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Related to the Danube Valley

Aussichtsfels Visit – Two multipitch Routes and Beautiful Fall Weather

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: 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

Donautal Camping and Aussichtsfels visit!

Donautal Camping and Aussichtsfels visit!

Got up bright and early Saturday, packed the bags and kids in the car and headed for Hausen im Tal. The plan? Some father-kids camping time in the Danube valley. This was the first time I visited without doing any climbing (and hopefully the last). In contrast to the city folk still staring down at their phones constantly, my gaze kept going up at the dozens upon dozens of crags around. In fact, no matter where you look, there they are, lining the valley walls overlooking the Danube. A good deal are closed to climbing, and yet there are still nearly 30 which are open.

Donautal Camping at “Camping Wagenburg”

We stayed at Camping Wagenburg which occupies a long grassy field along the Danube. It is located in the town of Hausen im Tal which is the center of Donautal climbing and usually the base for most climbers. It also has some easy stuff right in town like Stuhlfels which means big climbing groups from the DAV. That makes camping there incredibly convenient, however compared to the US, annoyingly crowded. Tents were 10 feet from each other with people constantly walking by or running around your stuff. The location is beautiful and practical, but it’s certaintly not all that relaxing and in no way camping in the sense that an American would understand it.

Donautal Crag: Aussichtsfels

With the kids in tow and no belay partner, I had no plans to get on the rock this trip. However, I had plans to drive further through the valley and check out a number of other crags. A few I only saw from a distance or from the parking area, but two were next on my to-climb list so I broke camp Sunday morning and headed eastwards towards Inzigkofen to check out Aussichtsfels and Dreiecksfels, both of which offer a number of easy multipitch climbs with great views.

Donautal: Camping & Aussichtsfels Pictures

Off to Donautal

Off to Donautal

I’m off soon to Hausen im Tal in the Upper Danube Valley for a short weekend of camping.

In the meantime, it looks there’s now a good reason for me to visit London, aside from the Imperial War Museum:

London’s first “climbing window” will sit 400 feet above the ground. Entrants will be able to climb routes fixed on clear glass planes overlooking the city and expansive drop.

[…] Convenience for the active lifestyle is center stage at the newly announced 22 Bishopsgate development in downtown London. Bike to the office, enjoy modern collaborative, productive work spaces, climb after work, and pick up groceries for the week—all in the same building.

climbing glass building in london
Stock photo without a rope! Or is she just free soloing?

Pretty neat idea.

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