Day 27 / Ehrwald-Anhalter Hütte

Yesterday I climbed Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze (2962m), which I’ve chosen as the northern turning point of my journey. Four countries down, four to go, on this nobordertrek!

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View back to the hulking mass of Zugspitze

Although it may seem paradoxical, for me the mountains symbolise freedom. Despite appearing as borders and barriers, the Alps are quite the opposite. Countless roads and paths connect the valleys, and they always have. Many of the people living here have traditionally lived from crossing the mountains, for instance smuggling goods across the borders which sovereign states artificially draw through them (most of the first mountain guides were smugglers). Today, these mountains are hardly barriers; they connect people. I have met people from countless countries on my trek, all of whom are attracted to their beauty and the sense of independence which one can experience here.

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Blindsee, below the Fernpass

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Schloss Fernsteinsee

Leaving Ehrwald, my day’s hike first leads me over the Fernpass, through a landscape of small hills and lakes created by a huge prehistoric landslide. Then, turning west I head into the Lechtal Alps and the region of Tyrol aptly named Ausserfern, “outer far”; it really feels remote. Staying north of the gigantic ridge of the Heiterwand, heading through a grassy and muddy valley (raining, as usual) and over a col (Hinterbergjoch, 2202m) I finally reach the Anhalter Hütte after about 32 km of trekking. I don’t know exactly, because the GPS failed to record a section in the middle of the day; but either way it was a long day… The weather will hopefully be on the mend soon, and I still have a long way to go to Nice!

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Into the Ausserfern

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Up to Hinterbergjoch; Heiterwand on the left

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Sheep + rain = mud

Have a great day,
Phil

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