5 nicest Climbing spots for newbies in Bavaria

Kastlwand, Altmühltal

The climbing season reaches its peak in summer. After months of training in the indoor gym it’s finally time to go outdoors. Just as the rays of the sun starts getting stronger, wouldn’t it be fine to get some outdoors?

Recently someone asked if we knew good spots for the novice climber to climb in the south of Germany. I could name you many across the borders, but here? Eventually, my brains switched back to home modus:

Frankenjura

frankenjura

Dachlwand, Lauterachtal

Rock: Jura Limestone
Character: Holes, Pockets, powerful and short crags that are often overhanging. However, the easier ones ain’t usually overhanging.

Frankenjura is one of the biggest climbing region for climbing in Germany today. It is home to climbing legends like Wolfgang Güllich and Kurt Albert. There are more than 12.000 routes at >1000++ crags to date and all these routes are featured in a thick guide-book, spreaded in 2 volumes. Should it ever happen that you don’t find the grade you are looking for, the next crag is just a stones throw away.

Frankenjura

A typical crag in Frankenjura

However, there is a little phenomena in this region. Boltings on many easy classical routes are scary. Some routes are bolted so high off that you risk a grounder if you fall before you reach your first or second bolt. There’s a lot of history behind this region. Famed for its beautiful powerful, classical routes filled with pockets, bolted for the fearless. Here are some suggestions for those climbing comfortable around the 5th and 6th UIAA grade, with perfect bolting:

  • Dachlwand (Lauterachtal)
  • Leimbergwand (Königstein)
  • Castellwand (Pegnitztal)
  • Frankendorfer Klettergarten (Wiesent und Leinleitertal)
  • Kemnitzerstein (Bamberger Gebiet)
  • Treunitzer Klettergarten (Bamberger Gebiet)
  • Weißenstein (Pegnitztal)
  • Zimmerbergwände (Pegnitztal)
  • Burglesauer (Bamberger Gebiet)
  • Maximillianswand (Pegnitztal)
  • And so on…

Web: frankenjura.com has a good database with topos (premium membership opens up all topos) to find the perfect crag of your wish. Great search functions

Guidebook: Frankenjura Band I, Frankenjura Band II from Sebastian Schwertner

Konstein

dohlenfels

Dohlenfels, Konstein

Rock: Limestone
Character: Ledges, holes, sometimes very compact limestone.

Konstein itself is one of the most important areas to climb around Ingolstadt. Alpine mountaineers in the area used to train here before venturing out to the Alps . Apart than this massive, there are other sectors in the area too.
The region around this crag offers 17 Sectors altogether , some with friendly bolting mainly in grades from 3+ UIAA to 7 UIAA.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Lucky Luke
  • Märchenturm
  • Weisse Wand
  • Münchner Wand
  • Madonna

Guidebooks:

  • Südlicher Frankenjura – from Panico.
    Autors: Michael Steinhoff, Helmut Wundlechner, Eberhard Zieglmeier
  • Konstein Kletterführer – Autor:  Helmut Wundlechner

Südlicher (southern) Frankenjura

May fels Altmühltal

May Fels, Altmühltal (definitely, not a slab) ;-)

Rock: Compact Limestone
Character: serious technical climbing on slabs with holes, dents. Compact limestone.

Altmühltal – This is where you learn the high art of using your feet and clinging on little dents. Prunn is perhaps the most famous sector of the region. It’s also one of the places I dreaded most, as working with my feet on friction was always a desaster.

Prunn

Prunn

For the beginner, the other valleys in this region around Regensburg are perhaps the better bet.

to start with. Crags in Labertal and Nabtal are far more structured, some even resembling the Jura-limestone in Frankenjura.

Some suggestions:

  • Labertalwand (Schönhofen)
  • Grüner Pfeiler (Vilstal)
  • Obere Vilstalwände (Vilstal)

Web: juraclimbs.de

Guidebook: Südlicher Frankenjura – from Panico.
Autors: Michael Steinhoff, Helmut Wundlechner, Eberhard Zieglmeier

Kochel

kochel_afrika

Another Hardcore sector in Kochel – Afrika.

Rock: Limestone
Character: often structured and sometimes compact, technical climbing on ledges, slopers, overhangs.
Kochel is actually a top location for hardmovers and fans not only eager of following Toni Lamprechts footstep. You’ll find yourself either loving this place or hating it. Recent development the last years popped out a new sector with some easier routes:

  • Erdbeerwand
  • Keltenwand / Wiesenwand (Be careful, its private property, no climbing while the horses are on the fields. Check for updates on Facebook) – Plenty of routes around 6-7 UIAA

Guidebook: Kochel from Toni Lamprecht, Panico Verlag

Bayerische Voralpen

morsbach

Morsbach in Kufstein, Austria

Rock: limestone
Character: ledges
These destinations are located at the base of the Bavarian Alps. And more for the intermediate beginners who enjoy the challenge of harder grades from 6-7 UIAA.Enjoy your climbs with a view and ambiance.

  • Morsbach (Kufstein – AUSTRIA)
  • Zellerwand (Chiemgau)
  • Karlstein (Berchtesgarden)
  • Märchenwand, Gamskopf (Brauneck)

Guidebooks:

  • Bayrischen Alpen Band 2, from Markus Stadler, 2013
  • Brauneck – Klettern am Lenggrieser Hausberg, Benjamin Plahl, 2010
  • Rock Projects – Anton Mayrhuber and Timo Gastager, 2011

Web: Useful Information and details on the different regions (in german) can be found on Markus Stadler’s homepage

View on the Zugspitz

View on the Zugspitz

General Tip:

You’ll find a pretty good overview of destinations at the DAV felsinfo. They have a great search function which can be filtered with a criterion of your choice.

And before stepping out:

  • Do have an experienced partner along with you when you go for your very first outdoor climb. He/she can show you what you should be aware of, how to take caution and precaution, getting you to the crag access without hassel, and make the day really fun together. Venturing out the first time on your own alone brings often many surprises you didn’t expect to meet and maybe you won’t even know of hidden dangers that can ruin not just the day.
  • Do take up a course in one of the indoor climbing gyms prior to an outdoor climb and learn the essential basics. While newbie routes exists here and there, its best to be sure in leading at least a UIAA 6 or 7 in the gym before trying a climb outdoors. Many areas in southern Bavaria starts off at around UIAA 6+
  • Remember, just because you climb a 6 in the gym, does not mean you can climb a 6 outdoors. Routes outdoors are not sprayed colourful, holds can break, rock falls can happen at any time. Do everything with caution. Respect your environment.
  • Before you go on a trip, do check if the crag is suitable for you and if grades your level are available. 

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Chris, thanks for your overview and tips – it’s a whole new world … And I am just about ready to start exploring it. ;-) Hope to see you soon again, for another hike or maybe even for a newbie’s climb. Have a great summer!

    1. Hey Nadine,
      Nice that you came by! Hope that this overview will prove helpful in the future and hope to see you again!
      Cheers
      Chris

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