It's always worth taking the scenic route.
Independent arrival in Berchtesgaden, Germany is on June 24, 2020 by 3:00pm at Hotel Grünberger to meet, greet, and do a quick gear check. The hotel is located at Hansererweg 1, in Berchtesgaden.
An impromptu dinner and walk around the village is a possibility before turning in for the evening and beginning our Alpentraversale Trek in the morning.
This morning after breakfast we travel by boat across the Königsee; on the way we enjoy a view from the famous Watzmann east face to St. Bartholomä. After disembarking from the boat we ascend through the Saugasse to the Kärlinger Haus (1,638 m) on the picturesque Funtensee lake. At Christmas 2001, the Wetterstation Funtensee recorded the lowest temperature ever recorded in Germany at -45.9 ° C; therefore, the Funtensee is considered the "cold pole" of Germany. Thankfully, our weather will be a bit more temperate.
Today we cross the Karstified Plateau of the Steinerne Meer. After about 3 hours we reach the Riemannhaus (2,177 m), where we take a lunch break. From here we have a steep descent, partly with wire ropes on the way down to Maria Alm. After reaching our goal we taxi transfer to Ferleiten (about 1 hour). Tonight we overnight in rustic Trauner Alm in Käfertal.
While the mileage for today’s hike is relatively short, we climb 3900 feet so it will be a steep trek. Freshly fortified after a hearty breakfast, we ascend under the mighty and beautiful glacier scenery from the Großer Wiesbachhorn and Fuscherkarkopf to the Pfandlscharte (2,665 m). From here there is a wonderful view of the Grossglockner. After soaking in the scenery we have a short descent to the traditional Glockner house at 2,132 m (7000 ft), our accommodation for tonight.
After a short descent to the Margaritzen reservoir we continue in the direction of Heiligenblut to the branch in the Leitertal. The route continues along the Leiterbach to the Glorer hut (2,642 m). After a delicious lunch break, we descend to the Lucknerhaus (1,918 m), tonight’s accommodation. From the Lucknerhaus we can once again admire the view of the Grossglockner, this time from a different perspective.
This morning we begin the day with a taxi transfer to Defereggental. Our journey takes us across the Villgraten mountains to St. Jakob where we reach the Mooseralm with a chairlift. From here we climb up to Ochsenlenke and hike past the Degenhornsee and on to the Arntaler Lenke. The descent takes us across the Arntal to Unterstalleralm where we continue by bus to Innervillgraten (1,403 m). Our stay tonight is at Gasthof Raiffeisen.
The transition from the Innervillgrater Valley into the Pustertal takes us over the 2,663 m high Toblacher Pfannhorn. This vantage point provides a magnificent view of the Dolomites and back to the Grossglockner Group. From here we descend a bit to the Bonner hut (2,340 m) where we enjoy the local cuisine for lunch. The next stage continues the descent to the small hamlet of Kandellen (1,575m). Afterwards, we take the bus via Sexten to the Innerfeldtal and in just 30 minutes we arrive at our accommodation for the evening, the Dreischusterhütte (1,626 m).
The last ascent leads us through the picturesque Innerfeldtal Valley to Drei Zinnen Hütte (2,438 m). From here the view of the north walls of the famous Drei Zinnen is literally overwhelming. Approximately an hour after our lunch break, we reach the Auronzo hut where the view is again jaw dropping. A toast to the Dolomites is in order. It is so beautiful here it is hard to leave but after a short walk--you’ll want to walk slowly--we transfer via the Felbertauern Tunnel back to Berchtesgaden. Arrival about 7:00pm. Our accommodations are again at Hotel Grünberger where we will pick up the luggage they have been storing for us and enjoy the last night of our trip.
It is the last morning of our trek together. We meet for breakfast without our backpacks ready to go and at our side, and feel like we already miss the trail. After breakfast everyone departs at their convenience to continue travel independently. It seems like 9 days should last longer.