Heilbronner Weg - the name that makes the hearts of mountaineers and Alpine lovers beat faster. It's one of the most renowned hiking trails in the Alps — a route that's rich in tradition; a route that's highly regarded as one of the most beautiful climbs in the entire Alpine region. The high altitude trail was opened over a hundred years ago in 1899 by the Heilbronn section of the German Alpine Club. At that time, the term Via Ferrata was far from being widely used — and yet many attempts at such a route were made. On the Heilbronner Weg, you'll scramble along narrow paths, along wire-rope railings, over ladders and bridges at lofty heights on the Allgäu main ridge, and get to enjoy what the locals call 'gipfelglück'— pure summit happiness.
The Heilbronner Weg itself leads from the Heilbronner Törle over several peaks to the Bockkarscharte and is only a little over a mile (three kilometers) long. Since there is no cable car to get on and off the rock climb, you will need several days for the hike. We have put together a first-class three-day trek for you, which you can also complete on a long weekend. From Oberstdorf, you can take the bus to Birgsau — the start of your ascent to the Rappenseehütte, your first night's lodging. The Heilbronner Weg awaits you on the second day and the Kemptner Hütte at the end of the stage. The third stage takes you through the untouched Trettachtal down to Spielmannsau, where you can get on the bus again. If you also want to climb from the Rappenseehütte to the summits of the Rappenseekopf and Hochrappenkopf, the trek can be extended to four days. The multi-day tour is around 18 miles (30 kilometers) long and you will force you up — and down — around 6,300 feet (1,900 meters) of altitude — not including the extra trek to Rappenseekopf. Due to the great difference in altitude and the rocky paths, the hike is particularly suitable for Alpine professionals and experienced mountaineers. The Heilbronner Weg itself requires sure-footedness, absolute freedom from vertigo and demands that you come in peak physical condition. If you are interested in the trail but don't think you can do it on your own, you can also master the rock climb together with a mountain guide.
Since the Heilbronner Weg is often walked on and also lies on the course of the very popular Alpine crossing from Oberstdorf to Meran, you should book your overnight stay in a mountain hut in advance. Oberstdorf is very well connected to the local and long-distance transport network of Deutsche Bahn and can also be reached by long-distance bus. Alternatively, you can also find multi-day parking for your own car.
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On the second stage is now the actual Heilbronner way. This is namely the insured with ropes and ladders summit transition from Heilbronner Törle to Bockkarscharte. Here you scramble on a narrow trail, cross the famous ladder bridge and climb several peaks - pure mountain adventure. From the Bockkarscharte the trail leads you over the snow field of the Schwarzmilzferner down to the Kemptner Hütte.