Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The view from the top of Mt. Jenner

Mountain Vista

The first thing you see after reaching the top of Mt. Jenner and making your way through the gift shop and cafe to the viewing platform is the stunning view above. You're tempted to believe the outlook can't get any better, but believe me, you'd be wrong!

At 1,874 metres (6,150 feet) Mount Jenner is one of the highest peaks in Berchtesgadener Land, the Watzmann Massif tops the list with it's triple peak array, Hocheck (2651 m), Mittelspitze (Middle Peak, 2,713m) and Südspitze (South Peak, 2,712m).

There are footpaths that allow the visitor to explore the Jenner and indeed if you're energetic enough you can walk up and down the mountain on pathways like this one. The day we visited the Jennerbahn cable car developed a fault so we did have walk part of the way back down.

Footpath up the mountain
Of course there are some who prefer a faster descent. Skiers adorn the slopes during the winter months and for the more adventurous (crazy!) people there are the hang-gliding ramps to launch yourself from.

Hang-glider takeoff ramp
I admit the idea of launching myself into space 6,000 feet up fills me with trepidation, but I'll bet the experience would be truly amazing!

It is possible to walk between the various peaks by following age old footpaths. There are a few inns and hostels that cater for hill walkers between the mountain tops; this would be a wonderful area for a walking holiday I'm sure.

If the weather was kind I could imagine spending many happy days walking up here enjoying the views, wild flowers and wildlife.

Of course one of the main reasons for making the trip up the Jenner apart from the clean air and the wonderful views of the surrounding Alps, is to look down on the Königssee. Climbing the short distance from the Jennerbahn station to the peak of the mountain is the way forward, so off we trudge for a first glimpse of the lake below.

First glimpse of the Königssee
Not being sure what to expect I struggled to get a better view by stepping off the path and leaning over the side of mountain while keeping a firm one-handed grip.

A little more of the lake
I should have realised I had no need to risk life and limb of course... a further couple of hundred metres up the path brought us to a viewing platform!

Looking down over the Königssee
It's hard to judge from this angle just how steep the sides of the valley are, but easy to see the Königssee is so often referred to as fjord.

Changing lenses while at the viewpoint I was able to capture another view of St. Bartholomä nestling beside the placid waters.

St. Bartholomä
There is also access to the very top of Mt. Jenner from the viewing platform via a stone staircase cut into the rock itself.

The very top!
I was blown away by views from the Jenner and the clarity of the air. As you can see we were well above the cloudbase, but fortunately the clouds were mostly small and broken up allowing us to enjoy the surrounding hills and countryside.

But while looking down onto the valley bottoms below was interesting, for me at least it was the surrounding mountain peaks I found most appealing.

And coming from a country where snow is somewhat of a novelty, seeing the still snow covered peaks in early June was a real treat!

Early June and still snow-capped
Would I visit this area again? In a heartbeat! I have travelled fairly extensively in my life, but few places rival Berchtesgadener Land for natural beauty.