We were expecting a fairly full on day out on the Notkarspize, as despite the wall to wall sun in the forecast, a 60km/h wind was also forecast on the summits. As we set off from the car park it all seemed quite calm, and a quick look at the Zugspitze weather station suggested that the wind had not materialised.
We decided to head up the ridge past the Ochsensitz and the Ziegelspitz up to the summit of the Nortkarspitze and then descend into the north west corrie and then back down to Ettal. It was great to have a wonderful view of previously completed walks nearby, which include:
- Kristenkar – Bischof – Wankbahn
- Brünstelskopf to Vorderer Felderkopf Ridge
- Hinteres Hörnle Ski Tour
The ascent up through the woods was over fairly quickly, although it was fairly frustrating with lots of icy snow patches, interspersed with dry path. Which meant that we couldn’t wear crampons, but had to move slowly to avoid slipping over.
As we emerged from the trees we were greeted with a stunning view, as it seemed that the haze which had been present over the previous few days had passed. The ridge was really enjoyable as we climbed up to Zeigelspitz and then along it onto the summit of the Notkarspitze. There was plenty of snow on the ground, which was a wonderful consistency for winter walking.
We enjoyed some lunch on the summit in the sun, without a breath of wind, and then started our decent. The first 400m of the descent were wonderful. Down slightly softening snow, so easy on the knees and very quick. The last 600 was not so great, as the descent was very steep and again there were patches of snow interspersed with patches of dry path. We wore our crampons for a long as seemed practical, and then had to slip and slide down the remaining snow patches.
Eventually we reached the valley, and had a very pleasant walk back to the car past Ettal and the beautiful abbey.
Max elevation: 1863 m
Min elevation: 854 m
Total climbing: 1151 m
Total descent: -1146 m