Funtensee, Feldkogel, Grünsee, Salet

After a night with not a lot of sleep at Kärlingerhaus (see part 1 of the story, here: Ramsau to Funtensee via Wimbachgries) Toni and I were on the trail again — not too early, because I had to fuel up on coffee and energy with a hearty breakfast first, of course. :)

Since I only had “dog supplies” for two days and hadn’t made further reservations at other alpine hostels in the area either, it was clear that I had to pick an option from one of the many trails that would eventually lead us back to my car, parked at the Wimbachbrücke lot. :)

At the alpine hostels, it’s always better to have a reservation, but walk-ins are actually possible. They won’t turn anyone away when it’s getting dark — you probably won’t get a room though but rather, will have to sleep in the dormitory (aka a large bunch of mattresses on the ground, and the rule there is: the one who snores the loudest always falls asleep first). When you’re hiking with a dog, things are a little different: since dogs are most often not allowed in the regular rooms and never in the dormitories, it would mean that the canine friend has to sleep alone in some cold hallway.

Maybe there are dogs who’d be cool enough to do that (one might spread a blanket or jacket that has their human’s scent, of course), and if it was an emergency there’s no way around it for sure. But it’s not something that would be any dog owner’s first choice. Especially not with a sometimes super sensitive and always a little silly rascal like Toni. :)

So we were homeward bound on the second day of our little adventure, and after contemplating my options, I chose a rather safe route: hike to Feldkogel vista point for a view above Königsee in the morning, and then begin the descend to Grünsee via a trail section named “Himmelsleiter” (heaven’s ladder). From there, depending on the time, I’d have the option to continue to Salet via either Wasseralm and Röthwand, or more directly via Sagerecksteig. And from Salet, we’d get on the boat across the lake to the Königssee village, where we’d have to find a ride to our car at Wimbachbrücke, or take the bus.

A little bit after 7 o’clock in the morning, we were on the trail. Here’s a look back at the place where we spent the night, Kärlingerhaus:

We continued onto the trail to Feldkogel, which led us past the ruins of the old “Feldalm” hut, from back in the days when cows were brought up here to graze on the rich pastures, in summer.

The trail we were on was still entirely in the shade — the impressive Funtenseetauern massif blocked the sun that was rising to the east. Looking west, the peaks were already in full sun, and it was an entirely cloudless day. Brutal conditions for photography, of course…. :P

After a little more than an hour, we reached Feldkogel and the views from there are really great. Unexpectedly, Königssee was covered under a thin blanket of fog!

Sunlight bounced off of Watzmann’s east facing wall and perhaps helped to open of the fog — I saw a movement on the water, right were the sunlit rocks reflected in it, and quickly changed to my 70-300mm lens to see what that might be. A boat!

I told myself, perhaps in wishful thinking, that it might be Thomas Amort, the only commercial and legal fisherman at Königssee, and that he is going out onto the lake to catch the fish he would later smoke and sell. It was a sign! Then and there, I made the plan that, if time would allow for it, I’d make a stop at St. Bartholomä and order a serving of the famous “Schwarzreiter”, the name of this freshly smoked fish.

Watzmann itself was looking pretty good too, its bare rock almost gleaming in the morning sun:

Once I felt like I had thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, we went back the way we came, to Kärlingerhaus. Since it was still early I decided to not stop there for lunch but instead, continue to Grünsee via Himmelsleiter. We reached the little lake around 11:30:

The timing was a bit unfortunate now. Had I spent less time at Feldkogel, it would probably have been possible to continue on the trail toward Wasseralm and then hike to Salet from there, but it would have been a bit of a stretch, and I most certainly didn’t want to miss the last boat at Salet!

So after about half a mile from Grünsee, we turned left and began our way downhill more directly, via the partially rather steep Sagerecksteig. While the trail is mostly in the forest, the views to Königssee and partially also Obersee open up nicely here and there:

We reached the Salet boat dock around 3 o’clock in the afternoon — which meant that I’d easily have enough time for the halfway stop at St. Bartholomä, to treat myself to that fresh smoked fish and a nice cold beer. :D

It was a wonderful finish to the day and not only that: when Toni and I boarded the boat again for the second part of the ride across the lake, we began to chat with a fellow hiker and after I explained the route we had taken, he offered us a ride in his car, from the Königssee parking lot to Wimbachbrücke, where I had left my car. This sense of community among hikers, and the willingness to share and help one another is an aspect that I always found thoroughly enjoyable.

This wasn’t the last overnight adventure for Toni and me. A week later, we had another reservation, this time at Gotzenalm, also in Berchtesgaden National Park, of course. More about that another time!

This entry was added to the site in 2021 and dated back to the day when the photos were actually made, to have a chronologically matching archive. I like it that way. :)

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