Destinations Magazine

Partnachklamm: The Winter Jewel of Garmisch-Partenkirchen

By Monkeys And Mountains Adventure @Laurel_Robbins

partnachklamm garmisch partenkirchen
Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge) located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany is simply breathtaking in winter!  Snow covered trees,  huge dripping icicles and frozen waterfalls make it a winter wonderland.  It’s also one of the few gorges that is open in winter.
partnachklamm garmisch partenkirchenVisitors park at the Olympic Ski Stadium (Olympiaskistadion) and if you’re lucky will catch ski jumpers in action.  From there it’s about a 20 minute walk to the start of the Partnachklamm which is open year round.  If you’re feeling romantic or just lazy you can also reach the Partnachklamm by a horse drawn carriage.
partnachklamm garmisch partenkirchenThe Partnachklamm follows the historic route used by lumberjacks and leads through tunnels and overhanging cliffs.  It is only 700m long, but is 80m deep and there are lots of possibilities to extend it into a more moderate or strenuous hike.  The nearby Höllentalklam, (Hell Valley Gorge) is longer than the Partnachklamm and also offers longer hiking possibilities, but is only open Spring – Fall.    I would recommend doing the Höllentalklamm sometime between Spring and Fall since it was simply amazing and doing the Partnachklamm in the winter, for two different, but equally inspiring hikes.
partnachklamm garmisch partenkirchenThe other advantage of going to the Partnachklamm in winter is that we saw only a few other hikers on the trail, giving us the illusion that we had the entire gorge to ourselves.  Torchlight tours of the Partnachklamm are also available, although we did a self-guided tour.  Next time I want do the torchlight tour, which would really highlight the tunnels and the icicles.
partnachklamm garmisch partenkirchenThe Partnachklamm was simply stunning covered in icicles, although our German friends were disappointed that the icicles weren’t bigger and recommended that we come back when it was colder and the icicles would be triple the size.  I can’t believe I’m actually hoping for colder weather so that I can go back.
partnachklamm garmisch partenkirchenOur German friends wisely recommended that we extend our hike by 20 minutes to the Forthaus Graseck Hotel, where we warmed up and grabbed a bite to eat.  Instead of going down the same way, we went down in the self-operated Graseckseilbahn, a self operated funicular that’s waiting for you steps from the hotel.  Having no prior funicular operating experience, I was a bit nervous, but relieved to learn that it self-started upon closing the door.  Even I could manage that with my limited machine operating experience!  It’s very old and a bit daunting, especially if you are scared of heights as one of our friends was, but I was not about to turn down the opportunity to add “funicular operator” to my resume.  Plus the views on the way down were worth it.  There’s no such thing as a free ride though – at the bottom the operator collects your €3.50 per person fee.

I’m going back to the Parnachklamm during the next cold spell to see the gigantic icicles- torch in hand.  Don’t worry you can go back down with me in the Graseckseilbahn with me – I’m an experienced operator!  See the Garmisch-Partenkirchen official website for more info on thePartnachklamm.

This photo has been submitted as part of Travel Photo Thursday by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox.  Check out her site for more travel photos.

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