On our recent travel through Germany, we spent some time after the Zugspitze at this amazing Partnachklamm. I had never heard of it and wasn’t really sure what my friend meant when she kept saying we are going to visit the “Klamm”. I just said, cool let’s go. I had no idea what I was in for.
We just finished playing in the snow at the Zugspitze and I anticipated a long car ride to the “Klamm”, boy was I wrong when my friend pulled into this parking lot a few minutes later. It was the Olympia Stadium for the Winter Olympics in 1936. I was in aw of the parking lot and was a little disappointed that it looked all run down and pretty much deserted. For some reason I thought the last Olympics there were in the 80’s I was again, dead wrong and thinking back that the Olympics in 1936 were under the Nazi regime, this place looked pretty good for being THAT old. Garmish is competing to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and it would be pretty cool to see this place alive again.
Once we looked around this Stadium, we took of a long, long, long walk to the Partnachklamm. It started to rain pretty heavy but we were determined to get where we were going, still clueless I followed my friend and her family, rain, soaking wet and all. Once we arrived at our destination… WOW, it was breathtaking. So worth the long wet walk and I bet it would have been more stunning (Is there such a word??) if it was sunny or maybe even snowed over, I so have to come back and visit this place during the 4 seasons and see it change. My son said this was the best part for him during this entire trip, he loved it.
What is Partnachklamm you ask, well it took me a while to figure out so here is what it’s all about. The Partnach Gorge (German: Partnachklamm) is a deep gorge that has been incised by a mountain stream, the Partnach, in the Reintal valley near the south German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The gorge is 702 meters (2,303 ft) long and, in places, over 80 meters (260 ft) deep. It was designated a natural monument in 1912.
In the Triassic, about 240 million years ago, on the bed of a shallow sea, dark grey, relatively hard layers of Alpine muschelkalk, so-called Wurstelkalk, were laid down in the area of the present day Partnach Gorge. On the bead-like strata of this rock the traces of the burrowing and feeding of marine animals can still be seen. Importantly, about 5 million years later, softer marls were deposited in the same marine basin, which today are known as Partnach Strata (Partnach-schichten).
In the course of the subsequent Alpine mountain folding the so-called Warnberg Saddle (Warnberger Sattel) was formed from these rock strata. The erosion force of the Partnach stream, fed from the Schneeferner glacier on the Zugspitzplatt plateau, was great enough to carry away quickly the softer layers, to keep pace with the continued uplifting of the terrain and thus to cut into the hard Alpine muschelkalk as well. Today the river forms the typically narrow valley shape of a Gorge (Klamm) in the area of the muschelkalk rocks, while the areas of softer Partnach strata to the north and south have a wider valley cross-section.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it? My friend was one of the crazy ones (Still love her dearly) that took her shoes off and put her feet into the cold, cold, freezing cold water. More power to her, but it sure is a pretty cool picture, don’t you think? The water was so pure, fresh and clean, ohh soo clean. It was stunning, an amazing sight to see to say the least.
We spent a few hours walking and admiring what mother nature had to offer and this was one of her finest. As this is totally natural, there are also some danger and good thing I didn’t know this prior to exploring the little nook and granny’s that we found on our tour. But, On 1 June 1991 about 5,000 m³ of rock broke away from a rock face at the southern end of the gorge and blocked the old path as well as the watercourse. Fortunately this unexpected rock fall did not claim any lives. A small, natural dammed lake was formed and the Partnach channeled its way through the giant boulders. Since 1992 a 108 meters (354 ft) long gallery, blasted out of the rock, has bypassed the rock piles and lake. The gallery is lit by windows, from which one can see this natural event completely safely.
That was pretty amazing to learn about the rock fall, WOW.. kind of scary but still interesting. We saw little things along the way that made me think “What if it would fall”… but moved on in Ahh’s and ohh’s. I’m still amazed by this experience and glad my friend brought us here. I think without my friend and her family I would have never even considered taking the long walk or even the entire trip to South Bavaria. I’m thankful for wonderful friends and love sharing this with all of you so in case you ever end up in Germany, you know all the little in’s and out’s that you HAVE to see on your trip.
Once the rain stopped and the sun started to settle down for the night we drove off into this beautiful sunset. I just had to share it. It was as beautiful as the trip through Garmish and the Zugspitze. We sure had an eventful day and wouldn’t want to miss it for anything.
If you ever travel through Germany, be sure to set some time aside for the Zugspitze and this amazing Partnachklamm. You will thank me later and will be totally stun by the beautiful sights. For more information, be sure to check out this brochure it will give lot more details about the Partnachklamm and info’s along with pictures.
I will have many more of our Travel posts in the weeks to come, so be sure to check back often, pin your favorite travel posts and if you missed any, no worries you can find them all in my Germany folder, you also want to make sure to visit our German Recipe section for authentic dishes that are simple to make.
How did you enjoy the trip through the Partnachklamm in Garmish, Germany?
I was not compensated nor asked to write this post; just merely our Family vacation that I’m sharing with you, hope you are enjoying our trip.