/ Germany - quality crags for trad/sport?
I've heard of Ettringen, but that's about it. Where might you suggest for a first time visit to the country for someone climbing 6b/E2 in the spring?
I should add that I'm not interested in any mountaineering style nonsense.
Legoland is nearby got topo if you need?
You dont get much better than the frankenjura. Had two trips there in three years the place is extensive. And the beer very inexpensive they virtually pay you to drink it!
Elbsandstein if you prefer bolder climbs
First I would head to the wonderful Frankenjura, then the Donautal and the Schwäbische Alb...and also the Bavarian Alps for longer multi pitch routes!
oh yeah, and I forgot the Pfalz as HansStuttgart says
Hay Frank don't dismiss mountaineering style trad routes - they have adventure. They beat single pitch crags every time : )
> Elbsandstein if you prefer bolder climbs
“Bolder” is one way of putting it - “suicidal” is another
There finally is an Elbsandstein Plaisir guidebook specifically covering the (relatively) well protected or easily protectable routes of the entire area. The guide also uses proper topos rather than the cryptic descriptions of the traditional guidebooks. The guide is about to come out about now, and you could pre-order it a while ago.
About time, too, but unfortunately a bit too late for me as I left Dresden a year ago. I have ordered it anyway, let's see if it is any good.
E.g. Monday peak, wednesday Cornwall, Thursday Pembroke Saturday Northumberland
> Elbsandstein Plaisir ... about to come out
Is out. I was flicking through it in Sport Schuster the other day. Looks ... disconcertingly like a normal guidebook.
Interesting.... Is it navigable/useable by a largely non German speaker, do you think?
If you are driving here then the Pfalz for a few days, it´s kinda pseudo-trad, unless I was stuck there I wouldn´t spend more than 3-4 days there myself. Then maybe the Schwabish Alb area which has some good sport climbing in a more traditional style, Blautal and such like. Then the Frankenjura naturally enough and I can come and show you some of the delights! I live 1 hr from the southern Franken and 2 hours from the rest.
Donautal isn´t usually worth the trip, the Allgau has plenty of new stuff if you want to be nearer the mountains (to look at) and Elbe Sandstone is kinda different, the sport there is okay but nothing brilliant but the trad climbing is just an adventure.
> There finally is an Elbsandstein Plaisir guidebook specifically covering the (relatively) well protected or easily protectable routes of the entire area. The guide also uses proper topos rather than the cryptic descriptions of the traditional guidebooks. The guide is about to come out about now, and you could pre-order it a while ago.
wow, amazing. Especially if the topos are actually useful in identifying which tower you're supposed to climb....
Good question. High quality topos, but in best Elbesandstein tradition way more text heavy than the typical Eurotopo - more like a modern UK guidebook. You could probably get by just looking at the pictures, but you'd be missing out on a lot of information.
Also being a "plaisir" guide it only goes up to about 6b equivalent. Dunno if that would suffice for you; would be more than enough for me if I ever make it there. Sadly my native guide is a schoolteacher, so I generally have clashing family commitments when when he organises trips back home.
A "normal" guidebook would be ideal. Do you know the classic guidebooks for the area? Worst format I have encountered anywhere.
Hopefully mine will arrive these days then, too (ordered from a small book sender, not the US tax dodgers).
We would suggest, we assume that you are referring to the classic sandstone guides to Elbandstein (a series of 6 guides). These are the best written and laid out guides produced. For those unfamiliar with this area, it is immensely complex area, generally in heavy woodland making photo-topos difficult. There is also the problem of 20000+ routes. Neither Tony or myself speak any German but with the aid of a small German dictionary, we have managed to log up a 2000+ routes and 500+ towers. There are 2 other series of guidebooks and old series of small topo guides with hand drawn topos these only cover the south of the river and Rathen area. There is a new series of 4 topo guides similar size to Rockfax with photo topos, but these are difficult to use due to the high level of abbreviation.
If you want some difficult to use guidebooks, I suggest you cross the border into Czech.
tony & sarah
> Good question. High quality topos, but in best Elbesandstein tradition way more text heavy than the typical Eurotopo - more like a modern UK guidebook. You could probably get by just looking at the pictures, but you'd be missing out on a lot of information.
Ok, thanks. My wife can bring high school German to the party, and I have some very minor German "climbing vocab" that I've picked up along the way. Either way, it sounds more accessible than previously.
> Also being a "plaisir" guide it only goes up to about 6b equivalent. Dunno if that would suffice for you; would be more than enough for me if I ever make it there. Sadly my native guide is a schoolteacher, so I generally have clashing family commitments when when he organises trips back home.
I think it depends - my assumption is that I should be thinking of a lot of these 6bs as E2/3, even if they are the better protected end - I'm not assuming that even the better protected end is anything approaching conventional sport climbing!
Yes, these are the ones I am talking about. I have three of them, and I hate them. Simply compare them to the much more modern, semi-topo Bielatal guide. Actually don't, they don't even come close!
The Czech side is similar, some excellent guides for specific areas, but as you say, the overall ones are almost wilfully obtuse.
edit: I agree that photo topos are useless, and I did e.g. not buy the one for the harder routes in the Affensteine area. Wouldn't be able to climb most of the routes in there, anyway, and I find drawn topos much clearer.
If you check the website dav-felsinfo.de you can see all available climbing areas and some information including the local climbing ethic and any closures.
The others have mentioned some great areas. If you climb in Elbsandstein please consider the local ethics concerning no magnesia, no climbing on wet rock (might be difficult in spring) and no metal protection (no nuts, no cams).
Pfalz. Beautiful location, very accessible, masses of crags. It's not as refined as some areas - a bit like a giant partially bolted Helsby/Churnet hybrid, but it's constantly interesting, varied, and just plain fun, and spot on at those grades. I've been 3 times and would go back in a shot - hopefully this autumn.
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