The climbing meetup in Stuttgart that I organize spent the morning in Kentheim, climbing some fabulous weathered sandstone. The friction is fantastic and it’s full of really nice pockets from single finger to whole hands.
At 20 meters high, it provides plenty of fun and higher than any gym around. The morning was incredibly foggy and getting there at 8am meant it took about two hours to clear and for the sun to finally warm things up. From then on it was a gorgeous Fall day. Learn more about climbing in Kentheim here.
With the weather at high of 22C today, we headed for our favorite family crag: Klettergarten Stetten. This time, I invited a friend and his family who’d recently bought a car and were now able to join. They jumped on the offer and off we went.
For anyone with kids, I highly recommend picking up Petzl’s Macchu kids climbing harness along with the separate chest harness. More cautious kids can always optionally use the chest version but since they’re not connected, they can grow right into a standard waist harness without you having to get a new one.
The Perils of Finding Saengerheim and the Klettergarten!
Unfortunately, getting there isn’t always easy since you end up driving uphill through the vineyards on roads where it looks like you shouldn’t. The signage is also poor and I made sure to stop and send him pics at several turns. Unfortunately, he fell for the “GPS told me so” trap and decided to park elsewhere. So over an hour later, they finally showed up after some wrong turns in the woods with toddlers in tow and picnic gear.
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 (Easy: 8 | Moderate: 15 | Hard: 4)
Grades: Good mix of easy and moderate, a few hard ones
Family friendly: Yes! Flat, easy approach and base area
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.
Made of weathered sandstone, the rock is good as is the friction. If you’ve climbed at Klettergarten Stetten, it’s the same black high quality sandstone there. There are lots of nice little pockets throughout the wall but whatever you choose, it’s slab climbing all the way with a few nice cracks sprinkled throughout, particularly the left side.
Cams, nuts and even hexes can be useful on about 1/3 of the routes, but everything is bolted. Many of the first bolts are fairly high though (though typically with easy starts).
The base of the crag is flat so good for kids but the plants (Brennsessel) around aren’t to be played in. They’ll sting you so avoid them.
The crag gets late 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. For spring and summer, I’d recommend arriving around 8am and leaving around noon or alternatively late afternoon to dusk. In the cooler months, get there late morning around 9 or 10am.
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 away.
Popular Climbs in Kentheim
Riss (6-) – A fun climb starting on a sweet hand crack. You have to place gear the first 1/3 of the route and then its bolted
Kentheimer Kante (4+) – A nice easy slab climb up the main central arete. It’s easy if you go the right way
Linker Plattenweg (5-) – Easy slab climbing with lots of super pockets to use
Canditus (6+) – On the very far left around the corner, the big crack in the dihedral.