While they climb over slippery grass slopes and jagged rock formations, they have only one goal in mind: edelweiss. This is the story of the edelweiss thieves and their top secret mission in the alpine flora of the Allgaeu Alps.
The rapacious development forced the Allgaeu mountain rescue service to set up a post in 1935. On 1996 m of altitude they pitched a small tent for two people on a narrow rocky ridge. Summer after summer, the “edelweiss guards” kept an eye on the steep sides of the Höfats and caught the edelweiss thieves. Staying in the tent during rain, thunderstorms or unexpected summer snow was at times very rough. Thus, the idea of a bivouac was born and 1969 a helicopter flew up a weather resistant and 6 m² big bivouac. The small mountain hut was warmly welcomed by members of the Allgaeu mountain rescue service and even became a second home to some of them.
Not only did the mountain rescue service prevent the extinction of edelweiss, but the Höfats guard also rapidly decreased the numbers of deathly mountaineering accidents. By now, the edelweiss stock has recovered nicely and a permanent surveillance of the region is no longer necessary. Thus, the bivouac has not been occupied since 2007, but still serves as a shelter for mountaineers.
Crossing the Höfats is an unforgettable adventure for experienced mountaineers. Narrow and winding paths lead up to the four peaks that almost have the exact same height and provide the mountain with its characteristic appearance. Due to the extremely steep “Schroffen” terrain and almost no climbing protection the tour is very demanding. But the rich alpine flora and the fantastic views reward all efforts.