/ Czech Climbing - Gear and Area recommendations
I'm travelling to the Czech republic tomorrow for a climbing / cycle touring trip. Hoping to experience the sandstone trad ethic, and also find some sport climbing.
The vague plan is to do a loop from Prague -> Elbe -> Prachov/Czech Paradise ->Adrspach -> Prague over about 3 weeks.
I'm unfamiliar with the country other than a google search and would be grateful for any recommendations on the best sport/traditional climbing areas, and also advice on the following:
Thanks in advance.
From what I’ve read no metal protection is allowed at all?
Thanks. I know that metal gear is not allowed on the sandstone towers, but read about some (dolerite?) trad crags where conventional kit is allowed - my question was really whether these crags are good enough to warrant taking a small trad rack out...
I believe there is some granite climbing too somewhere, not sure where though.
Adršpach, Teplice, Ostrov and Labské údolí (Elbe valley) are all great for sandstone. As you know, no metal pro is allowed on sandstone, but you can use slings and knots, and there are bolts (more in Ostrov than Adr, be prepared for terrifying runouts). Chalk is heavily frowned upon at Adr, but it seems to be accepted on some of the harder routes. I suggest you join the Facebook group "Lezení - kdy a kde" (Climbing - when and where), where you might find someone who will give you specific advice and maybe meet up.
In and around Prague there is a bit of afternoon trad at Divoká Šárka and Holy Vrch, Unetice, although probably too tame for you, looking at your grade; the rock is a form of schist, and takes metal gear. An hour or so south there's granite at Rovište and limestone at Srbsko, both by the river. If you're into bouldering, try the granite at Petrohrad, an hour or two west of Prague. If you stop in Prague for any length of time and fancy indoors, try Boulder Bar (bouldering only), SmíchOff (climbing and bouldering) and Big Wall (climbing and a bit of bouldering).
Guide books - as far as I know, there's no general guidebook. Labské údolí has two, for right bank and left bank. I don't recall seeing anything in English. Hanibal or Hudy Sport in Prague are probably the best places to buy.
Ropes - My friends tend to use 80m single, but I am sure you wouldn't be short of routes using a 60. I don't know of anyone using doubles here, but I don't have much experience of the sandstone at all.
Not much experience with the Czech side, only the Saxony side of the Elbe sandstone. From my POV, don't bother with trad gear, there are some basalt or dolerite crags but nothing special. The sandstone is fantastic, though! 60m rope should be fine, on most towers the abseil pistes were equipped when nobody had anything longer than 50m!
If you want something cam like you can try UFO rings, Hudy sport is a good shop, and branches can be found in most climbing areas. Also, bring crack gloves! In fact, I would buy all my sandstone slings over there, e.g. they have special, fuzzy woven slings that stick better to the sandstone which I have never seen elsewhere.
Prague has some excellent climbing walls with proper cracks if the weather craps out on you.
Thanks both. That's very helpful.
I'll be sure to check out Hudy sport once in Prague for guidebook & 'sticky' slings!
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