Alpine climber Simon Gittel is known for his great rapports and crossings. Struggling against time is also nothing new for his colleague, mountain guide Alexander Scherl. Together they achieved a new coup with the “Watzmann Zugspitze Marathon”: Watzmann’s eastern face and the Iron Age to the Zugspitze, combined by bike in less than 24 hours.
The idea of combining two classic bike tours of his homeland in 24 hours and then standing on two of Germany’s three highest mountains has long fascinated mountain guide Alexander Scherl. He seems to have found in Simon Gittel the perfect partner for the “Watzmann-Zugspitze Marathon”. Together they overcame an altitude of 6600 meters and a distance of 231 kilometers (of which 203 kilometers by bike and 28 kilometers on foot) in 21 hours and 28 minutes.
Endurance-tested alpine climbers
Simon Gittel and Alexander Scherl used to master long engagements and overtakes in a race against time. For example, Gittel climbed the north faces of Oertler, Gross Zeyne and Grossglockner with his partner Vittore Messini and linked the route between them by bike (Lacroix reported), while Scherl, alongside triathlete Roman Deisenhofer, climbed from Augsburg to Zugspitze over the Augsburg Mountains. Jubilee Ridge and back less than 15 hours required.
Simon Gittel and Alexander Scherl conquered an altitude of 2100 meters from the Eibsee near Garmisch to the highest point in Germany. the pictures: Photography by Sylvain Metz
“Watzmann-Zugspitze Marathon”: Non-stop climbing and cycling
The two state-certified mountain guides began their first joint tour in Königssee, and from there they passed through the East Face to Watzmann. This classic, with a wall height of 1,800 meters and a climbing distance of about three kilometers, has a difficulty of 3+, and therefore primarily in route finding.
This was followed by crossing towards Hotcek and descending into the valley. We then continued on the racing bike and covered 203 kilometers with an elevation gain of 2,300 meters to the Iron Age starting point at Lake Ebsee near Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
In contrast to the East Face, the Iron Age to Zugspitze tour is a very recent tour from 2014. Here too there was another 2100m from the start to the highest point in Germany. The climbing difficulty on this tour is moderate at -4.
6,600 meters of altitude and 231 kilometers in just over 21 hours
Exactly 21 hours and 28 minutes after the start in Königssee, the two clapped aloft at the top of the Zugspitze: the project was completed, well short of the 24-hour time that Alexander Scherl had been aiming for. During the Watzmann-Zugspitze Marathon, Simon Gittel and Alexander Scherl climbed 6,600 meters and covered a distance of 231 kilometers – 203 kilometers by bike and 38 kilometers on foot.
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Credits: Cover image Photography by Sylvain Metz
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