Crag Info: Wiesfels in the Uracher Alb

Crag Info: Wiesfels in the Uracher Alb

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Wiesfels is the idea crag for those new to the Swabian Jura (Schwaebische Alb). It has an easy approach, nearly 50 routes of all grades and you can walk off making life easy. It’s family friendly and a great place to do some grilling afterwards or even sleep in the field (no tents allowed). Its popularity means it can be busy on weekends and in good weather but if you’re able to climb 6s and 7s, you’ll still have plenty of options.

Wiesfels Overvew:

  • Routes: 45
  • Grades: Easy: 18 | Moderate: 25 | Hard: 4
  • Rock: Limestone
  • Approach: 15 minutes, car to crag on an even well maintained path
  • Guidebook: Uracher Alb
  • Family friendly: Yes! It’s a great spot for families.

Getting there & Approach:

Wiesfels is a pretty easy drive from Stuttgart towards Bad Urach, about 40 minutes on average. Head towards St. Johann and at the horse farm (Gestuetshof), take the next left and head towards the little tower and parking lot. From there, head straight into the woods. Start by following the sign for “Gruener Fels” – it’ll be about a 12 to 15 minute walk on a well maintained path. Gets a bit bumpy at the end (if you’ve got a stroller or cart) and ends in a big meadow. Wiesfels is on the left.

Wiesfels Routes & Grades:

The crag sports about 45 bolted climbs though some can benefit from gear. It doesn’t hurt to bring some nuts or a few cams if you’re going to climb anything about the really easy stuff.  The rock is all your typical Schwaebische Alb limestone which can be slick and chossy at times. But overall it’s a good crag that’s easy to walk to and with the option to walk off.

It’s a great family crag with the big meadow and it also boasts a long line of really short climbs for kids to learn. Nevertheless, there’s something for everyone with as many moderates (UIAA 6 to 7) as easy (UIAA 1-5). If you’re in the region, this is a good crag to hit at least once.

Popular Climbs:

  • Verscheidung – (UIAA 3+) An easy warm up dihedral route
  • Tellriss – (UIAA 7) Super cool crack that (sadly) has new bolts
  • Regenbogen – (UIAA 6) A double crack system with a really fun finish

Photos:

Crag Info: Dreiecksfels in Donautal

Crag Info: Dreiecksfels in Donautal

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Located near the town of Inzigkofen in the Upper Danube valley (Donautal in German), Dreiecksfels is easy to reach and conveniently located right next to Aussichtsfels. It offers a number of easy multipitch routes making it a good option for those not looking for the usual Donautal hard stuff to crush. It’s easy to do a few routes and then switch to the neighboring crag depending on what you want to climb and whether many other groups are in the area.

Dreieicksfels Climbing Overvew:

  • Height: 45 meters
  • Routes: ~15
  • Grades: 8 Easy | 8 Moderate | 1 Hard
  • Rock: Limestone
  • Distance from Stuttgart: 1hr 20min min
  • Approach: < 5 minutes (if you take the right way!)
  • Protection: Mostly newish bolts in good shape
  • Walk off: Yes or rappel
  • Guidebook: Kletterführer Donautal
  • Family friendly: Not really. Try neighboring Aussichtsfels instead.

Dreieicksfels: 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. The large crag right by the road is Aussichtsfels. Looking towards the woods (not the river), Dreiecksfels is the one on your right.

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.

Dreieicksfels Crag Details

Dreiecksfels (Triangle Crag) is another limestone crag in the Danube Valley sitting right near the river. It has several of two pitch climbs, in both easy and moderate grades making it a good general choice and great backup if more popular crags like Stuhlfels are busy.

It’s located next to a nice parking/pull off area making it hard to miss and easy to approach.

Popular Climbs:

  1. Neue Westwand (7+, 4+) – Hard first pitch and easy second. Fun route but requires cams and nuts
  2. Dreiecksriss  (4-, 5-) – Probably the most fun and climbed. This long crack climb starts at the end of hte crag and works its away along the crack wandering left.
  3. Tschako Trip (6, 5) – Super fun moderate with a fun finish. Old bolts though. Better supplement with gear!

Crag Pictures of Dreiecksfels

Climbing Road Trip? – 5 Things You Need to Know about Driving in Germany

Climbing Road Trip? – 5 Things You Need to Know about Driving in Germany

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether you’re visiting Germany or live here, driving can different than at home. Germans are on the whole, far better drivers than those in other countries. Indeed, they require extensive (and expensive) training to get a driver’s license, and only at age 18. Despite the reputation for unlimited speeds that Germany has, its drivers use far more caution and have more rules to follow. So if you’re heading out to hit a new crag or hit the Alps in Allgau, don’t forget these quick tips for foreigners driving in Germany.

#1 – Using public transport for climbing trips

While Germany, and Europe in general is well-known for its excellent public transportation network, climbers will find that it just doesn’t cut it for getting to many crags. Generally speaking, you’ll need wheels to get to at least half of the crags in any given guidebook. Those that are reachable, tend to be technically possible with public transport but awfully inconvenient to the point of barely being worth it.

Solution: Car sharing like Car2Go, StattMobile etc.

#2 The Truth about Speed Limits

Contrary to popular misconceptions, there ARE speed limits. In contrast to the US, many of Germany’s speed limit signs are digital and controlled remotely. This means that speed limits changed based on conditions (weather, heavy or light traffic, construction, traffic jams further down the road). The standard speed is 120 km/h, and occasionally 130 km/h. But be warned: If you drive over the recommended speed you can and often will be held accountable for a crash, even if it was not your fault.

Similar to the US when the highway goes near bigger towns, the speed limit will drop and then go back up later. On less traveled stretches, early in the morning or late at night or during light traffic, the speed limit disappears and you can fly. The fastest I’ve gone so far is about 200 km/h (124 mph) however that was just testing the new car. On average, I’ll usually do 90 – 100 mph because that’s usually just going with the flow and not intentionally speeding.

The sign below is the “now there is no speed limit” sign in Germany.

no speed limit sign autobahn sign

#3 Cameras or You Can’t Argue with Robocop

You’ll almost never see a policeman on the highway. If you do, they’re driving by in a car. They don’t hide and use radar guns to get speeders. Occasionally they’ll setup mobile cameras to keep people on their toes, but even that isn’t too frequent in my experience.

While it may be nice to not worry about hidden cop cars, speed cameras are the primary means of enforcement and you can’t argue with them. All you’ll see is a bright flash and then it’s just waiting for an automated letter to be sent to you with the fine to pay. While it’s more pleasant than dealing with police, there’s no common sense either so you can’t ever argue your way out of it, for example in the case of an honest mistake.

How to cope: Use Waze! They have all the fixed cameras on them and warn you 500 meters in advance. Don’t drive anywhere new without it!

#4 Do’s and Don’ts of Passing

  1. Do pass on the left ONLY.
  2. NEVER EVER pass on the right. It’s illegal and extremely rare. Driver’s aren’t watching for it.
  3. You can’t drive faster than the cars to your left! If you are in the middle lane (and staying in it), you cannot drive faster than the cars in the left lane – it’s illegal. You must switch lanes to the left.

#5 The Left Lane is for Flying

The far left lane is ONLY for passing. Unlike the US, it’s not for those who’re going a few mph faster and just hang in the left lane forever. You switch lanes, pass as many cars as necessary, and move back right. You do NOT just stay in it to drive unless you’re going so fast that you’re passing everyone. Get in and back out as soon as you can. That’s the law