For those living in southern Germany, bouldering can be hard to find. The only real options in the southwest are Odenwald and Allgau with some unofficial options near Calw. I recently managed to finally visit one of the largest ones in Allgau. One of the largest areas is made up of a huge boulder field on the slope of a mountain.
Family friendly: Sort of. The approach can be done with a stroller even. But then it’s all scrambling. If you’ve got kids ~8 and older who you dont mind climbing around the talus, then it’s ok. Definitely out for smaller ones.
Where to stay
For Hinterstein, Sonthofen is the closest “large” town and a great base for seeing the area. The best bases for general allgau climbing and bouldering are Sonthofen and Oberstdorf. Immenstadt also makes a great choice and has many family-friendly activities too.
Hinterstein: Getting there & Approach
Point your GPS/Google Maps/Waze towards the tiny village of “Hinterstein” which is after Bad Hindelang. Drive directly through the village on the one main rode until you reach a “big” parking area with a public bus stop. You can’t drive further anyway =) Park here and don’t forget to pay. It’s about 4 EUR for the day.
Bouldering Field Details & Problems
There are approximately 700 different problems split across several fields. The main area, from the hiking trail up the talus slops is called Hauptfeld (main field) and split into the lower and upper fields. Moreover, the surrounding forest also contains several fields (Upper, middle and lower) with even more.
With far too many problems to list and the need for a bird’s eye view, I have to recommend just buying the book Allgäu-Block: Bouldertopo Allgäu – Lechtal. It’s available in German and has limited English translations in it, though extremely poorly translated. But the maps and grades speak for themselves.
Some more pictures and detail is available here (written by the book’s authors) but only in German.
Photos: Hinterstein Bouldering
Aussichtsfels Visit – Two multipitch Routes and Beautiful Fall Weather
After a long break from climbing and exercise, the perfect circumstances materialized and I had a full day off to climb. The confluence of perfect fall weather, dry conditions, a friend willing to drive and my family schedule meant one thing: Donautal!
We met in Vaihingen at 07:30 and started off on the 1.5 hr trip armed with coffee and brezeln. We arrived at Aussichtsfels and were the second group there. The weather was still cool as the sun wasn’t yet high enough to hit the valley yet. It was the typical problem of being cold now and perfect later, or warm now and then too hot later.
The route we’d wanted to warm up on was occupied so we headed for Baumlesweg, another easy two pitch route. Despite the very polished start, it turned out to be a fun route. The belay was a bit cramped but offered wonderful views. We topped out and since we didn’t have a 70m rope, hiked back down to the base. We stowed our jackets in the car and grabbed snacks and water. The advantage of parking 30 seconds walk from the base can’t be understated. It’s the best I’ve found anywhere over here.
After our short break, we headed back by which time several more groups had appeared. Luckily, Adolf-Niklas-Gedanken-Weg was clear and we headed up. It features a huge crack/dihedral combo and the first pitch is nearly 50 meters long. The first pitch is a lot of fun although just before the belay, the last two meters or so are super polished suddenly and very slippery. The rest of it features plenty of fun stemming and easy climbing. The belay is roomy and with excellent views of the river valley. The second pitch traverses upwards and left for 2/3’s of the way making it easy to get lost or take the wrong route. Luckily, my friend who led found the way the first time.
Next time you’re in Donautal and especially when Stuhlfels is busy, head on down to Aussichtsfels.
Crag Info: Neuffener Parkplatzfels Second Visit & Update
Need a quick nearby crag that I hadn’t visited, or hadn’t seen all of, I went to Neuffener Parkplatzfelsen with a friend today for the second time and was able to hit all 3 crags that are part of it. Thus, I’ve gone back and updated my original report as well as added new photos.