Time: 9h. Up: 1030m. Down: 2050m.
Distance: 20km. Difficulty: hard/medium.

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Stage 13: Prinz-Luitpold-Haus (1850m) to Oberstdorf (813m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Not only another long day, but also a difficult one. From the perspective of mountain-climbing skills, this is one of the most challenging hikes on the H2H (note: there are several easier and shorter options if you feel uncomfortable with ladders and cables).

Some of the trails you follow have Klettersteig-like sections, and if there is still snow around, as there may well be at this time of year at this altitude... well, let's just say that it could be exciting: even at 2200m the Alps are very serious mountains.

If you still have enough energy at the end of the day, there are some fine restaurants in Oberstdorf (most notably Maximilian's)... why not celebrate your completion of the stage by having dinner at one of them? And since advance reservations are recommended, whether or not you make them will in a way also be a test of your pre-hike optimism and self-confidence....

Today's hike takes the same trails as the Via Alpina until the Edmund-Probst-Haus. Head west from the Prinz-Luitpold-Haus via the Schönberghütte and Laufbacher Eck (2178m) to the Edmund-Probst-Haus (1930m). From there take one of the three routes to the Nebelhorn (2221m), and then traverse the descending ridge to the Geissalphorn (1953m). Shortly after this the trail forks: take the left-hand fork via Roßbichl (1466m) down to Oberstdorf.

Alternatives: there are various ways to shorten the day and to make it safer if the weather is bad and you need to or decide to push on anyway. First the safest route: at the Schönberghütte take a left and go over the Himmelecksattel (2007m) to the Käseralpe (1405m), and from there walk down the road through the Oytal all the way to Oberstdorf (total 7.25h, 22km, +520m, -1640m). You shouldn't be seriously exposed at any point along the way... although of course since lightning can strike anywhere if there are thunderstorms around all bets are off. There are two other ways to shorten the day, both of which require you to first get to the Edmund-Probst-Haus. Once there you can follow the Via Alpina and go directly by foot down the valley to Oberstdorf (saves 2h, 4km, +/-290m), or you can take the cable car down (saves 4.5h, 9.5km, +290m, -1120m).
Map: K-3 Allgäuer Alpen.

The House to House blog... stage 13.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: either picnic, or have a mid-morning snack and then eat at the Edmund-Probst-Haus (around 4.5h after starting).
Dinner and overnight: there are many excellent restaurants and places to stay in Oberstdorf (for a complete list, see here).

Getting There and Back
Prinz-Luitpold-Haus: from Sonthofen, where there is a railway station, regular buses run via Bad Hindelang to Hinterstein (for both bus and train schedules, see Die Bahn). From there take the minibus service to the Giebelhaus (schedule here). And finally walk south along the road and then follow the trail up (3h, 4.5km, +780m).
Oberstdorf: there is a railway station here.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Hinterstein, centered on Oberstdorf.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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