Thumbs up for hiking on the Nebelhorn in Allgäu

If you’re looking for mini-adventures, then the Allgäu is a good place to head for. This is exactly what this hike promises – a genuine adventure. Our goal is the Großer Daumen (German for “Big Thumb”), a mountain near the well-known Nebelhorn at Oberstdorf.

We were really excited about this route from the Höfratsblick cable car station to the summit of the Großer Daumen. If you want an even bigger adventure, there is also a via ferrata alternative.

From the cable car, we head straight up over steep ground for a good while. However, the paths are well-made and easy to follow. The gradient then tails off. The surrounding mountain landscape is breathtaking with its wild, jagged and austere rock formations. We constantly have to stop to take it all in.

Before long, what started out as an easy hike turns into a scramble over scree and large rocks that increasingly block our path. We part scramble, part climb our way onwards. Our speed varies as there are both uphill and downhill sections. It’s quite tiring, as we have to really concentrate and watch where we place our feet.

After around four kilometres, we pass a small lake – the Koblatsee. The tips of the surrounding mountains are reflected in the beautiful, turquoise waters. For a moment, we stop to enjoy the view before heading on to our next goal: the Laufbichelsee.

From here on in, it’s steep and uphill again. Initially, we’re unsure whether we will even make it to the summit, as the going is pretty tough and we’re having to use our hands and almost climb again. Luckily, it turns out that there are normal trails for the rest of the way. It’s worth stopping to turn around and look back at the view – the tiny lake is now surrounded by a wonderful mountain panorama that is unbelievably beautiful.

After some three hours, we reach the summit of the Großer Daumen. We get to marvel at the view before it’s lost in the mist. The nearby Nebelhorn is living up to its name (“Nebel” is German for mist).

We’ve covered nearly 500 metres of height gain to get here. And we feel proud to have made it, especially because we found it by no means easy going.

We turn and head back the way we came. Then it’s back down into the valley with the cable car. Time to reward ourselves with some delicious hot apple strudel and ice cream.

Click here for part 1 and part 2 of our autumn hiking series from Allgäu. Thank you for coming with us those last weeks.

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