From Oberammergau to Oberau over the Laber
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:03:48 -0000
On our second tour in the Alps, we hiked over the Laber to Oberau, climbing the loathing Ettaler Manndl cliff.
Update: corrected some errors
After the mandatory railroad trip from Munich we arrived at Oberammergau in the early morning. in our back the Hoernle hill, which we climbed on our last tour, we started off rather easily by passing the valley station of the Laberbahn and thus entering the valley surpassing the Aufacker. With the road slowly sloping, ample slopes we easily reached the Soilersee, which seems to have largely disappeared - it looked like a meadow rather than a lake. Now the path had changed to a fast climbing trail heading through the forests covering the slopes of the Laber. Eventually we reached the ridge of the Laber, yet, not yet realizing though. After a curve, a pack of people sitting on the sides of the path, in front of a rocky steep slope. We had reached the beginning of the climbing path leading to the peak of two rock columns, the Ettaler Manndl. Climbing the lower part up to the first ledge was rather quick and easy performance, but there we had to wait quite a bit of time for folks climbing down the Manndl to clear the way - there is only one chain for supporting the climbers and mostly no way for sidestep other climbers.
Image: Pursuing the peak of the Ettaler Manndl
However, eventually way was given to us, and we cvontinued ascending, although some of us took the wise decision to cancel the climb and return, others continued for the top of the cliff, where a beautiful view awaited, along with a searing sun.
Image: On top of the Ettaler Manndl, with the Wetterstein in the rear
Climbing back down was a little bit uneasy due to the many people climbing up and thus blocking the way down. There were three ledges, and on everyone but the lowest one had to wait for at least a quarter of an hour. Quite a few people did not pay attention whatsoever at the other climbers and just entered the trail heading upwards, becoming obstacles for the others and forcing them to wait even longer. Nevertheless, mastering the challenge of climbing this much anticipated cliff has been an overwhelming experience! Arriving back on even ground, our group had already left for the Laber, and thus the remainder hurried for the Laber summit and the mountain station of the Laberbahn, just below the Laber ridge.
Image: Looking back at the cliff of the Ettaler Manndl
There we catched up with the others, already waiting eagerly for our arrival and for ordering cold beer and tasty Kaiserschmarrn. Once more, we were surrounded by packs and packs of others how had taken the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful weather, and the Laberbahn furthered the appearance of waves of people on this summit.
Image: Round view from the Laber summit to the south with the majestic Wetterstein on the right
Image: Panorama from the Laber looking northwards, with the Hoernle hill behind the Aufacker
Nevertheless, the sight from there is rather impressive, southwards with the giant Wetterstein and to the north to the Hoernle hill we had mastered during our last tour and the foot hills beyound it. However, we had to head on for Ettal abbey, so we descended through the the cooling shades of the forest on the southern slope of the Laber, stopping for half an hour at a small mountain stream, where we could rest and refresh ourselves in its chilly waters. Eventually, Ettal came into sight, a neat baroque church embedded within overwhelming mountains. Unfortunately we were rather late, thus we could not enjoy another fresh draught of beer, which they brew in here - We had to reach the train station in Oberau.
Image: The curch of Ettal abbey
We only took a short glimpse into the church, and then left Ettal over the historic way of death connecting it with Oberau. Many armies had taken this way before, starting with the wars conducted by the emerging protestants against Emperor Karl V. and Saxons during the religious wars of the seventeenth century .
Image: Reaching Oberau
Arriving just in time, we catched the train, rode back to Munich and settled for a last beer in Pasing, which we had passed nearly half a year ago on our first tour.