New Design coming

New Design coming

For those not using RSS, I’ll be slowing redesigning the site, moving to a static front page and having the blog in its own section. It won’t be all done at once but if you’re mainly interested in the blog for crag info, it won’t affect you. So forgive the untidy appearance.

German Crag Map

German Crag Map

I’ve finally created a Google Map with all the crags I’ve visisted and written up so far. I’ll be adding more details eventually, but for now, you have the exact locations of crags and parking.

 

See the map here.

Crag Info: Aussichtsfels Climbing!

Crag Info: Aussichtsfels Climbing!

Located near the town of Inzigkofen in the Upper Danube valley (Donautal in German), Aussichtsfels is easy to reach, offers climbs for every level from your first multipitch to tough moderates and can be reached in about 1 minute from the parking area! It deserves a place on your list if you’re in the area. Luckily, I got to drop by recently while camping nearby and can’t wait to come back for a climb.

Aussichtsfels Climbing Overvew:

  • Height: up to 80m
  • Routes: ~30
  • Grades: Good mix of easy, moderate and hard
  • Rock: Limestone
  • Distance from Stuttgart: 1hr 20min min
  • Approach: 1 minute, car to crag
  • Protection: Mostly newish bolts in good shape
  • Walk off: Yes, or rap
  • Guidebook: Kletterführer Donautal
  • Family friendly: Yes! Flat, easy safe base with 1min approach!

Aussichtsfels: Getting there & Approach

From Stuttgart, head towards either Hausen im Tal or Signmaringen. Doesn’t make a huge difference which variation you choose in terms of driving time and distance.

From Sigmaringen, head towards Inzigkofen on the 313 and about 700 meters or so after the seemingly non-functional Bahnhof, there’s a large designated parking area on the right hand side (with signs alerting you to it about 200m in advance). Pull off there and park as near to the other end as you can where the crag is. That’s Aussichtsfels. Uou can literally park at the base and walk to the rock in 30 seconds. Worst case you’re walking 1 minute from the parking lot which also has a picnic table and fire pit to chill at afterwards.

Coming from Hausen im Tal, it’s a ~10-15minute drive eastwards. The parking is easy to miss but if you do, you’ll see the old Inzkofen train station on your right where you can turn around and head right back. Note that even though you’ll see a little unpaved road between the official parking and the Inzigkofen Bahnhof, ignore it. The parking area is well signed and big. No way to mistake it.

Aussichtsfels Crag Details

Aussichtsfels (View Crag, as in a good view) is another large limestone crag along the Danube Valley. It has a number of two pitch climbs, both very easy and moderate making it a popular choice. Above all, it’s located right at the end of a nice parking/pull off area meaning no bushwhacking, uphill hike or wrong turns. It’s impossible to miss.

You can also either walk off or rap down which can be important for new multipitch climbers. The rap station requires a 70m rope though although if there’s nobody else around, you could rap back down over the route too. Walk off is faster though.

As its name says, it provides great views from the wall, as most in the area do and really shines for plasir, or Genussklettern (pleasure climbing) as they say in German. There’s a good dozen or so moderate climbs too so it’s not just for noobs, with something for everyone. If Stuhlfels is too busy, definitly consider here or ideally do both!

Pictures: Climbing in Aussichtsfels

Donautal Camping and Aussichtsfels visit!

Donautal Camping and Aussichtsfels visit!

Got up bright and early Saturday, packed the bags and kids in the car and headed for Hausen im Tal. The plan? Some father-kids camping time in the Danube valley. This was the first time I visited without doing any climbing (and hopefully the last). In contrast to the city folk still staring down at their phones constantly, my gaze kept going up at the dozens upon dozens of crags around. In fact, no matter where you look, there they are, lining the valley walls overlooking the Danube. A good deal are closed to climbing, and yet there are still nearly 30 which are open.

Donautal Camping at “Camping Wagenburg”

We stayed at Camping Wagenburg which occupies a long grassy field along the Danube. It is located in the town of Hausen im Tal which is the center of Donautal climbing and usually the base for most climbers. It also has some easy stuff right in town like Stuhlfels which means big climbing groups from the DAV. That makes camping there incredibly convenient, however compared to the US, annoyingly crowded. Tents were 10 feet from each other with people constantly walking by or running around your stuff. The location is beautiful and practical, but it’s certaintly not all that relaxing and in no way camping in the sense that an American would understand it.

Donautal Crag: Aussichtsfels

With the kids in tow and no belay partner, I had no plans to get on the rock this trip. However, I had plans to drive further through the valley and check out a number of other crags. A few I only saw from a distance or from the parking area, but two were next on my to-climb list so I broke camp Sunday morning and headed eastwards towards Inzigkofen to check out Aussichtsfels and Dreiecksfels, both of which offer a number of easy multipitch climbs with great views.

Donautal: Camping & Aussichtsfels Pictures

Off to Donautal

Off to Donautal

I’m off soon to Hausen im Tal in the Upper Danube Valley for a short weekend of camping.

In the meantime, it looks there’s now a good reason for me to visit London, aside from the Imperial War Museum:

London’s first “climbing window” will sit 400 feet above the ground. Entrants will be able to climb routes fixed on clear glass planes overlooking the city and expansive drop.

[…] Convenience for the active lifestyle is center stage at the newly announced 22 Bishopsgate development in downtown London. Bike to the office, enjoy modern collaborative, productive work spaces, climb after work, and pick up groceries for the week—all in the same building.

climbing glass building in london
Stock photo without a rope! Or is she just free soloing?

Pretty neat idea.

Schloss Lichtenstein and Triafelberg Crag

Schloss Lichtenstein and Triafelberg Crag

This past Thursday was a holiday, one of the many Christian holidays that are also federal holidays in Germany (and would be illegal in the US). While I didn’t get to climb, I took the kids to the Swabian Alb to vistit Schloss Lichtenstein and Nebelhoehle, a castle and cave respectively. Lichtenstein is also located just across from Traifelberg, a long series of crags overlooking the village of Lichtenstein with plenty of moderate to hard routes.

Schloss Lichtenstein (castle)

Schloss Lichtenstein is not famous outside of Germany, in fact not realy outside of Baden-Wuerttemberg, but here it’s known as the “Fairy Tale Castle.” My  daughter changed that into “Fairy Castle”.| Luckily, she didn’t notice when we didn’t actually find fairies there. Despite being a castle and looking the part, it’s not actually that old, build in the gothic revival style in the mid 1800s. It is still privately owned, but open to tourists near daily. While possibly disappointing to some, for families the fact that it is actually rather small is fantastic. You can view the castle grounds for 1 EUR per child and 2 EUR for adults. The tour is a few euros more but only 30 minutes.

Compared to the Disney like lines and hordes of Neuschwanstein, Lichtenstein is fairly quiet. Located southest of Reutlingen, it’s also right across from Traifelberg, a crag full of moderate to hard climbs. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough patience left after the castle visit to convince the rugrats to hike up and check it out. We settled for pictures from across the valley.

Nebelhoehle (Fog Cave)

Just 5 km from Lichtenstein in the Swabian Jura (Schwaebische Alb) is a famous cave, featured in many local fairy tales including those associated with the castle Lichstenstein. Important to know, they take cash only and the nearest bank is nearby in a tiny village. So bring cash (I learned the hard way). In addition to the cave, they have a pleasant little restaurant, great playground and some nice hiking in the area. If you’re in the area, it’s worth spending an afternoon in the area and finishing off at the cave followed up by watching the kids play while drinking a beer or radler. Good times were had by all.

 

Schloss Lichtenstein + Traifelberg Pictures