Originally I planned to go skiing at the Wurmberg mountain in February but the web cam images didn't show nice snow conditions and the weather forecast announced lots of wind. Because of that I decided to go hiking to the Brocken mountain. As far as I remember I never took the route starting at Torfhaus so I was curious to try it. Although it is longer than a lot of other routes it is the one with the smallest difference in altitude.
Parking directly at the start cost a fee. As I don't mind walking a few hundred meters more I left my car for free at the parking lot of the Rinderkopfhang skiing resort that was closed at the time due to a lack of snow.
I started at the Goetheweg which is part of the Hexenstieg hiking route. It leads along the Abbegraben which is part of the World Heritage Site "Harzer Wasserregal".
Abbegraben of the "Harzer Wasserregal"
Only few other hiker crossed my way. Maybe it was too early or to cold for most. Those who stayed home missed a beautiful winter landscape.
Grass in an icy pond
All my way up the Brocken was covered in clouds (as usual for this mountain). When I finally reached the summit at lunch time a bit less than three hours after I started the wind blew all of them away and revealed a beautiful view all over the country.
Brocken panoramic viewThe building on the top houses a restaurant and a canteen. As the so called Goethesaal was closed I went for self serving. The food was simple but tasty but the coffee could need some improvement.
On my way back I could see the neighbored Wurmberg mountain where I originally planned to go skiing that day.
View to the Wurmberg mountain
I met the Harz railway's steam locomotive several times and the hiking routes started to fill up.
Steam locomotive on the Brocken mountain
Wooden stump in the snow
A bit more than two hours after lunch brake I happily reached my car and made my way back home.