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Field trip

Field trip to the Reintal (limited to 25 persons)

Rockfall observatory with a seismic network as well as meteorological and camera stations

The Reintal is an Alpine valley in the Wetterstein Massif close to the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. Due to the variety of active geomorphic processes, including rockfalls off the steep limestone cliffs, debris flows, and snow avalanches, and the river Partnach, the Reintal has been the field area of many geomorphological and hydrological research campaigns over the last few decades.

In 2014, the Geomorphology Section of the GFZ Potsdam installed a monitoring network including six seismic stations, two weather stations, and optical and infrared cameras to detect and classify rockfalls in the Reintal. The main focus of the monitoring campaign is on the about 1,500 m high north face of the Hochwanner mountain with its prominent rockfall niche. This cliff experienced the detachment of a 2.8 Mio m3 rockfall about 500 years ago that created the so-called Steingerümpel (German for rock debris deposit) and dammed the river Partnach. The cliff still shows high rockfall activity, and an 80,000 m3 block can be expected to fall in the near future.

What to expect

  • about 2 hours of hiking to a mountain hut (and back);
  • introduction and discussion about the general geomorphology of the Reintal;
  • great views of the limestone walls of the Reintal and the river Partnach;
  • overnight stay at the Reintalangerhütte.


Start: Friday, 9 June 2017, 15:00 from Hotel Alpenblick Ohlstadt (organized transfer from conference hotel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and further to the Reintal.)

Friday: hiking to the Reintalangerhütte, dinner

Saturday: Partnachursprung (karst spring), Steingerümpel (voluminous rockfall deposit), base and satellite stations of the rockfall observatory

End: Saturday, 10 June 2017, around noon in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (organized transfer from Reintal to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and further on to Munich Central Station/Airport: 1.5 h drive from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.)


We will sleep in dormitories at the Reintalangerhütte. Please find the location here.

Essentials to bring

on the way

  • hiking boots
  • rain jacket
  • rain trousers
  • rucksack
  • water bottle

for the hut

  • sleeping bag
  • head torch
  • slippers
  • towel
  • cash

Budget estimate

The estimated budget to be paid in cash at the start of the conference is €50, which includes bus transfer to the Reintal, bed and breakfast at the mountain hut, and a packed lunch for Saturday. Dinner and evening drinks at the hut are at your own cost (mains are €4–€10, to be paid in cash at the hut).