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Swabian Alb or Schwaebische Alb

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:

Schloss Lichtenstein and Triafelberg Crag

Schloss Lichtenstein and Triafelberg Crag

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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