Bavarian Alps, Berchtesgaden National Park. Königsee, Bavaria, Germany. July 14, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
The Bavarian Alps rise above Königsee in Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany
Over the course of a summer week in 2013 we had a lot of opportunities to gaze at these Bavarian Alps. We spent a week with family in the Berchtesgaden area, staying in a big farm-house with views across a bucolic valley and into the mountains as they rose to the summit of the Watzmann, the second-highest peak in Germany. We did the “tourist thing” and rode the electric boats up the Königsee Lake between high ridges, and on one memorable day we visited Jennerbahn, took the tram to the top, and spent the rest of the day descending alpine valleys on foot — with a mid-hike stop for snacks and a beer!
During our stay I think I got a sense of how these mountains are different from my “home range” of the Sierra Nevada — though I would need a much longer stay and more hiking to get to know them well. Because they are built from different sorts of rock, the shapes of the peaks are often quite different. The tall rugged peaks also rise almost directly from relative lowlands — for example, a short hike took us from the lake to the base of a huge cliff at Die Eiskapelle, a place that felt thoroughly alpine. In the Sierra we have kept vast stretches of the range relatively wild, isolated from human structures to the point that one can imagine that he/she is in a fully wild place. In the alps there are huts, and you can stop for a beer in the middle of an afternoon hike! The ridges and valley in this photograph rise from the shoreline of the Königsee.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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