well as Snowboarders. In the summer you can see a lot of kites and paragliders.
Visit the Kurpark
The Garmisch Kurpark's main entrance is located next to the Congress Center at Richard Strauss Platz. The Kurpark is a public park area with spots for walking, garden chess, dancing, and concerts. There is a restaurant and museum (in the Kurhaus) on the grounds. Admission is around 1E, free in winter. From about May to October, there are frequent concerts or bands playing. Also, some of Garmisch's fests are held in the Kurpark. It is lovely to eat dinner on the restaurant terrace and watch the cute old couples dancing!