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The Zugspitze, at 2,962 metres above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the border between Germany and Austria runs over its western summit. South of the mountain is the Zugspitzplatt, a high karst plateau with numerous caves. On the flanks of the Zugspitze are three glaciers, including the two largest in Germany: the Northern Schneeferner with an area of 30.7 hectares and the Höllentalferner with an area of 24.7 hectares. The third is the Southern Schneeferner which covers 8.4 hectares.
The Zugspitze was first conquered on 27 August 1820 by Josef Naus, his survey assistant, Maier, and mountain guide, Johann Georg Tauschl. Today there are three normal routes to the summit: one from the Höllental valley to the northeast; another out of the Reintal valley to the southeast; and the third from the west over the Austrian Cirque (Österreichische Schneekar). One of the best known ridge routes in the Eastern Alps runs along the knife-edged Jubilee Ridge (Jubiläumsgrat) to the summit, linking the Zugspitze, the Hochblassen and the Alpspitze. For mountaineers there is plenty of accommodation in the vicinity. On the western summit of the Zugspitze itself is the Münchner Haus and on the western slopes is the Wiener-Neustädter Hut.