Climbing in Frankenjura, Germany

By Chris

Frankenjurais one of the most developed, most climbed, most important climbing areas in Germany. There’s a huge cluster of crags spreaded all over the region of the “Fränkische Schweiz” or Frankenjura. This region is situated between the cities of Bayreuth, Bamberg and Nürnberg. It is a true paradies, not only for climbers, but also for hikers, bikers, canoes, etc. The landscape is often hilly, soft green meadows with tall luscious green trees making it popular in the summer time. The majority of the rocks are hidden under the forest trees. They resemble often a 12-15 m overhanging tooth with thousands of little pockets, dents and bolts.

Climbed this, done that in Frankenjura?

An overview: There are > 8000 12.000 routes bolted today. Grades ranges from a beginners UIAA 3 to the hardest climb in Frankenjura with an 11+ called “Corrona”. International faces from all over the world pilgers here to climb Sautanz, Magnet, Stonelove, Wallstreet, Action Directe, a bunch of classical collectables for your trophy diaries so that you can top up with the climbing heroes like the legendary Wolfgang Gullich or Kurt Albert. These days, the younger climbing icons like Alex Megos or Markus Bock make Frankenjura their home playground. With such a big choice of walls to climb on, it isn’t a wonder that Frankenjura becomes an attractive climbing destination for everyone in summer. On days when that gets too much, chill and grab a beer at one of the private breweries or go for coffee and cake in Muggendorf.

The crags are scattered all over the region, so having a car is a good deal. Even a bicycle would get you around, but that could limit your choice of sectors. The density of crags has it’s peak around Pottenstein, Gößweinstein, Tuchersfeld, Waischenfeld.

The typical climbing style in Frankenjura is climbing on a wall full of pockets, dents and holes. The routes are often short, pumpy, overhanging or vertical, fingery and single pitch. Popular crags with typical Jura rocks are Weissenstein, Roter Fels, Soranger Wand, Marienthaler, Bandstein, Zwergschlosswände, Bärenschlucht, Aalkörberwände, Ringlerwand, Wolkensteinerwand, Krottenseerturm, etc. Stay warned – they are popular!

“Schaumschläger” at the Roter Fels is a 38m must-do route even though it is just a UIAA 7-. Thank goodness that extra bolt was finally added at the crux the last few years. I fell 10 m down the first time I tried leading it and had since a trauma from that experience. It took me years again before leading any route.

After climbing, have a beer. Or cake.

Schnitzel and Sauren Zipferl - eating out in Frankenjura

Cakes made by Oma (granny) and locally brewed Beer are almost just as important as climbing in the Fränkische Schweiz.  Grab a Kellerbier together after climbs, or take a cake or coffee instead of a nap in the afternoon when the motivation is at your lowest. Check out some of the Cafes in Obertrubach which has huge, self-made cakes.  Don’t come here and leave without the gastronomical experience. Don’t come here if you are on diet either. Traditional franconian cuisine is not always  vegan or vegetarian friendly. However, they are cheap, comes in big portions, and are very meaty.

Local private breweries are spreaded throughout the Fränkische Schweiz, a cultural experience you shouldn’t miss.  About 300 breweries still exist, and we try keep them all alive by giving them our fullest support when we climb the region.

Schäufele, Schnitzel, Pressack, saure Zipfel, or Zieberleskäs ….these are a few favourite dishes to get when you’re in Frankenjura. A plate of schnitzel and salad costs 5,90 EUR. You can’t beat those prices in other parts of Germany. Many of the Private Breweries has a good choice of food, apart from the tasty “Kellerbier”. Even little 5 litre barrels for take-away are available. No Meats? Forelle and Carps (seasonal!) are good bets too.  The only thing you will have to worry about is perhaps your weight :-)

Here’s a map link leading to most of the private breweries we have seen and a few places to eat in Frankenjura.


Are you interested to find out whats in store when you climb in Frankenjura?  Check out the beginners guide here:

Post revised and updated: June 2017