During our van-tour this summer we stayed in Munich for a couple of days and I took the opportunity to go south to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for a little solo trip to Alpspitze on the Via Ferrata that leads up to the summit. It’s a half day trip if you take the cable car to the AlpspiX viewing platform.
As a climber and runner I would say this is a easy route that is easily done in total of 3-4 hours from the cable car. If you are not on the first cable car and first to start the route you might be waiting behind slower people.
I used my trailrunning shoes (inov8 mudclaw – good for smearing and pretty good rubber), I saw alot of people with serious B2 boots. Totally overkill in my opinion. A climbing harness and a proper via ferrata set. Walking poles could be used for the descent along the hiking path (nordwandersteig). Helmet!
It’s a well marked 30 min trek from the cable car to the start of the via ferrata. For me it took 90 minutes the Via Ferrata portion, I overtook a few slower people. Most sections I felt were really easy and safe so I didn’t even clip in (a lot faster than clipping all the time). If you clip all the time I think it would take up to 2 hours. I enjoyed the view and some snacks at the top for 30 min and then 60 minutes down along the ridge (Ostgrat) that leads to the hiking trail (Nordwandersteig). It’s the obvious trail that leads along the ridge downwards, a few passages with cable (that you clip if you want to). Two tunnels along the way back, without a flashlight you might step in some puddles, like I did.
I saw people do it without any climbing gear and a saw people with mountaineering boots, helmets and huge backpacks clipping every cable there is. Luckily you can pass people in a few places.
A trip totally worth it, easy, fast, a restaurant to get your post summit reward. And I was in luck to have great weather!