As my time in Munich nears its end, I’m trying to get through my bucket list. It’s a bit too late for intense sledding in the mountains, but it’s just the right season for hiking! My fellow Fulbrighter Eric agreed to go with me, so we packed up lots of food and water and took the train to the tiny town of Griesen, right along the Austrian border. We walked around the Nudelwald (literally “noodle forest”) and hopped a freeway to get to the trailhead. We planned to conquer Frieder, a 2050-meter mountain in the Bavarian Alps.
My hiking guidebook listed Frieder as a medium-difficulty hike, which should take 6.3 hours. Eric might have been able to do it in that time if he’d been hiking alone, but it took me (somewhat out of shape, but an experienced hiker) 8 hours. We ascended 1410 meters from our starting point, scrambled over steep and rocky paths, and even crossed patches of ice. The hikers we passed all wore serious boots and carried trekking poles. (We owned neither.) By the time we reached the bottom—just in time to catch the train back to Munich—I could hardly walk. A shower and a tick removal operation later, I was sound asleep. Continue reading Hiking in the Alps