Six of us left Jetzendorf, Germany ~ home to LOWA Boots ~ for the one hour drive to Aschau where the LOWA/Garmin Kampenwand Test Center.
Free Demo Centers are a long-standing tradition with LOWA. Visit a Demo Center, get fitted in a great pair of LOWA Boots, grab a pair of Leki Hiking poles, to help keep your footing on the steep mountain paths, then hit the trails to see for yourself what LOWA's legendary comfort and fit is all about.
Our group consisted of Tudor from LOWA Germany, Andy our LOWA sales rep from the mid-Atlantic region, Charles from the Summit Hut stores in Tuscon, Arizona, Curt from Schnee’s Shoe Store in Bozeman, Montana, Kevin from Campmor Stores in New Jersey and myself, an employee at LOWA USA.
Upon arrival at the parking lot for the cable car to the top of the mountain, all of us put on brand new pairs of Khumbu GTX boots, out of the box. The only boot break-in time was between our car and the gondola. After a beautiful ride to the top, we landed at the Kampenwald Demo Test Center in the lift building. Outfitted with a variety of LOWA boot models for men & women as well as Garmin GPS units, the test center invites customers to try [for no charge] great outdoor boots and GPS navigation tools.
Since we already had our new boots, off we went with a GPS to explore the German Alps. The first half kilometer was switchbacks straight up the mountain before it leveled off. The trail was wide and well worn, easy to hike and a good warm up for the day. After another kilometer, or two, we reached the Steinling-Alm, a hut used mostly in the winter by skiers for recharging the batteries.
Here, our hiking group split off in two directions. Charles, Tudor & Curt headed to the top of the Kampenwand, elev. 5,500 feet. The trail was rocky, narrow, filled with switchbacks and had some light technical sections.
Kevin has bad knees, coming off a leg operation. So, we stayed on the GPS tour ~ a 4 kilometer trail. At first it was easy, wide, with some downhills. Later, we encountered a narrow section with slippery wet rocks, mud and steep inclines. We were glad to have some trekking boots on our feet vs. light trail shoes that many other hikers were using. The sole’s grip, the boot’s stability and overall support were much appreciated.
We completed our loop in about two hours with Kevin pushing hard when he saw an older couple preparing to overtake him on a long steep uphill! This Jersey Boy was not going to be shown up on the trail.
We ended our trek with a refreshing radler at the SonnenAlm, a restaurant at the top of the Kampenwand lift. We enjoyed the astonishing vistas, relished some fall sunshine and waited for the second group to join us about a half hour later.
When they arrived, and we shared our experiences, one thing was clear – five pairs of Khumbu GTX trekking boots, right out of the box, with no breakin time, and not one of us suffered from a blister or even hot spot! All in all, a great way to spend a Sunday!
Over a couple of much-deserved local ales, we all agreed... When visiting Munich, a day at Kampenwand is well worth your time! PS: If you are in Tucson, AZ, Paramus, NJ, or Bozeman, MT, please visit Kevin, Charles & Curt and say hello. Here's a few more pics from day in the Alps. Enjoy the show!
- Peter S.
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