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The Watzmann crossing in the Berchtesgaden Alps/Germany

Updated: Jul 11

Watzmann crossing

Classic ridge in the Berchtesgaden Alps: The challenging Watzmann crossing with panoramic views of the Königssee. Here you will find everything you need to know and the GPS data.

Mountain climbing for advanced climbers: When the Watzmann calls, it's time to "put on your mountain boots and go!"

It is not for nothing that the Watzmann crossing is considered the king tour of the Berchtesgaden Alps/Germany

Anyone who climbs to the crown of King Watzmann via this classic ridge walk will be rewarded with a panoramic view that is second to none.

At 2,713 metres, the Watzmann is the third highest mountain in Germany after the Zugspitze and Hochwanner, but hardly any other peak is surrounded by so many legends and myths, and hardly any other peak is on the wish list of so many mountaineers. Anyone who dares to make the challenging Watzmann crossing of the three main peaks (Hocheck, middle and southern peak) in Germany will be rewarded with a breathtaking mountain panorama and views over the famous Watzmann east face down to the Königssee and the picturesque St. Batholomä chapel .

You can find the current tour conditions (unfortunately only in german) on the German Alpine Club (DAV) website.

Key facts about the Watzmann crossing/Germany

-Factor: ♡♡♡♡♡

Walking time : 14 hours

Altitude : 2,400 m up and down

Length : 22.5 km

Accessible by public transport? Yes. By train to Berchtesgaden. From there, take bus number 846 towards Hintersee. Get off at the "Wimbachbrücke" stop. The call bus runs after 8 p.m.

Directions: Coming from Berchtesgaden towards Ramsau: Drive through the village of Engedey and after about 5 km, after a rocky gorge, turn left over a small bridge onto the (expensive) car park.

GPS data: I have uploaded the GPS data for the hike to the Outdoor Active website

Starting and ending point: Wimbach Bridge, Ramsau 628 m.

Safety note: Marked, not fully secured ridge crossing, which should only be attempted in good weather and when the rock is free of snow/ice. Sure-footedness, a head for heights and climbing skills are required. Many places are difficulty levels I-II. Anyone who already has problems climbing to the Hocheck should turn back. The Watzmann crossing in Germany is not a via ferrata.

Equipment: Hiking boots, hiking poles, helmet, harness, via ferrata set, sufficient water, warm location

Further information and links:

Tourist Information Bergerlebnis Berchtesgaden, Maximilianstr. 9, 83471 Berchtesgaden, Tel.: +49-8652-65650-0,

Mountain guide:

Berchtesgaden Mountain Guide Association, Reschenweg 33, 83486 Ramsau, Tel: +49 151 21155092,

Huts: Watzmannhaus, 1930 m, DAV Munich section, open mid-May to mid-October, Tel. +49 8652 964222,

Wimbachgrieshütte, 1372 m, open mid-May – mid-October, Tel. +49 8657 7944001,

My tip: The Watzmann crossing is a classic in the Alps and is accordingly popular. If you don't want to queue, it's best to do the tour during the week - that way you have a chance of getting a place to stay overnight at the Watzmannhaus. Even if the tour is not a via ferrata, I definitely recommend taking a via ferrata set and a helmet with you.

Approximate walking times:

Hikers with good stamina can complete the mountain tour in one day, but most climb to the Watzmannhaus on the first day and attempt the crossing the next day. Those who prefer a more leisurely approach can spend the night in the Wimbachgrieshütte after the descent and hike back to the starting point at the Wimbachklamm in 2-3 hours the next morning.

Wimbach Bridge - Watzmannhaus 3:30 hrs.

Watzmannhaus - Hocheck 2 hours

Hocheck - Mittelspitze 1 hour

Middle Peak - South Peak 2 hours

South peak - Wimbachgrieshütte 3:30 hrs.

Wimbachgrieshütte - Wimbachbrücke 2 hours

Click on the first picture to see the Watzmann crossing step by step


The Watzmann crossing is marked with red/white markings.

From the Wimbach Bridge, a wide forest path leads steadily uphill over the Stubenalm and the Mitterkaseralm to the Watzmannhaus - the starting point of the Watzmann crossing. If you spend the night here, you can start the alpine adventure well rested the next morning: From the Watzmannhaus, a marked alpine path leads to the Hocheck. This is a good time to put on your helmet and via ferrata set (although the tour is not a via ferrata!). This is where the exposed Watzmann ridge begins, which leads over the middle peak to the southern peak. Extremely narrow in places and only secured with steel cables in places, you need to be absolutely sure-footed and free from vertigo. The view down over the Watzmann east face down to the Königssee is simply spectacular. The descent from the southern summit is mostly on loose gravel and always steep to the end of the Wimbach Valley. From the Wimbachgries Hut (overnight accommodation), a wide forest path leads back to the starting point at the Wimbach Bridge.

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