Sonntagshorn, first ascent (15 photos)

Well, ok, it was not the first ascent, it was my first ascent. :-) I took the approach from Heutal in Austria – it’s a longer drive, but reduces the total ascend drastically by about a third (500HM). As a bonus, there’s a fantastic rest stop along the way, the “Jausenstation Hochalm” with a simple restaurant that serves hearty traditional regional meals. :-)

Sonntagshorn is the highest peak in the Chiemgau Alps region. The border between Germany and Austria (and more precisely, the states of Bavaria and Salzburger Land) runs along the summit ridge. Typical for early summer there was quite some haze from atmospheric moisture, but the views all around were still pretty amazing.

The most amazing thing though was that I had the summit all to myself. I began my hike Friday afternoon and reached the summit around 5pm, and there was no one else there. It was just me and Toni at this splendid and beautiful vista point.

I had previously tried to hike Sonntagshorn, from Ruhpolding in Germany via Laubau, but was unsuccessful. The first part of that variation is rather boring, first on a paved and then unpaved forest road – I was trying to get this behind me, and committed the cardinal sin of mountain hiking: beginning to fast. In addition to that, I had started rather late, and when I finally reached the last third of the hike with the biggest elevation change and difficulty, I realized that I had spent too much of my energy already to make it to the peak and back safely.

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