Conquering the Alps in 26 days

A few folks might have noticed that it has been quiet on my blog during the last 4-5 weeks or that I have been away from work for a long time now.

I have been on another long vacation trip again and this time around I have had some aggressive plans for my vacation: to hike from Munich to Venice and conquering the Alps within 26 days.

Starting our hike on the Marien Square in Munich
"Starting our hike on the Marien Square in Munich"

On Sunday, September 10th, 09:00 am, a group of 14 people met on the Marien Square in Munich to start this hike. 7 of them planed to do the entire 4-week-hike, among them; my wife and I. The first hike out of Munich, following the river Isar was right away the longest one: 36 kilometer. At the end of day 1 and on day 2 I already felt quiet exhausted with burning feet and legs and could not really imagine to continue hiking for the next 25 days to reach Venice. I never have done a 4-week-hike before and 4 weeks seem to be a real long time when doing something really unusual. Thus I continued my hikes from day to day, just focusing on small achievements ( reaching the destination of that particular day ) instead of the big goal to make it over the Alps. What I was hoping for finally became reality: to get used to hiking every day, sleeping in a different cottage each night, living out of my backpack. No computer, no mobile, no TV, just sometimes being happy to have some dry socks and a shirt in the evening and to get a good warm meal and a place to sleep.

It has been a little adventure for my wife and me, full of great experiences and breathtaking views, but also sometimes coming with these moments of worry  and suffer more or less in one or the other form. I actually was lucky that my feet collaborated quiet well being in hiking boots for up to 9 hours a day. Others had much more trouble, and one man from the group trying to do the 4-week-hike had to give up after one week because of his bloody feet.

26 days later, after hiking 405 kilometers and climbing a total altitude difference of 20.900 meters (2.36 times Mount Everest ), walking 162 hours in total and 6.2 hours in average each day without a single rest day,  hiking in rain for 2 full and around three half days ( that means overall we have been very lucky regarding weather conditions ), climbing on a 3.152 meter summit ( the Piz Boe ) and hiking through snow, we reached Tarzo in the Italian lowlands. The Alps were lying behind us. This was the end of the hike and a train took us the remaining 70 kilometers to Venice.

From the 1024 photos I have taken during the tour I have uploaded a few already into this flickr set and plan to add more later on. I plan to blog in much more detail on a day-by-day base about the tour in my German blog “Axel unterwegs…” – thus if you understand German and are interested in more details watch out for updates on this blog.

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3 Responses to “Conquering the Alps in 26 days”

  1. David Says:

    Hi Mr. Magard!

    I’m an English-speaker currently residing in Dublin, and I’ve been seriously considering the Munich-Venice Hike myself for this coming summer. Unfortunately I’ve been having a little difficulty finding good English guides for the full trip, and I was wondering if you had any advice on planning/resources for someone that only speaks English. Do you happen to have a list of the places you stayed along the way? Advice on what to expect in terms of weather, how often you can expect food/water, and/or technical difficulties along the way?

    I’d really appreciate any help! Thanks and best of luck on your future adventures!

    David

    • amagard Says:

      Hi David,
      unfortunately I don’t have such a list available, but you can actually head over to my German blog. There is one article listing all my blog postings for every single day, and even you can’t read German you find a little box in every article labeled “Unsere Unterkunft” describing the place where we stayed over night, usually coming with a link to some web site about that place.
      Most links hopefully still work, I noticed a few dead ones meanwhile. The internet forgets a lot, even some say: “The internet never forgets”.
      If you follow that route once discovered by Ludwig Graßler you find a hut with food service and beds every day, most days there are plenty of places also to stay for lunch as well. If you do the hike in the July/August time frame all these places should be open and available. Even then you should be prepared for any weather, even snow falls when you are high up in the mountains.
      Technically there have been three more difficult passages, but all pretty secure: crossing the Gschützspitzsattel (2.657 m) on day 9, the Friesenbergsattel (2.900 m) on day 10, and the climb starting from the Marmolscharte (2.262 m) on day 24.
      All three are well secured, the first two not so bad, basically hiking along some wires, the latter requires some climbing and thus some climbing equipment. There is a always an alternate route available around these passages, usually longer with less altitude, recommended anyhow if weather is bad.
      If you are in good shape and love hiking – also for longer periods of time – this entire hike is definitely a must-do hike ! Highly recommended. I am already thinking about doing it ones more.

  2. anton Says:

    Hi there! I have done the trip some 15 years ago and it has changed my life! i am now in SA and would like to give a english copy of “traumpfad” to one og my hiking buddies but i cannot find an english version. any suggestions?


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