Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Smashing Frankenjura!

So, finally Germany has warmed up! After some strange weather including a full-on blizzard, it was time to head away for my 30th Birthday. Where else than Frankenjura? ;-)

Finally! A week out of the city
Starting our trip over a Bank Holiday weekend, this means camping in the wild and avoiding the tourists in the Southern area of Frankenjura. This ain't no concrete parking however, it's luxury wild-vanning!

Your own personal meadow hidden deep in the forest....

With the weather still a little brisk, we started our trip down in Steinberg. Here we were all alone deep in the forest, getting back in to the spirit of things.


With Jen's shoulder injured we kept it pretty chill, although I did manage to fall off a horizontal roof problem which gets a whopping 7- (Fr6a+). Classic start to the week! I made up for it however with a quick send of Geisterfanger 8- / Fr6c+.

We then popped over for an evening look at Ankatallwand to try the supermega classic Computerspiele 8 / Fr7a. I found it really polished, and my total anti-style, crimps and selective high feet. Jen loves the place however, so I am sure we are going back.

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Computerspiele and some harder stuff at Ankatallwand - nicked off the internet

After a night in the forest we headed over to Plecher Klippen, and old-skool and a little neglected crag where we mostly fell off 8s and 8+s in the sun. At least we ticked Wurzelsepp 6+.

Time for a break and over to our favorite animal park. 2.50EUR and you can hand feed the deer, what's not to love!

Some of the locals

Native Goats
And to top off a long day, a couple of burns on Top Tour 8/Fr7a at Foehrenstien. After a morning getting smashed at Plecher Klippen I was too tired to send it. But an early morning visit soon sorted that out. Jug climbing hidden in the forest!

We then continued to avoid the bank holiday tourists with a visit to Affentheater (Monkey Theater). to try the aptly named Hypersupermegatgaturbottittenaffengeil. (Stick that in Google Translate!) Unfortunately my redpoint was cut short by some extremely pushy Polish who had clearly got their heart set on the route, got lost on the way up, and couldn't quite handle someone else already being there. After a disagreement with them taking my quickdraws out so they could top rope it I had enough and we left. It was a bit of a reminder that while I'm feeling a lot more open to European culture, I still can't fully appreciate the way some Eastern Europeans come across, was it something lost in translation or simply rudeness? who knows. maybe both.

Lesson learned, don't leave Jen alone with the camera whilst climbing

We chilled out by a very steep walk through Kathedral, which reminded me a bit of Cathedral Caves in the Lake District, to a beautiful crag hidden deep in the hillside called Jonny Cash Wand. It was super dry and we sent a couple of 6a+/6b's in the evening sun.

Tuesday it rained. Hard. Something like 30mm. So we escaped to one of the Bayreuth classics: Obermain Therme

Hot Tubs and Whirl pools, a good escape from the rain
The day after the clouds departed leaving some very wet rock. We took a chilled out morning exploring some new crags, and the Rodelbahn! Jen took a phone interview for a job - from the Van! in the afternoon.

Escaping the rain with a game of cards and local brew
Rodelbahn Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnn!

Later that afternoon the rock dried up and we got straight back to it.With a visit to Amerikanische Botschaft. I love this crag. It's perfect 15m height, gets full sun, loads of feet, loads of hands, technical interesting moves and packed full of 8's Fr 7a / 7a+'s.

The Botschaft - it's a bit cheddary!

After an evening send of Desert Storm (8), we came back the next day to send some more. As well as me getting a 1st RP of Burger King 8+ / Fr7a+, Jen was also fully back on form including an onsight of Agent Orange 8-.

Warming up at the Botschaft - with some harder routes on the right wall

Then it was my Birthday! Whoop! Jen took my to Burg Rabenstien, probably the best place you can stay in the Frankenjura. It isn't cheap, but it is a real castle, and you get wined and dined in front of an open birchwood fire. Plus they have Falcons. It's awesome.

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Cheesy 80's advert for "The Berg"
Not a bad living room

After being fully fed we head out to Zwergenschloss to get some awesome bday sends, including an 8+ called Berti Vogts Ged Weg . A great crag including a massive cave full of steep and juggy 8's to 9's (Fr7c) hidden in the back of the cave and requiring a head torch. It was a little like Gollums Cave on rope, and 10x the size!

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The Zwergenschloss - The Dwarves Castle! - nicked from online

That afternoon we head back down South to set up camp for the arrival of Bill, Pei, Sasha, Patrick, Jan, Tom, and Gabrielle. It was super awesome to see and climb with these guys on my 30th, in particular the weather finally broke and it turned out to be a beautifully warm weekend.

Working hard to set up camp.... van life is easy.
With Saturday upon us, we headed over to Stienberger Gemsenwand, a somewhat traditional crag, full 30m height and with the 6- being more like HVS with some massive run outs.

Stienberger Gemsenwand has an almost Alpine feel...
Jen, Tom and I head over to Sorangerwand for a play on some steeper stuff in the Sun, while the rest of the guys checked out some other local pinnacles. Kudos to Pei for his first climb!

Soranger Wand
Pei on his first outdoor climb - Jan's photo
Getting in to the holiday spirit - Bill's Photo
Sasha and Patrick enjoying hot weather  - Bill's photo
Finally we topped off the trip with a visit to Wiesse Wand. It turned out to be further from the motorway than we thought. But it was awesome. Properly rural and properly great climbing in the mid grade. One of my fave Franken crags.

Perfect top-out views from Weisse Wand, not a concrete road in sight!!
Thoroughly smashed we left for Berlin. An amazing 9 days in the Frankenjura.

Route Listing

Fr 5/5+
5- Daniel (Wiesse Wand)
5 Unknown (Stienberg)
6- / HVS Weisse Verschneidung Stienberger Gemsenwand
6 Bauchtanz (Wiesse Wand)
6 Flucht nach Oben  (Zwergenschloss)

6+ Am Rauschenden Bach (Stienberg)
6+ Wulst (Wiesse Wand)
6+ Himalaua Muller (Jonny Cash Wand)
6+ First Lady (Amerikanische Botschaft)
6+ Wurzelsepp (Plecher Klippen)
7- Fairplay (Wiesse Wand)
7- Hards Weckla (Wiesse Wand)
7- Ronald McDonald (Amerikanische Botschaft)
7- (RP!) L'Allpinist (Stienberg)
7- Louobba (Affentheatre)
7- Rotkappchen.... (Zwergenschloss)

7 Kasper Brigitte (Jonny Cash Wand)
7(/7+/8-) Paranoid  (Soranger Wand)
7 Verfassungsbechwerde (Wiesse Wand)
7 Lady Domina (Wiesse Wand)

7+ (Jen) Big Mac (Amerikanische Botschaft)
7+ (Jen) Im 27 Jahr des Zwerges  (Zwergenschloss)
8- (Jen) Agent Orange (Amerikanische Botschaft)
8- (RP) Geisterfanger (Stienberg)

8 Top Tour (Foehrenstien)
8 Desert Storm  (Amerikanische Botschaft)
8+ Burger King (Amerikanische Botschaft)
8+ Berti Vogts Ged Weg (Zwergenschloss)

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