Germany Mountains Natural Sites

Partnachklamm adventure: feeling like Bilbo Baggins

Partnachklamm gorge in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

During my stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen I had a great opportunity to visit the Partnachklamm, a deep gorge created by a mountain stream – the Partnach, in the winter time and at… night. We walked with torches (I mean the real ones, with fire, you know 😉 ) in almost complete darkness, but if you looked up from the bottom of the gorge, you could see stars shining far above you. It was cold, slippery and wet. I felt like Bilbo the Burglar creeping into the chambers of the dragon Smaug under the Lonely Mountain, but instead of gold everything was covered by ice. Cold, shiny, glittering. Under my feet I heard snow squeaking like the golden coins. The moment was truly magical and no pictures could reflect that!

(below pictures taken during the day)

On the way to the entrance gate I saw a cross. I’ve been told that it is to commemorate those who died in the gorge. They were not tourist or adventure-wishing hikers. There’s also a small figure of Divine Mother Mary on the rock wall in the gorge, I believe it was put there for protection. Why? The gorge was used by locals in the 18th century who, at risk of their lives, transported firewood from the Reintal valley to Partenkirchen. From the 18th century to the 1960s the river and the gorge were used as a rafting stream. The logs, marked with an owner’s symbol, were thrown into the stream and carried by a spring meltwaters down the valley. From time to time logs got jammed. Freeing them required courage and it was not uncommon to lose ones life when carrying out this dangerous task.

Few days after my visit my friends decided to go to the Partnachklamm during the day time. I wanted to join them but I fell so sick that I spent the whole day in… Partenkirchen Hospital 🙁

 Partnachklamm in B&W

Partnachklamm, probably one of the most picturesque gorges in the German Alpine region, can be easily accessed from the parking site at the Olympic Skiing Stadium (Olympia Skistadion) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Entrance to the gorge costs about 3 €, but during snowmelt in spring the gorge is usually closed for the safety reasons.

Colors of the ice

For the ones who get hungry on the way there’s a big, traditional, Bavarian restaurant on the top of the gorge, but make sure you made a reservation first. If you’re too tired (or too heavy after a dinner and couple of beers in the restaurant 😉 ) you can use a very old cable car going from the restaurant to the foot of the hill. But be aware. This is also a kind of adventure… 😉

If you ever wish to see Partnachklamm covered with green instead of ice, Karolina from Kartoflavour posted a nice gallery of this gorge some time ago 😉


Partnach gorge, where is it?

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Partnachklamm 47.464919, 11.121958 Partnachklamm adventure: feeling like Bilbo Baggins

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