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.
A friend of mine and fellow expat recently told me she’d created a Meetup group for women who like to climb. It also reminded me to follow through on the same idea which I’d let slip after moving. It’ll take a while to get mine going, particularly as I also organize a board game night for English speaking expats too. Below are the links for anyone thinking of joining.
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 Stettenseveral 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
Grades: Good mix of easy and moderate, a few toughies too
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.