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The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. It is located at the Austrian border in the town of Grainau of the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria. On the Austrian side is the town of Ehrwald in the district of Reutte, Tyrol. There is a cog railway (Zugspitzbahn ) leading from the tourist resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the peak. There are also two cable cars that go to the peak from the base: one ascends from the German side of the mountain at the the lake Eibsee (Eibsee Aerial Tramway), and the other ascends from Austria (Tiroler Zugspitzbahn ). The peak is regularly crowded with tourists. For those wishing to reach the summit under their own power, various hiking and ski trails can also be followed to the top. Hiking to the top from the base takes between one and two days. Food and lodging is available on some trails. In winter the Zugspitze is a popular skiing and snowboarding destination, with several slopes on both sides. The Zugspitzplatt is the highest ski resort of Germany and thus has enough snow all winter.

The border between Germany and Austria goes right through the mountain. There used to be a border checkpoint at the summit. But since Germany and Austria are now both part of the Schengen zone, the border crossing is no longer staffed.

The Zugspitze belongs to the Wetterstein range in the northern Kalkalpen. It gets its name from the many avalanches (Lawinenzüge in German) on its steep north slopes.

At the Zugspitze's summit is the Münchner Haus, an Alpenvereinshütte, a facility built by the Deutscher Alpenverein. For more than a hundred years now, the summit has also had a weather station, which nowadays also gathers data for the Global Atmosphere Watch.

Shortly after WW II the US military took over the Schneefernerhaus (as the hotel at the top was then called) for the exclusive use of US military and civilian employees. Room rates, including meals, were US$1/day. Ski lessons were available, taught by Austrians and Germans, at a cost of USD$ 0.25 (25 cents) per hour.The first recorded ascent to the summit was accomplished by a team of land surveyors on 27 August 1820. The team was led by Lieutenant Josef Naus, who was accompanied by two men named Maier and G. Deutschl. However, local people had conquered the peak over 50 years earlier, according to a 1770 map discovered by the Alpenverein [1].

On 7 January 1882 the first successful winter assault on the Zugspitze was accomplished by F. Kilger, H. and J. Zametzer and H. Schwaiger.The Zugspitze's exact height was a matter of debate for quite a while. Given figures ranged from 2 960 m to 2 970 m, but it is now generally accepted that the peak is 2 962 m above sea level as a result of a survey carried out by the Bavarian land survey office. The lounge at the new café is named "2962" for this reason.

thanx wikipedia!

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Additional Photos by Marque Berger (rio_de_janeiro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 78 W: 82 N: 410] (2091)
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