Winter in the Isarwinkel
A frosty morning walk towards Brauneck, Lenggries. Just before the start of the ski season, the trees are dusted by the season’s first frost. The cable car lift climbs through the trees to the top of Brauneck. The first frost on the downhill black run. Minus 1 at 690m above sea level, winter is coming slowly down the mountainside. Heading back towards Lenggries. Cold camera hands (no gloves). The church tower is small against the Geierstein rising up in the background. Winter is slowly on its way.
A warm sunny February day, I took a midday walk along the Steinbach near Gaißach, the fields are covered in snow but the recent warm weather has hardened the surface. The area is part of the upper Isarwinkel Stating loop, with these views it’s an understandable attraction. The moisture in the air gives the distant mountains their blue haze.
After yesterday’s warm weather the snow has returned covering these stone circles on the banks of the river Isar with a light covering of fresh snow. This maze was put together in the summer months and is part of a number of stone artwork along this part of the river. A rise in the river level covers these banks and removes the stone through the power of the rivers flow.
A warm day wander along a cold stream. The Steinbach flows down from the eastern valley mountains along the Isarwinkel. In places the stream is frozen over as the flow winds downhill beneath the surface of the ice. The streams stones are covered by mounds of snow, sealing the surface. The occasional changes of level in the stream, creates a new frozen waterfall where ice forms at the side of the flow.
On a winter’s day with a clear blue sky, the Herzogstand rises above the Walchensee mountain lake. Taken from the south side of the lake, the weather was so warm I sat on the beach at just took in the panorama of the surrounding mountains. A tranquil place at the best of times, in winter empty !
A thin sheet of ice covers the surface of the water.
This isn’t a place as such, the bridge spanning the Sylvensteinsee offers stunning views towards the distant Karwendel range. The see was created as a dam in the upper Isar valley to prevent the River Isar running dry in the summer months, now it is also used for generating power and preventing floods. On days like this the view is stunning, when ever I drive this way through it’s worth stopping and taking it all in.
Turning to Spring
An early spring bike ride up the river Isar towards the Sylvensteinspeicher, it’s early April and the sunlight is still low in the sky, casting shadows across the stone and gravel landscape, where washed up tree branches and roots lay scattered across the river plain. This particular area offers a great view across the mountains to the prominent peaks of the Roß and Buchstein mountains in the distance.
Escaping the spring buzz of surrounding lawnmowers, I headed out for the rolling spring hills above the town of Bad Tölz. Trying out the new mountain bike for the first time, I cycled along the swollen riverbanks from Lenggries downstream towards Bad Tölz at the head of the Isarwinkel.
I reach the small village Hinterriß and have a look around this small settlement sitting below the surrounding mountain peaks. I head out of the village towards Eng, the road becomes a private toll road after a short distance. The landscape opens out while the road narrows as it follows the riverbed which has widened at this point. The view is dominated by the towering Risser Falk mountain which I saw from further back sown the valley. I stop for a while to take in the scenery then decide to turn for home as it is beginning to cloud over with thunder stacks.
After the rain stops falling it’s a relief to grab the camera and get out of the house, the colour of the trees is just stunning, even though it’s late in the afternoon the bright green of the trees livens up the hills surrounding the lake, casting reflections on the still water.
I stop in a clearing to take in the view down the Jachenau valley, the outline of the southern rock faces of the Latschenkopf and Benediktenwand mountains rise above the tree line. Turning back into the woods the Lettner Berg signals the start of the climb up the Rehgraben.