Ascent of Zugspitze on 2012-05-28

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Monday, May 28, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
    Elevation:2962 m / 9718 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Luckily/surprisingly/commendably, the mess of buildings, cable cars and restaurants that mar the top of the fine peak of the Zugspitze do not encroach on the very summit itself. This is reached by a very short protected path with wires and a short ladder to ease you up the steep bit. In winter conditions, which I found very much still in force at the end of May, crampons and an ice axe are necessary to guarantee a safe ascent. Having taken the first cable car of the day from the Austrian side I saw no one around as I ducked under the "closed sign" at the top of the steps leading down to the gate. The old snow on the steps was chest high, hard and icy but had melted enough to get around to the restaurant. Donning crampons I took the few steps downwards and looked more closely at the slope above. At some point there had been steps, maybe later in the day the snow would soften enough to allow one to kick in with boots, but the steps had been smoothed away by people sliding back down, leaving an icy slope steep enough to justify the effort of putting on the crampons, especially when a fall could quite easily be fatal. Arriving at the top I was photographed by some severely obese, cretinous and incredulous American tourists who arrived on the second cable car of the day. Snow started to fall, and since each of us clearly considered the others lifestyle to be putting them in imminent danger of death I didn't stop to chat and headed on down the same way to the valley to start the journey home.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:7 m / 20 ft
    Distance:0 km / 0 mi
    Route:protected path
    Trailhead:Zugspitze summit restaurant  2955 m / 9698 ft
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Minutes

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