Bergführer | Zugspitz Arena Bayern-Tirol

When the mountain guide no longer leads you into the mountains: Sebastian Buchwieser from Grainau

Mountain and ski touring are extremely popular activities at this time of year. Usually. Because since September, even these group events are no longer allowed to take place. Sebastian Buchwieser from Grainau is a mountain guide and talks about his everyday life without guests.

Sebastian Buchwieser from Grainau is a trained wood sculptor. But for over twenty years he has been taking people up mountains full-time. He is a passionate mountain guide, and knows the peaks around Grainau like the back of his hand. "After school, I trained as a wood sculptor and also worked in the profession for a few years. But I was in the mountains from an early age, climbing and mountaineering. That interested me so much that I trained as a mountain guide," he says.

No work for the mountain guide since September

When it was announced last September that no more mountain tours could take place, he was a bit happy at first. "I'm not at home that much during the summer. So an early winter break came in quite handy. It simply gave me more time for the house and the family," he recalls. Normally, he then gets back to work from Epiphany onwards. But this year, like so many other things, things turned out quite differently. Because until now, he and the other mountain guides from Zugspitzalpin, Buchwieser's mountaineering school, no longer take anyone up high. Nevertheless, the passionate mountain lover has plenty to do right now: "Lately, I've been pursuing sculpting again. We also have vacation apartments and a 400-year-old house - there's really always something to do," he says of his current daily routine.

Without mountain railroad to the top

He also goes to the mountains, of course, but without the company of guests. He always observes that there are relatively many people up there at the moment. "People are drawn to nature, you can't just sit at home all day," he explains sympathetically. But the experienced mountaineer also warns against too much recklessness: because mountain tourists are currently going up on their own and often without the right preparation. "Last week I was on the Alpspitze and although the mountain railroad is closed, there is more going on up there than usual," reports the Grainauer. Under normal circumstances, you take the Alpspitzbahn up to 2,000 meters. Via ferrata experts then climb the remaining almost 600 meters in altitude to the summit via various paths. However, this is not for beginners without prior knowledge and equipment.

For inexperienced mountain lovers, the AlpspiX viewing platform is the visitor magnet par excellence. From there, you can enjoy a tremendous bird's eye view. The glass floor provides an unrestricted view of the Höllental valley and the Zugspitze can also be seen from the very front of the platform. The platform with its typical X is only a few meters away from the mountain station.

"Be careful, don't overestimate yourselves"

According to Buchwieser's assessment, however, what's happening up there at the moment isn't all that harmless: "At the moment, people are running from the valley, from the 600 meters in altitude in Garmisch-Partenkirchen all the way up. Some people are overestimating themselves," reports the mountain guide. And he must know it: Because Sebastian Buchwieser from Grainau works voluntarily at the Grainau Mountain Rescue "You have to consider: normally you can retreat into buildings at the mountain station, be it to recover, warm up or hold out. But now everything is closed up there, whoever can no longer or is not adequately prepared must alert the mountain rescue. And that can be quite expensive under certain circumstances."

That's why Sebastian Buchwieser advises against frivolous trips to heights: "Whether climbing or mountaineering: If you want to learn it properly, you should take a professional'-even if that currently means waiting a bit. At first glance, this may seem excessive and expensive. But if you only learn how to belay on the mountain from friends, you can quickly make serious mistakes," warns the passionate mountain guide, "and then it becomes really expensive - possibly even for your own health. That's why the mountain sportsman advises people to wait with adventurous ventures until tours with a mountain guide are possible again. Until then, the mountains at least offer enough less dangerous terrain for an extensive walk.