German Alps Skiing, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

We took a short ski vacation in the German Alps over a long weekend in January. We drove to the small town of Garmish-Partenkirchen with our ex-pat friends Curtis and Amanda from the Netherlands. Garmisch is about one hour South of Munich in Bavaria. It was only a five and a half hour drive from our house. The pictures probably will not do the area justice as it was snowing or very cloudy the majority of the time.

On the day of our arrival we found a place to rent ski's and got a general feel for how the area is organized. There are multiple ski areas around Garmisch, the two most popular being the Alpspitze peak area commonly called "Classic Garmisch-Partenkirchen" and the Zugspitze area. The Alpstize area has some fantastic views of the Garmisch valley and offers nice intermediate slopes that run over 3 miles to the bottom of the mountain. One must take a Gondola or a cog train to the top of the Zugspitze area to ski and then take the same gondola or train back off the mountain peak. The Zugspitze is actually Germany's highest peak at just under 3,000 meters. The skiing lasts late into the spring due to the glacier that rests in between several of the surrounding peaks near the Zupspitze.

We skiied the Alpspitze area the first day and skiied Zugspitze on the second day. The weather was not so great on the first day and on the second day we were stuck on top of a glacier in white out conditions. Mike managed to find his way out of bounds on the glacier with tired legs, too much beer, and massive amounts of fresh snow. Before he knew it he found himself buried in deep powder. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper. Between the blinding snow fall, exhaustion from digging out of the snow and fear of not being able to get off the mountain before the last gondola, it was one memorable last run.

Ski map of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area:

Gabi and Amanda with Alpspitze in the background:

View coming down the mountain toward Garmisch:

View from the gondola going to the top of Alpspitze:

Curtis about to go through the pass into the back bowl, top of the Alpspitze:

Mike and Curtis drinking wheat beer and Jager before the last run at Zugspitze:

The Zugspitze ski crew in front of the maypole before it really started snowing!:

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