The summer is near and the climbing season is reaching its peak. Spring time is the perfect season to bring fresh air in your lungs after months of training in the indoor gym. Yayy!
Recently someone asked us if we knew good spots for the novice climber to climb in the south of Germany. It took me a looooong time, before I came up with a few answers. I could name you many across the borders, but here? Eventually, my brains switched back to home modus and out they came:
Rock: Jura Limestone
Character: Holes, Pockets, powerful and short crags that are often overhanging. (Don’t worry, the easier routes are NOT usually overhanging)
Frankenjura has developed into a huge region for climbing today. It was home to Climbing legends like Wolfgang Güllich and Kurt Albert. There are more than 12.000 routes at >1000++ crags to date and they are featured in a thick guide-book, spreaded in 2 volumes. Many crags there have both easy and difficult routes on the same place. And should it ever happen that you don’t find the grade you are looking for, the next crag isn’t too far off. There is however a little phenomena in this region. Boltings on many easy routes are scary. Some routes are bolted so far off that you risk a grounder should 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 the fearsome, comfortable around the 5th and 6th UIAA grade, and 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: Www.frankenjura.com has a good database with topos to find the perfect crag of your wish. (According to season, bolting, sun/rain, up-to-date info of seasonal restriction, etc.)
Guidebook: Frankenjura Band I, Frankenjura Band II from Sebastian Schwertner (New versions coming out soon in 2014!! )
Character: Ledges, holes, sometimes very compact limestone.
Konstein itself is one of the most important areas to climb around Ingolstadt. Alpine mountaineers would feel their heart beat a little stronger , when they hear of Konstein. Yet, there are a few more places other than this massive to look at when you are here.
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
- Weisse Wand
- Münchner Wand
Südlicher (southern) Frankenjura
Rock: Compact Limestone
Character: serious technical climbing on slabs with holes, dents
Altmühltal, the name is programme. This is where you learn the high art of using your feet and holding little dents on very, very compact limestone. 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. My suggestions:
- Labertalwand (Schönhofen)
- Grüner Pfeiler (Vilstal)
- Obere Vilstalwände (Vilstal)
Character: often structured and sometimes compact, technical climbing on ledges, slopers, overhangs.
Kochel is actually a top location for hardmovers and fans 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 (“new”-er)
- Keltenwand / Wiesenwand (Be careful, its private property, no climbing while the horses are on the fields) – Plenty of routes around 6-7 UIAA
Guidebook: Kochel from Toni Lamprecht, Panico Verlag
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)
- 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
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 do exist here and there, its best to be sure in leading at least a UIAA 6 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.