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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

Crag Info: Kentheim – Climbing in Nagoldtal near Calw

Crag Info: Kentheim – Climbing in Nagoldtal near Calw

Located just south of Calw in a neighborhood of the same name, Kentheim is a popular sandstone crag with an easy approach. With beautiful Black Forest spruce trees all around, plenty of morning sun and good sandstone with lots of nice pockets and a few cool cracks, this place can get busy with locals. Moreover, it’s just a few minute drive from several other crags making it easy do some Kentheim climbing and then try other places.

Kentheim Climbing Overvew:

  • Height:  20 meters
  • Routes: 27
  • Grades: Good mix of easy and moderate, a few hard ones
  • Rock: Weathered sandstone
  • Distance from Stuttgart: 45 min
  • Approach: 5 minutes, car to crag
  • Protection: Mostly newish bolts in good shape
  • Walk off: No
  • Guidebook: Kletterführer Schwarzwald Nord
  • Family friendly: Yes! Flat, easy approach. No strollers.

Kentheim: Getting there & Approach

Head to Calw from wherever you are and take the B63 south to the area of town called Kentheim. It’s just a minute or two south of the center. Right before the obvious railroad bridge, use the parking lot on the right. Get out and walk past the railroad bridge towards the first street on your right, Roetelbachweg. Instead of taking that street, go uphill to your right through the grass in the direction of parking/the bridge. It’s 2 or 3 minutes from there and only slightly uphill. The base of the crag is totally flat.

Kentheim Crag Details

Made of weathered sandstone, the rock is good as is the friction. There are lots of nice little pockets throughout the wall but whateer you choose, it’s slab climbing all the way. There are a few nice cracks to use too. Nuts and hexes aren’t realy useful here but a few cams are nice for run outs and very high first bolts. The base of the crag is flat so good for kids but the plants around aren’t to be played in. I don’t know the German name anymore, but it’s a little like poison ivy (but not as serious) so avoid them yourself and you dont want kids messing around in them and getting an itchy rash.

The crag gets lots of morning sun which can be great in winter and brutal in summer. By the afternoon it’s shady again so choose your time based on the time of year. And if slab climbing in Kentheim isn’t your thing, do a few easy routes and head on over to nearby Oelaenderle or Fuchsklinge which are just a few minutes drive.

 

Pictures: Climbing in Kentheim

Crag Info: Hessigheimer Felsengaerten

Crag Info: Hessigheimer Felsengaerten

After many a wasted weekend doing housework, I decided to make a quick run to Hessigheimer Felsengaerten. I didn’t have time to climb and had to bring my four year old who was not happy about it. But, having been here nearly two years now, I still hadn’t visited a crag so near to Stuttgart despite having been to the Klettergarten Stetten several times. The main reason is that living in the southern part of town, it’s actually quicker for me to head to Bad Urach or the rest of the Swabian Alb. But it was time to finally check it off my list.

  • Height:  5 to 15 meters
  • Routes: 147
  • Grades: Good mix of easy and moderate, a few toughies too
  • Rock: Limestone (Muschelkalk)
  • Distance from Stuttgart: 30-45min
  • Approach: 15 mostly even, short downhill section
  • Protection: Mostly newish bolts in good shape
  • Walk off: No
  • Guidebook: Stuttgart Rockt!
  • Family friendly: Yes! (but not for strollers)

Hessigheimer Felsengaerten: Getting There

You could drive through town, but the quickest way is generally to take the A81 north and get off at the exit for “Mundelsheim” from which it’s only a few kilometers. The crag is listed in both Google Maps and Waze so just enter it in and choose the “Im Fetzer” parking lot, which is probably the one it is set to anyway (for Waze it is). You’ll end up driving through vineyards – as usual around Stuttgart – and on some country roads but keep going until you reach the parking lot. There are plenty of signs for it.

Hessigheimer Felsengaerten: Approach

From “Im Fetzer” it’s just about 0.5km to the crag. In fact, after parking, find the hiking sign and then just walk straight. It’ll take you down through the vineyards, past the Bergwachthuette (rescue hut) and then downhill to the crag. Up until the downhill section the approach is stroller friendly. The short downhill part is well maintained, not that steep and easy to do, just not with a stroller. But it’s totally fine for small kids who can walk. Once the initial downhill part ends and you reach an intersection (and you can begin to see the river below), turn left for about 30 seconds and then head right downhill towards the rock.

Hessigheimer Felsengaerten: Crag Overview

Surrounded by vineyards with the Neckar river snaking by below, Hessigheimer Felsengaerten couldn’t be in a nicer area. Local Swabians have been climbing in this area for nearly a hundred years by some accounts and it counts as Stuttgart’s home crag. Given it’s short distance from the city, it’s relatively popular, particularly in summer when the temperatures are high. There are more than enough routes for everyone with nearly 150 and a great mix of grades. The approach is pretty easy making it an all around favorite destination for locals. That being said, it doesn’t warrant a visit from far away unlike other areas such as Battert or Donautal which are worth visiting from out of town. But if you’re looking for a change from Stetten but something still nearby and famiyl friendly, this is a good option.

Hessigheimer Felsengaerten: Pictures

 

Battert climbing – The Jewel and Trad Mecca of southern Germany

Battert climbing – The Jewel and Trad Mecca of southern Germany

Battert! I’ve wanted to climb here since first seeing the pictures in my Black Forest guidebook. It’s the most unique crag in southern Germany and the trad mecca of the region. It’d been rainy for several days before and I was convinced we’d have to call it off. It was even gray and rainy here in Stuttgart the morning of, but by the time we were near the crag, the sky was blue and sunny. Granted, the rain started in around 13:30 but by then we’d managed to get several climbs in and just being there and doing Blockgrat was already a great day for me.

Quick Facts:

  • Height: 80 meters
  • Routes: ~350
  • Grades: UIAA 3 to 8
  • Rock: Quartz-Porphyry
  • Distance from Stuttgart: 1.5hrs by car
  • Approach: 15 minutes, very well maintained, flat path.
  • Protection: Almost all trad, a bolt or two here and there. Belays often bolted.
  • Walk off:  Yes and No.
  • Guidebook: Kletterführer Schwarzwald Nord
  • Family friendly: Sort of. The approach is easy, short and flat, even stroller friendly. The base of the climbs vary. Definitely doable and no steep drop offs or so.

Battert Overview:

Battert stands out among all other crags in southern Germany for it’s size, rock type, rock quality and that it’s trad. The huge offering of multipitch routes, 25 different sectors, 350 climbs and beauty make unique and a must for anyone in the area. The Swabian Alb is chossy, pocketed limestone and almost entirely single pitch. Where in the world Battert came from can be left to geologists to explain. As you may have now guessed, it is a popular area and beloved climbs like Blockgrat can be busy on the weekends. So per my usual advice, either go during the week or be there at sunrise on the weekend.

Getting to Battert:

From Stuttgart  you first take the A8 to Karlsruhe and switch to the A5 going south. Once on the A5, get off at the exit Rastatt Nord and head towards the town of Kuppenheim and then to Ebersteinburg. After the traffic circle in Ebersteinburg, take a right into Herrenhaeckerstrasse and follow it until the end. It’s going to seem like you’re lost or took a wrong turn into some random suburb, but stay the course. At the end there’ll be a little dirt road you turn into and there’s the parking lot. At the end of the lot you’ll find the path to the crag. It’s a very easy approach. See photos below for details.

Popular climbs at Battert

With nearly 350 routes, there are many favorites. Here are just a few:

  • Blockgrat – 2 pitches, UIAA 4+ / YDS 5.5; trad; Blockgrat sector
  • Weg der Freundschaft – 3 pitches; UIAA 5+ / YDS 5.7; a few bolts, mostly trad; Falkenwand sector. Easy and direct route up the highest part of Battert.
  • Hallweg – 3 pitches; First ascent was an onsight free solo in 1926! UIAA 5+ / YDS 5.5 mostly trad; Falkenwand sector.
  • Lohnmuellerkamin -1 pitch UIAA4+ / YDS 5.5; trad; Cima della Madonna & Sass Maor sector

Finally, I’ve added most of these photos to Mountain Project and made the corresponding areas and routes to help everyone else.

Battert Climbing Pictures

 

Crag Info: Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen

Crag Info: Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen

Near the town of Kircheim unter Teck and Owen, is a set of three crags known as Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen, i.e. Neuffener parking lot crags. And they live up to the name. Indeed, the approach hike is about 2 minutes from the parking lot to rock. It’s typical limestone with fewer pockets than you’d expect. A lot of blank areas and a few polished parts on popular climbs.

Quick Facts:

  • Height: up to 20 meters
  • Routes: ~62 (2/3 being easy and moderate)
  • Grades: UIAA 3 to 8
  • Rock: Limestone
  • Distance from Stuttgart: ~30min by car
  • Approach: 2 minutes, downhill, steep
  • Protection: Bolts, not new, not too old either
  • Walk off:  Yes and No.
  • Guidebook: Kletterführer Lenninger Alb
  • Family friendly: No

Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen Overview:

Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen are made up of three separate crags right next to each other. Coming down the trail from the parking lot, you can head right to Fels 1, or left to Fels 3. Each crag is just a minute or two from the other making switching back and forth very easy. Since there’s very little room at the base, you’ll probably want to as soon as a group arrives.

Located nearby Burg Hohenneuffen (Wikipedia in English), the crag has great views of the castle and surrounding area. However, that also means there are a lot of hiking trails in the area including to the castle – and all from the same parking lot. So it pays to arrive early and get a spot. There’s plenty of parking but I’m an early bird and will always recommend an alpine start, even to a single pitch crag =)

Popular climbs at Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen

Given how many easy and moderate climbs there are, it’s hard to identify favorites.

  • Katerkiller direkt – 6; Fels 1, steep route on a series of good flakes.
  • Jedermann – 6;  Fels 3, Well protected and “ideal” climbing per guidebook.
  • Razia – 5; on Fels 3, said to be one of the best easy climbs in the region.

Getting There

The crag is very easy to access by car though the drive takes you through several villages which are horrible choke points for weekend traffic. A Saturday climb may take twice as long to get home due to tiny 2 lane village roads. So get there early and leave late! Though, if you live in Germany you already realize Stau is a national pastime.

From Stuttgart, take the A8 southeast (towards Munich) and exit onto the B465 in Kirchheim unter Teck. Take exit 57-Kirchheim unter Teck-Ost.  Drive south on the 465 towards the village of Owen. Once there, take L1210 west (also Beurenerstrasse) towards Beuren and head south on Weilersteige (K1262) to Erkenbrechtsweiler. Once you reach the town, head west on the K1244 towards “Hohenneuffen” (the castle). As the asphalt ends, there’s a parking lot on the left hand side. Bear to your left at the parking lot. Once out of your car, you’ll see a small sign and path heading downhill. It’ll be fairly obvious which way goes to the rock.

Summary

Overall, the crag is a “meh” in my opinion. Not bad if you’re close but better ones within the same driving distance from Stuttgart. It’s similar to many other crags in the area in terms of size, height, route number and the limestone features. There are more interesting crags the same distance and other rock in the Black Forest for example, such as the excellent sandstone in Kentheim.

Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen: Photos

Family climbing at Klettergarten Stetten

Family climbing at Klettergarten Stetten

With good weather on a roll here, it was time for another family outing to the Klettergarten Stetten, northeast of Stuttgart in the vineyards. Located in an old sandstone quarry, it’s an easy drive, easy approach and lots of climbing for every level, plus a walk off option. Good times were had by all.

My son climbed his first route, as in from top to bottom – not stopping 1/3 of the way up as usual. To my delight, he said he didnt like the gym but outside was more fun. Message received! I managed a 7+ (Z-riss) on top rope after some trouble with the crux. But good to feel improvement in the gym translate into real rock.

Klettergartn Stetten Photos and Approach info

Crag Info: Schreyfels in the Danube Valley (Donautal)

Crag Info: Schreyfels in the Danube Valley (Donautal)

Schreyfels is another popular crag in the Danube Valley. As soon as I saw a picture of Opakante in my guidebook, it went straight to the top of my list and I’m hoping to go back as soon as weather (and free time) permits.

I visited Schreyfels last summer with an Australian friend for one last climb before he flew home. We arrived at sunrise and were first on the rock. Being another crag cut by the Danube, its views are fantastic. Climbers can look over small villages stretching out the length of the valley dotted with crags in every direction. This is one of the most popular regions to climb in Baden-Württemberg and offers about 30 different crags in a small area along the river. It’s the kind of rural German landscape scenes that foreigners like to imagine full of Fachwerkhäuser .

Quick Facts:

  • Height:  70m
  • Routes: 27
  • Grades: 4 routes < 5.6 | 15 routes between 5.9-5.10c/d
  • Rock: Limestone
  • Distance from Stuttgart: 1:20 by car
  • Approach: 10-15 minutes uphill
  • Protection: Mix of new and old bolts.
  • Walk off: No. rappel only
  • Guidebook: Kletterführer Donautal
  • Family friendly: No

Schreyfels Overview:

Schreyfels is located not far from Hausen im Tal and Stuhlfels. The “village” or rather collection of a few houses where it’s located is called Langenbrunn, but that  may not be easy to find on a map or GPS. Luckily, it’s just a few kilometers drive from Hausen i.T. In contrast to Stuhlfels, it only has a handful of easy climbs and offers mostly moderate to hard multipitch routes.

For Opakante specifically, you don’t need to bring any trad gear. There are a handful of places you could place it if you want, but it’s never absolutely necessary. Do make sure to bring alpine draws that you can extend out to 60cm.

Popular climbs at Stuhlfels:

Being especially well known for Opakante and multipitch routes, the most popular climbs reflect that.  Here are the four probably most popular routes at Schreyfels (in UIAA):

  • Opakante: 3+, 3+, 3+
  • Weg der Jugend: 5+, 6-, 5
  • Brot und Speck: 5-, 6-, 5+
  • Dülferverschneidung: 6-, 6

Getting There:

Similar to Stuhlfels, the best bet is to head for Hausen im Tal (Hausen i.T. on road signs).  As always, be very careful of speeding as soon as you’re off the highway or B27. Small towns will nail you with speed cameras. From Hausen, it’s just a few minutes west along the river to a tiny village called Langenbrunn.

Once you see the Langenbrunn sign, drive 800 meters and stop at the very first parking lot on the right (it’s the only one). I missed it the first time because it’s so small and easy to overlook/ignore. Park and you’ll immediately see the crag sign at the trailhead. Once on the trail, there are several further signs directing climbers to the crag (see pictures below).

Where to stay:

You can either stay at the DAV Ebinger Haus directly in Hausen im Tal or camp directly on the Danube at Camping Wagenburg. That is where most climbers base themselves. But this is of course also an easy day trip from Stuttgart and takes about 1:20 one-way.

Schreyfels Gallery from my visit:

 

Crag Info: Stuhlfels in Hausen im Tal in the Donautal region

Crag Info: Stuhlfels in Hausen im Tal in the Donautal region

Stuhlfels is a well known and much loved crag in Baden-Würtemberg. It is centrally located in the state, has a short approach, boasts beautiful views of the Danube Valley and has a multitude of easy multipitch routes for beginners.

Quick Facts:

  • Height: up to 100m
  • Routes: 62 (1/3 are 5.8 and below)
  • Rock: Limestone
  • Distance from Stuttgart: 1:20 by car
  • Approach: 10 minutes, all uphill
  • Protection: A mix of new and old bolts, walk off possible
  • Family friendly: Meh. Not friendly, but not bad either.
  • Guidebook: Kletterführer Donautal
  • Bonus: the views!

Stuhlfels Overview:

Stuhlfels towers above the little village of Hausen im Tal on the Danube. It’s a short walk to the town and has gorgeous views of the valley. Moreover, it has many easy routes and is mostly more than 90 degrees making it a perfect destination for new climbers and especially those doing their first multipitch.

I’ll always have fond memories of Stuhlfels. Coming from a rather flat area of the US, it was my first opportunity to climb a multipitch route. After months of reading and practicing (yes, my gym has 2 pitch routes setup so you can practice!), I then showed my fellow first-timer Aussie friend the belay techniques and we sailed up Irisweg. Afterwards, we of course made sure to exchange innuendo filled comments like “I’m happy my first time was with you” and that we’d finally popped our multipitch cherry together, etc.

But Stuhlfels isn’t just for beginners. If you’re willing to stick with the 5.10 routes and up, you’ll have them mostly to yourself! But no matter what you climb, get there early or go on weekdays. Otherwise it can get crowded. The best times on the weekend are to be there around sunrise (which probably comes from the hunter in me) or late afternoon. During the week it won’t mater. Also watch for the “Schulferien” or school vacation times when roads (and generally everything) get crowded.

Popular climbs at Stuhlfels:

Being well known for easy multipitch routes, the most popular climbs reflect that. Given in UIAA grades, they are:

Getting There:

Where to stay:

You can either stay at the DAV Ebinger Haus or if you want to camp directly on the Danube, try Camping Wagenburg. That is where most climbers base themselves for reaching the areas dozens of crags

Stuhlfels Gallery from my two visits