I travelled to Füssen by train and bus from Salzburg and cheated by taking the Tegelbergbahn up to the Tegelberghaus. This was due to shortage of time rather than laziness! The Tegelberghaus is a private hut which has seen better days but nevertheless it was a useful overnight stop allowing an early start the following day – although we had to persuade the management to serve breakfast at 7.30 am as they weren’t very keen on serving breakfast before 8.30 am. It is a long hike to the Kenzenhütte and important to get going early.
The first part of the route was relatively flat through forest until a signpost for the Ahornsattel was reached. Here the path splits and the route to the Kenzenhütte heads uphill for a short while to the Ahornsattel, rounds the Straußbergköpfl and then heads to the Niederstraußbergsattel. The route traverses the side of the Niederer Straußberg before heading up to the Gabelschrofensattel – I counted 17 zigzags. At the Gabelschrofensattel it is possible to head straight down to the Kenzenhütte but I wanted to tackle the Hochplatte so I took the path to the right up to the Krähe, a peak at 2012 m. There were a couple of climbing passages involved here which were not secured with a cable. They were not particularly difficult but some people might find them exposed and nerve-wracking. On top of the Krähe a strong wind was blowing which made me wonder whether I should avoid the Hochplatte by bailing out at the next opportunity. The path heads downhill from the Krähe and along the sheltered side of the ridge to the Fensterl – a window in the rock. There is a direct route to the Kenzenhütte which begins by climbing through the window – I did not take this route but a couple I met in the next hut did. They said the way down from there was very steep and over scree and they found it strenuous. In fact they took nearly as long via this shortcut as I did over the Hochplatte. However, they suffered from vertigo and were unsure of the Hochplatte so it was probably for the best that they took the “shortcut”.
The “Fensterl” along the route to the Hochplatte. The direct descent to the Kenzenhütte begins on the other side of this window in the rock
I continued straight on past the Fensterl and began the ascent to the Hochplatte. This was an exposed route along a ridge over rocky terrain. As I climbed higher the wind blew harder and it was really quite terrifying at times. The path was about 15 cm wide and to the right there was a narrow rocky outcrop about knee height. I had to kneel down with my back to the wind and hug the outcrop as I waited for the wind to die down as it was impossible to stand up without the risk of being blown off. The wind was not forecast and had blown up suddenly. There was no sign of a lessening of the wind so I began to edge sideways along the ridge on my knees holding tight to the outcrop until the route thankfully crossed to the sheltered side of the ridge and descended a little. Here there was a section to climb down – about 7 m – with a cable to help. This section was qutie difficult. After that the path headed back up again onto the ridge, eventually reaching the west peak of the hochplatte and a little further on, the east peak with the cross on top of the peak.
A view along the ridge on the approach to the Hochplatte
After lunch on the Hochplatte (on the sheltered side!) I began the descent which was initially a long ridge walk, gradually losing height.
A view back up to the Hochplatte, taken during the descent of the ridge.
It took nearly 3 hours to hike down from the Hochplatte to the Kenzenhütte via the Weitalpjoch and Lösertaljoch. There were no particular technical difficulties – it was just a long way! It was wonderful to see the hut and hear the people sitting on the terrace after a long but enjoyable day. I took about 6 and a half hours in total, including breaks.
The Kenzenhütte was very “gemütlich” with good food, hot showers (extra charge) and good company. There was a group there who had come from the Brunnenkopfhäuser via the Klammspitzgrat (our route for the next day) and they were full of horror stories about it and how horrendous it was. That made me a little worried for the next day but I did wonder if they were exaggerating somewhat!
Alpenglühen by the Kenzenhütte – a rare phenomenon which occurs at sunset making the mountains glow red.