Ascent of Imbergerhorn on 2017-05-26

Climber: Lee Newton

Others in Party:Daniel Newton
Zoe Newton
Eilska Tenglerova
Date:Friday, May 26, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:5430 ft / 1655 m

Ascent Trip Report

The long weekend over Auffahrt (Ascension) is a popular time for many people to make a first (summer) trip of the year to the mountains. My wife is in New York with some girlfriends from University - but we decide to go anyway to the beautiful Oberallgäu region of southern Germany. We is our son Daniel (8), our daughter Zoe (6) and our Czech au pair Eilska.

On the second day of our trip we wake up to a cloudless sky and decide to go "high". We drive a short distance north to Sonthofen, then east to the bottom of the Hornbahn cable car. 31 Euros (return) and 15 minutes later we are at 1320m above a lush green alpine valley with a signpost which says "Imbergerhorn 1h, Alpine Gefahren" (Alpine dangers). Not a very auspicious start to a hike with a 6 year old..

The initial 30 minutes or so are on a not particularly steep gravel road. It is already T-shirt weather, and there are plenty of people around without it feeling busy. Soon the path to the mountain is signposted left. It begins innocuously but does zigzag up grassy slopes in amongst trees, which at times are steep enough that at certain points a slip could have serious consequences. A gully still full of old hard snow is crossable without difficulty on this very warm day. At one point there is a chain for protection which I am grateful for with the kids although I would normally deem it unnecessary.

In amongst the usual greetings "Gruess Gott" and "Servus" a few people give us funny looks / stares. I eventually realise that most of these are directed at Eliska. I can see them thinking.. a very old big sister? .. a scandalously young second wife?... or? It amuses us greatly, even though the kids don't understand, and we're not really inclined to explain it to them.

After an hour or so, and two chocolate breaks, we emerge onto the final ridge with fine views. There is a short traverse and a final steep bit to a quite airy summit. Daniel takes great pride in writing a message in the summit register. Zoe shows me sore toes which mean that she gets a new pair of hiking shoes that afternoon (the first with real laces to tie - the second triumph of the day..)

The descent is accomplished without real incident, although Daniel gives himself a fright at one point by slipping on the gravel path. But the cafe at the top of the cable car serves us rather fine Apfelstrudel and a huge scoop of chocolate ice cream for Zoe.

All in all a fine little summit, but kids need to be quite sure-footed before the route can be recommended.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1099 ft / 334 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:Marked route (direct)
    Trailhead:Hornbahn cable car top station  4331 ft / 1320 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes

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