Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Elevation:||2,962 metres (9,718 feet)|
|Latitude:||47° 25′ N|
|Longitude:||10° 59′ E|
|Location:||Germany and Austria|
|Range:||Bavarian Alps, more precisely the Wetterstein range in the northern Kalkalpen|
|First ascent:||1820 by G. Deutschl, Maier and J. Naus|
|Easiest route:||through the Reintal to the Knorrhütte and on over the plateau to the summit|
The Zugspitze (Zug="draught", Spitze="peak") is the highest mountain in Germany. It is located at the Austrian border in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria. There is a cog railway (Zugspitzbahn) leading from the tourist resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the peak. There are also two cable cars that go to the peak from the base: one ascends from the German side of the mountain at the Eibsee, and the other ascends from Austria. The peak is regularly crowded with tourists.
For those wishing to reach the summit more honestly, various hiking and ski trails can also be followed to the top. Hiking to the top from the base takes two days, and you can eat or stay at various lodges depending on the trails you take.
The border between Germany and Austria goes right through the mountain, and there is even a border checkpoint at the summit where visitors may cross back and forth between the two countries.
On the Zugspitze's massif lie two of Germany's few glaciers, the Schneeferner and the Höllentalferner.
At the Zugspitze's summit is the Münchner Haus, well known in Germany as an Alpenvereinshütte, a facility used by the mountain-climbing association (Alpenverein). For more than a hundred years now, the summit has also had a weather station, which nowadays also gathers data for the Global Atmosphere Watch .
The first recorded ascent to the summit was accomplished by a team of land surveyors on 27 August 1820. The team was led by Lieutenant Josef Naus, who was accompanied by two men named Maier and G. Deutschl. Earlier ascents by local people are possible, but not documented.
On 7 January 1882 the first successful wintertime assault on the Zugspitze was accomplished by F. Kilger, H. and J. Zametzer and H. Schwaiger.
Climbing up the Zugspitze can involve either one of two routes. On the German side, from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, climbers go through the Höllental ("Hell Valley"), and the Partnachklamm (a narrow gorge) joining up with the Reintal. From the Austrian side, from Ehrwald, climbers proceed over the West Flank. The easiest route is the way through the Partnachklamm and the Reintal to the Zugspitzplatt (a plateau) and thence to the summit. The difference in elevation between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the summit is 2 200 m, making the climb a challenge even for trained mountaineers. At the end of the Höllental, climbers must use ladders and boards as well as other equipment to be sure that they do not slip. After that, they go across the Höllentalferner and on over the Irmerscharte (a gap) to the Zugspitze. Climbers should reckon on a trip of 7-8 hours, making an overnight stay at the Höllentallangerhütte advisable. The way through the Reintal is not as hard, but rather long. A trip of 8-10 hours should be expected.
The Zugspitze's exact height was a matter of debate for quite a while. Given figures ranged from 2 960 m to 2 970 m, but it is now generally accepted that the peak is 2 962 m above sea level as a result of a survey done by the Bayerisches Landesvermessungsamt ("Bavarian Provincial Measuring Office"). The lounge at the new café is named "2962" for this reason.
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