Allgau over Easter: Visiting the Alpinmuseum Kempten

Allgau over Easter: Visiting the Alpinmuseum Kempten

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For this year’s Easter vacation, we decided to head to Allgau for four nights. This region of southern Germany where the Alps begins, is best  known outside of Germany for being home to Neuschwanstein castle. Based in Pfronten, we explored the surrounding area including the Alpin-Museum (Alpine museum) in Kempten.

Alpin-Museum Overview & Information:

Opening Times:

Dienstag bis Sonntag:
10.00 – 16.00 Uhr

Address:

Alpin-Museum
Landwehrstraße 4
87439 Kempten (Allgäu)

No visit to Allgau would be complete without some mountain related activites. The day before we’d visited Breitenberg and decided for a day trip to Kempten when the weather wasn’t looking so hot. Being at the foot of the Alps, Allgau is a dream come true for climbers and skiiers and of course home to a museum dedicate to exactly that. It features the cultural and geological history of the Alps on the first two floors with the topmost being reserved for climbing and skiing.

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Gym Review: Griffwerk Ludwigburg

Gym Review: Griffwerk Ludwigburg

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Since opening less than a year ago just north of Stuttgart, I had yet to make it to Griffwerk, a brand new climbing gym. With temps well below zero degrees today and the kids looking for something new, we finally decided to head over.

Griffwerk Kletterhalle
Fuchshofstraße 66
71638 Ludwigsburg
Germany

Griffwerk Ludwigsburg at the Sportzentrum Ost

For anyone in the Stuttgart area, Griffwerk is well worth visiting, regardless of whether it’s the one nearest to you or not. It was finished less than a year ago and still has plenty of new gym shine and smell. There are two large bouldering areas with plenty of space and wall types as well as a nice central climbing area for roped climbs. Upstairs, there are two further roped climbing areas slightly shorter, perhaps 12 or 15 meters and mostly aimed at beginners and courses.

All routes are well labeled and even available in the Vertical Life app though I can’t comment on how useful that actually is. I have a few digital guidebooks in the app but have yet to use them.

Griffwerk Kids Area

The kids area is downright great. It’s not huge, but features both a little playhouse type thing with slide, climbing walls but also drawing, books and toys. For those with kids, climbing onyl kids areas can get old quick, especially if you’re off climbing yourself and the kids are there alone or with one parent. This offers more options so it’s a better rounded play area with plenty of activities to switch too when they get board.

Facilities

Like all German gyms, they have a little cafe and serve food, caffeinated drinks and of course alcoholic ones too. Prices are reasonable and there are nice new couches and several tables to chill at with a good view of the action.

The lockers are spacious and operated by a little electronic key fob you get when checking in. You can also charge food and drinks to it to avoid carrying cash, and then pay when you leave. It’s much nicer than always having to remember to have a 1 or 2 EUR coin as with many other places. The bathrooms are separate from the locker rooms which is also practical.

I can’tc comment much on the outside area as it was -3C and I just ran out to see it and take some quick photos. It’s fairly sizable and made of the gym’s outer wall. Will definitely want to try it in summer. I had the impression construction wasn’t complete and am not sure whether more is coming nearby.

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Youth Climbing Competitions in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Jugendcup)

Youth Climbing Competitions in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Jugendcup)

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Here is a list of upcoming climbing competitions in southwestern Germany for those interested. They are usually low key affairs and fun to watch as a climber, or even with the family. The events are listed below and all take place at the respective DAV gym in each city. You may want to think twice before watching kids climbing comps though, they tend to put us adults to shame =)

  • Youth Events:
    • 04 March 2018 – Bouldering competition in Tuebingen.[
    • 05 May 2018 – Bouldering competition in Stuttgart (at Waldau)
    • 09 June 2018 – Lead climbing, Offenburg
    • 15-16 Sept. 2018 – Lead & Speed competitions in Heilbronn

 

DAV baden wuerttemberg jugendcup competition 2018
Click to enlarge

 

Gear: Petzl Arial Single Rope Review

Gear: Petzl Arial Single Rope Review

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climbing gear at base of Kentheim crag
Petzl Arial – Ready to rock

With two years of lugging around my Mammut 10.5mm rope, it was finally time to splurge on something thinner. After feeling up many a rope in climbing stores and pouring over online reviews, I opted for the Petzl Arial.

Not being enough of a crusher to choose 9.2 mm or below, nor wanting to climb on a python sized rope, 9.5 mm seemed to be the ideal diameter for a mere mortal.

For two years now, it’s been my go to outdoors rope and especially beloved for multipitch in places like Stuhlfels, Aussichtsfels, Schreyfels, Battert and more.

Why the Petzl Arial Single Rope is Awesome

  • It’s supple and easy to work with. I can’t write a pulitzer prize winning description, but as a climber you immediately feel the difference between a rough, stiff rope and a smooth, silky one.
  • Dry coat! – No worries about snow  and ice, also more resistant to wear and dirt.
  • 9.5 mm is super light without losing durability. The weight difference (58g/meter) is amazing on multipitch, both when leading and just managing rope.
  • Comes coiled and ready to climb with – a small bonus admittedly, but still nice.
  • Feeds super smooth, catches just fine in a Grigri (i.e. not too thin)

To be fair, there are some small negatives, but nothing that would make me hesitate to fully recommend the Arial.

Petzl Arial: Minor Disadvantages

  • Good feeding and smooth handling means it can slip a bit on tube devices
  • Stretches a bit more than thicker ropes which may or may not matter to you
  • Will wear a little more than thicker ropes, especially if you do lots of wandery multipitch

Granted, these downsides are minor and mostly a result of higher performance elsewhere (e.g. handling vs slipping more in some devices). I’m a big fan of Petzl, having a helmet, Macchu kids harness, Grigri and lots of Spirit Express draws. The Arial continues their record of awesome gear in my opinion and I’ll definitely be getting another Petzl rope whenever it comes time to replace this, or I have magically have enough free time to make getting half ropes worthwhile.

Get It or Check It Out Here: