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Sonntag, 21. Juni 2020

Daniel Peak - Lermoos, ZugspitzArena, Tirol

Summer Solstice Bonfire - Die Alpen glühen!

Reaching the peak - short video
and the GPS-Route
8 km uphill ascending 1.300 m, about 3,5 hours including 2 breaks.
Daniel Peak is 2.340 m high.
After three years I met the German group today again as I have great memories back in 2017 when I first met them in Berchtesgaden. Actually, it was only Benjamin, the guy from Munich who organizes all these tours with an admirable consequence, almost every single weekend of the year!
Cloudy and moody weather in the morning. The reason for this tour was the summer solstice that is celebrated on these mountains in a very spectacular way - and I will mention details below in the story.
The picture above: I tried for years to catch such a picture with the red snake crossing a spectacular landscape!
I was on my way to the Panorama Bad as the meeting point coming from my overnight place after a nice breakfast only one km away. 
And I was about half an hour earlier at the spot. The start was fixed for 12:30, so I expect that we start at about 1 p.m. In the meantime, as anybody from the group arrived yet, it started to rain. Softly, but rich small water drops.
At 12:50 the parking place was full and we all were ready to go. Seventeen persons, many of them already met before for similar tours. Except for Benjamin, I didn't know anybody anymore. And he really carried a chair with him - something I would never do, to be honest.
We started at 1 p.m. on the narrow path left of the Panorama Swimmingpool in Lermoos.
For about one hour without break, the path is leading steeply through the forest and from a time point we split into two groups but in a relaxed way. 
This is what I always liked going with Benjamin: he respects the tempo of the slowliest and every single person will be waited for without anger or stress.
The area around Lermoos is pretty scenic because four mountains meet here: the Lechtal Alps, the Mieming Range, the Wetterstein Mountains and the Ammergau Alps. 
The picture below: where we are going to today ..... Daniel's Peak on the right.
The surrounding and impressive mountains can be surveyed particularly well from the highest elevation in the Ammer Mountains, the Daniel. The Daniel forms a double summit with the Upspitze and can be reached via a wide connecting ridge.
After we meet again a forest road, we follow a short distance before we hit the bushes again to reach a viewpoint with seating over alpine meadows. Here we turn right and reach the Tuftlalm after about one hour - 1 1/4 hour walk. 

I stayed behind the group to make a video and as I reached the meadow at the end of the steep narrow path I was surprised to see that everybody went left to the hut and anybody went to the right on the platform to see the entire area from a different angle.... so I enjoyed the platform for me alone .... 
As I couldn't convince myself to leave that spot very soon, when I finally reached the hut everybody already started the route to the peak again :-), so I run shortly to catch up the group.
From the hut, we hike along with the small chapel on the right and reached alpine meadows lined with conifers. Here were the hut's cows and a big concert of bells stretched over the entire area.
Don't expect to see such big, strong and clean cows everywhere in Austria, anyway! I was wandering not to see calves, not one of them. At the hut itself not a trace of calves too.

Later we reach the edge of the Kars, above which the Upsspitze and Daniel rise. 

Between shrubs and mountain pines the path winds ever steeper towards the Upspitze. 
The mountain pines are withdrawing more and more, and towards the end the path is increasingly lost in the rubble. 

The final climb to the connecting ridge between Upsspitze and Daniel is very steep and tedious. In the end, we reach the summit cross of Daniels surprisingly easily via the broad connecting ridge.

Year after year, the mountains are set ablaze during the time of the summer solstice – for good reason: It’s a true event highlight in the region when the longest day and the shortest night of the year are celebrated with spectacular and fiery designs. 
Every year approximately on the third Saturday in June, the valley basin of
Ehrwald-Lermoos-Biberwier is illuminated by a special kind of light – if the weather allows it. 
More than 300 so-called “mountain firers” have made it their mission to ensure that the breathtaking masterpieces illuminate the mountains right on time. This requires taking thorough measurements of the mountain faces, based on which the motives of the spectacular fire sculptures are designed.
By the way, the picture below ist "just" a spectacular sunset and has with the firing event nothing in common. I was lucky to be there and to experience such colours!
Afterwards, up to 700 bags – filled with sawdust and rapeseed oil – are transported onto the mountains and then neatly arranged to form an image.
Anchoring them in the steep terrain at 2,000 metres above sea level as well as descending at night requires extensive mountaineering experience and climbing skills. In total, about 10,000 individual fires are lit.
Even before the sun sets, numerous visitors eagerly anticipate the bright-orange fire sculptures that are about to illuminate the mountains – among them the Wetterstein range, the Mieming range and the Lechtal Alps. The images portrayed by the fiery masterpieces are diverse, and they surprise visitors year after year.
The distance is big and it takes a long time until a design can be really figured it out what it shows. Taking good pictures is also a challenge and almost impossible if you don't have a good camera or if you aren't by chance very familiar with the nocturne techniques of taking pictures.
The designs range from symbols from mythology and spirituality to current topics. 
Glowing crystals, stags made of fire or luminous hearts are only some of the many impressive creations that have the audience in awe every year.
Being there and experiencing the fires this year: it is the atmosphere around the place and the legend of the long tradition. It might be something special, but I cannot say I felt something very special. It is a very individual emotion and this is always the story of what we perceive at certain moments of life, right? I didn't come here for the fires, but for the Journey itself.

By the way: Bonfires during summer solstice have their origin in an old tradition that dates back to the 14th century. At the time, the fires were believed to protect people from demons and evil spirits. 

Downhill partially on rain - 1h30' until Tuftalm where we stayed until 10 p.m. to watch the mountains in fire as very shortly described here: Mountains in fire - summer solstice Tirol celebration

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