/ NEW ARTICLE: EDITORIAL: The Berlin Bunker

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UKC Articles - on 23 Feb 2011
The Humboldthain Bunker in Berlin is now an official climbing venue with fixed equipment. It was built in 1942., 4 kb

"The setting is suitably drab. The climbing is on the sunless north side. Rubbish is scatted across the dirt ground. Graffiti covers the base of the wall in a ring of rebellious colour; the bright paint stark against the grey of the city. The top of the bunker is fenced with barbed wire. This is not Yosemite National Park...

And yet it is one of the most moving places I have climbed."

Jack Geldard visits the Berlin Bunker.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3501

Tom Last - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

I was really enjoying this article Jack, you'd engaged my interest and was drawing me in, when it just stopped half way thr...

Lil_Pete - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

What sort of grade spread and topos are available?

Very much enjoyed the article, short as it was; very emotive.
Lil_Pete - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

On further research, The 'Berlin Bunker' Topos - http://www.climbing-area.info/gebiete/bunker/bunker_main.htm all grades are DDR with F7a being around 9.
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very evocative, especially the juxtaposition of old b & w shot and the modern version.


Chris
Quarryboy - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

The hardest route there is 10- (8a)
ice.solo - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

wow! more on that please, especially photos. most interesting thing weve seen here for a while.
ericoides - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> Very evocative, especially the juxtaposition of old b & w shot and the modern version.
>
In case of confusion, the main photo of "The Berlin Bunker" is of another "bunker", now demolished: Flakturm I at the Berlin Zoo, not Flakturm III at Humboldthain.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin_bunker.jpg

hubereini - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: if you happen to pass through vienna, there´s a similar flakturm (and also not much other climbing around) - topo at http://www.oeav-events.at/dokumente/s_100/v_101/g_101/files/Topo_Flakturm_Print.pdf
more info at http://www.oeav-events.at/OEAV/kletteranlagen/flakturm/index.php?navid=66
no english version as far as i can see, but i´m glad to help in case you´re interested!
dror - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
once again, berlin shows itself as a cool place.
Gus - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to dror:
And that's before you even get into the techno scene!!!!
franksnb - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: great photo, is there a better quality one somewhere?
Dave Foster - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Nice one Jack.
Conor1 - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Anyone heading there should also check out friedrichshain - one of the coolest spots in berlin with a bolted concrete water tower, gravel-floored bouldering bays, 2 big beer gardens, big indoor skatepark and frequent live music. Pic here: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/b3ny1yrCd9T_OWC8vlu_sg
Jiduvah - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to Conor1: I am just on my way there now, there is actually a bouldering center inside as well.

At another bouldering center I came across a guide book for urban climbing like this for Berlin and the surrounding area. I couldn't believe how many routes and boulder problems there actually are
sm1thson - on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Loved it, clearly a great place and a well written article.
pneame on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Very interesting - love the industrial archaeology, especially when as poignant (if that's the right word here) as this, re-purposed to something as modern as sport climbing. More pictures and more detail would have been very welcome.
jimtitt - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

I lived near there for a while, the climbing is an acquired taste which I failed to acquire! The rose gardens are nice (it´s in a park) but the climbing side is even grimmer than the article makes out as there the main railway lines run just below.

Berlin has some interesting artificial climbing towers built from reinforced conrete slabs stacked up and sprayed with concrete, my regular haunt was the Teufelsberg which is the highest point in Berlin and made completely from WW11 rubble.

A good website about climbing in Berlin is http://www.climbing-area.info/cab_net.htm

Jim
Trangia - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

The b&w photo was taken in 1945 after an unsuccessful attempt by the occupying powers to blow it up after the end of the War. Berlin was ringed by these flak towers, as were other major German cities, a legacy of the huge air defence system built to counter the relentless bombing by RAF Bomber Command by night and the USAAF by day. The resources poured into air defence were huge amounting to the equivelent of numerous divisions in terms of man power and guns, particularly 88 mm guns, which were sorely needed on the Eastern Front and which some historians believe coud well have tipped the balance in favour of the Axis.

The fact that demoliton proved so difficult, impossible in the case of this one, shows just how strong re-inforced concrete construction is.
Bulls Crack - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

'The setting is suitably drab. The climbing is on the sunless north side. Rubbish is scatted across the dirt ground. Graffiti covers the base of the wall in a ring of rebellious colour;'

Ahhh Woodhouse Scar....
ads.ukclimbing.com
Waldmeister - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: There is another bunker that turned into a climbing venue. It is near Wilhemshaven in the north of Germany where is also no natural climbing around. This one has a Via ferrata and climbing up to 8a+ and there is even a guidebook.

http://www.dav-wilhelmshaven.de/turm1.htm
Quiddity - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to Trangia:

Fascinating. If you follow the co-ordinate links from the wikipedia article you can see the ones that are still standing on Google Street View.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flak_tower
Bulls Crack - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to Waldmeister:

Now, if only cooling towers were strong enough....
Andy Long - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Fascinating. Climbing does indeed go to the back of the queue during wartime but it's interesting to reflect on the effects of the accelerated development that wars bring about. Large-scale production of nylon rope is the obvious one that springs to mind. Brian Kellet probably wouldn't have done his extraordinary series of climbs had circumstances not put him in Fort William. And didn't Paul Preuss push standards forward in the Dollies whilst setting up machine-gun nests in WW1?
Brendan H on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
great article, would love to gve this place a visit!
PeterJuggler - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: If it was in the UK a building like this would either become listed or torn down and there would be no chance of climbing on it.
petje - on 28 Feb 2011
I've climbed here in the late 90' almost all of the routes. There was still a lot of grass around the belaying area.
The climbing is vertical, VERY technical, and only 12 meters high. There are some routes through the roof up there, but they are with climbing-gym holds. Still a lot of fun, but sometimes quiet reachy. The nicest routes are hard to pick, (for me the best memory is 'schräger shuh') they are all hard graded and need a lot of secure foottechnique. Try it, you like it!

for comparison of the grades: G7 = f6b, G8 is F7a, g9 = f7c.
Discov8 - on 10 Apr 2011
In reply to Lil_Pete:
I've been in Berlin a literally a few weeks now, there is a guidebook /topo in german and english "Dickes B, Kletterfuehrer Berlin - Brandenburg" ISBN 3-00-016977-6

It's been about 12yrs since I was last in Berlin and the climbing facilities have increased in number.

Commercial enterprises range from 4euros to 14euros per session.

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