The alpinist Simon Gietl is known for his big link-ups and crossings. The fight against time is also nothing new for his mountain guide colleague Alexander Scherl. Together they have achieved a new coup with the “Watzmann Zugspitze Marathon”: Watzmann East Face and Iron Age to the Zugspitze, combined by bike in under 24 hours.
The idea of combining two classic tours in his homeland by bike within 24 hours and thus standing on two of the three highest mountains in Germany has fascinated mountain guide Alexander Scherl for a long time. In Simon Gietl he seems to have found the perfect partner for his “Watzmann-Zugspitze Marathon”. Together they overcome the 6600 meters in altitude and 231 kilometers of distance (of which 203 kilometers by bike and 28 kilometers on foot) in 21 hours and 28 minutes.
Simon Gietl and Alexander Scherl are used to mastering long link-ups and overshoots in a race against time. For example, Gietl climbed the north faces of Ortler, Grosse Zinne and Grossglockner with rope partner Vittori Messini and connected the route between them by bike (Lacrux reported), while Scherl, together with triathlete Roman Deisenhofer, took less than 15 hours from Augsburg to the Zugspitze over the Jubilee Ridge and back.
Simon Gietl and Alexander Scherl overcome 2100 meters of altitude from Eibsee near Garmisch to the highest point in Germany. Pictures: Silvan Metz Photography
“Watzmann-Zugspitze Marathon”: non-stop climbing and cycling
The two state-certified mountain guides started their first joint interlude at Königsee, from where they went through the east face to the Watzmann. The difficulty of this classic with a wall height of 1800 meters and a climbing distance of around three kilometers is 3+ and therefore primarily in finding the way.
This was followed by crossing towards Hocheck and descending into the valley. We then continued on the racing bike and covered a good 203 kilometers with an altitude difference of 2300 meters to the starting point of the Iron Age at Lake Eibsee near Garmisch Partenkirchen.
In contrast to the east face, the Iron Age to the Zugspitze is a very modern tour from 2014. Here too it was another 2100m from the start to the highest point in Germany. The climbing difficulty of this tour is considered moderate at 4-.
6600 meters in altitude and 231 kilometers in just over 21 hours
Exactly 21 hours and 28 minutes after the start at Königsee, the two high-fived on the summit of the Zugspitze: the project was completed, well below the time of 24 hours that Alexander Scherl had targeted. During their “Watzmann-Zugspitze Marathon”, Simon Gietl and Alexander Scherl climbed 6600 meters in altitude and covered a distance of 231 kilometers – 203 kilometers by bike, 38 kilometers on foot.
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Credits: Cover picture Silvan Metz Photography