GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — As the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics, Garmisch-Partenkirchen has over 60 kilometers of ski slopes with varying levels of difficulty. Community members can find family-friendly slopes in the Garmisch Classic Area as well as World Cup racing conditions on the famous Kandahar slope on the Osterfelder mountain. The ski season usually starts right before Christmas and ends towards the end of March.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers skiing at three mountain locations: the Hausberg, the Alpspitze/Osterfelder and the Kreuzeck (Garmisch Classic). Although they basically merge into one big ski area, there are three different cable cars — one for each area. For the 2021/2022 season, prices start at 50 euros per day for adults. The ticket is valid for the entire Garmisch Classic Area, and you can easily get from the Hausberg to the Osterfelder area by crossing the Kreuzeck slopes. The gentle slopes around the Hausberg area are perfect for beginners and families. The Kinderland by Hausberg offers fun for the little ones on skies. Additionally, there are several ski schools that offer classes for everyone.
Several mountain huts, in close vicinity of the slopes, invite adventurers to take a break. When resting, you can enjoy traditional Bavarian food while either sitting near a cozy Kachelofen — a wood burning oven — or enjoying the sun out on the terrace overlooking breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Après-ski venues can be found at the bottom of the slopes as well as downtown in the pedestrian zone. There, you can enjoy Gluehwein — mulled wine — or hot chocolate and maybe a bratwurst or crepes.
The high-altitude glacial ski area on top of Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, opens mid-November; moreover, you can ski there until the beginning of May. The view from the top is absolutely spectacular and well worth a visit, even if you do not ski. A combination of cogwheel train and cable car takes you to bottom of the slopes and then up to the very peak at 2,962 meters or 8,925 feet.
Additionally, every year around the months of January and February, the Alpine Ski World Cup stops in Garmisch to host both men’s and women’s races.
For non-skiers, there is a great choice of winter hikes, as well as the options to try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing.
Guidance and rules on COVID-19 measurements and news for the Zugspitze and Garmisch Classic can be found here. Personnel assigned to the U.S. Army Garrison footprint should also consult the 7th Army Training Command COVID-19 Portal, here.