Time: 7.25h. Up: 1370m. Down: 730m.
Distance: 15.5km. Difficulty: hard/medium.

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage

Stage 4: Lenggries (680m) to the Tutzingerhütte (1327m)

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

The H2H begins in earnest with a long day, a fair amount of altitude, and some challenging mountain paths.

In the morning you leave the River Isar behind and climb over 850m to lunch at the Brauneck mountain inn. There you will have the painful pleasure of seeing the many day-trippers who have come up the easy way via cable car. "Painful pleasure"... sort of a metaphor for the whole H2H when you think about it.

Afterwards you'll follow an up-and-down path that leads to a trail along a knife-edge ridge (if you wish... for alternatives, see below) above the 450m high cliffs of the Benediktenwand before descending to spend the night in a mountain hut... with showers, (some) private rooms, and a hot evening meal. Not bad, these Alpine "huts". And not a bad day for your first mountain stage.

Today's hike is identical with the Via Alpina, except for the section from the Rotöhrsattel over the highest part of the Benediktenwand. From Lenggries, if necessary (depending upon where you spent the night), cross to the western bank of the Isar, then climb up to Brauneck (1555m) via the Reiseralm. Note that although you can eat at the restaurant at the top of the gondola, I recommend putting in a little extra effort to reach the much more pleasant and traditional Brauneckhütte about 50m further uphill behind the gondola building. From there follow the Maximiliansweg trail westwards along the ridge over the Latschenkopf (1712m) to the Rotöhrsattel. There you leave the Via Alpina and take the left-hand path to the top of the Benediktenwand (1800m). Finally, continue west on the now descending trail until a fork off to the right takes you down to the Tutzingerhütte.

Alternatives: you can shorten the day by taking the cable car up to the Brauneckhütte (saves 2.75h, +740m, 4km). You can shorten the day and also avoid the knife-edge walk along the Benediktenwand by taking the lower path from the Rotöhrsattel that descends directly to the Tutzingerhütte (saves 1.75h, +/-280m, 1.5km). In bad weather you can (and should) avoid the Benediktenwand ridge altogether by taking a series of trails to the north via Finsterloh, the Freisingerhütte, and the Langenberg (totals 5.5h, +990m, -340m, 14.5km).
Map: K-182 Isarwinkel.

The House to House blog... stage 4.

Click here to go to all of our H2H photos on Flickr.

Room and Board Options
Lunch: you can picnic, but I'd recommend eating at the Brauneckhütte. After the first real climb of the H2H, you should treat yourself! Before you leave Lenggries, either make sure that you have enough food with you for picnic lunches during Stage 5 and Stage 6, or, alternatively, plan on asking your hosts each night for a packed lunch for the following day.
Dinner and overnight: the Tutzingerhütte (+49-(0)175/1641690, 30 beds in 9 rooms, 60 places in bunkrooms) is the only option within a couple of hours. It is an Alpine Club hut, offers good food, and is a pleasant place to spend an evening.

Getting There and Back
Lenggries: there is a railway station here (for schedule information, see Die Bahn).
Tutzingerhütte: the shortest way back to civilization is by foot (around 2.75h, -690m, 9km) to Benediktbeuren where there is a railway station.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Lenggries, centered on Benediktbeuren.

Background Information and Links
Interesting local topics:

  • Bavarian Pre-Alps (Bayerische Voralpen). For the next few days you are going to be walking through the Bavarian Pre-Alps, which is the name given to the mountains between the River Inn and the River Loisach north of the Karwendel, Rofan, and Wetterstein chains. The mountains here are mostly made of limestone laid down in the Triassic and Jurassic Periods (around 250 to 150 million years ago) and are by Alpine standards quite low (below 2000m). Of practical interest is that due to the proximity to Munich the trails in these mountains see a lot of hikers... and as a result in places the rocks have been worn smooth and can be very slippery when wet -- caveat wanderer. You can read more about the Bavarian Pre-Alps here (in German).
  • Ibex (Steinbock). If you are lucky you might see Ibex while walking along the Benediktenwand. These powerful and elegant animals are a type of mountain goat, but have approximately the same relationship to normal goats as lynx does to a house-cat. Their horns are remarkable: thick, ridged, and curving backwards up to 1m in length. There are four breeding populations in Germany and one of them is on the Benediktenwand. The large numbers of hikers they encounter means that they are relatively unafraid of people and are often seen very close to the trail. You can read more about the Alpine Ibex here, with a better picture of their amazing horns here.

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage