Bavaria is a state of mountain sports – it’s hardly surprising that there is also a tradition of rock climbing here. In addition to a number of popular areas in the Bavarian Alps, there is a real Mecca further north: the Franconian Jura Mountains with their around 12,000 routes on approximately 800 rocks attract climbers from throughout Germany. They are attracted by the dreamy nature and a relaxed way of life, as well as by the rocks.
In the rolling low mountain landscape of Franconian Switzerland, where secluded forests alternate with fields and meadows, you never have to spend long looking for rocks. They are part of the scenery, rise up suddenly at the edge of the road when you are following a valley road in the countryside, and shape many a village idyll along with the rustic half-timbered houses. And they are the reason why a number of passionate climbers choose to settle here permanently – including Sarah Seeger, one of Germany’s best rock climbers.
The diversity of routes is simply unique; there are unlimited possibilities.
For Sarah, it’s a dream come true. She works for an outdoor outfitter in the most attractive climbing region in Germany. “The variety of routes in Franconian Switzerland is simply unique, and there are unlimited possibilities at all levels of difficulty,” enthuses the 35-year old. Some of her greatest successes, including the “Steinbock” and “Odd Fellows” (each with a difficulty level of 8c) were achieved in Franconian Switzerland.
She goes on to say that her favourite season is the autumn. “When the leaves on the trees have changed colour and the temperatures are a bit lower, the conditions are perfect for climbing.” The reason: the hands have a better grip on cool stone because your fingers are sweating less. And how can you find the right routes for you? “The best way is to treat yourself to a large piece of cake and a coffee in a bakery, sit down with a climbing guide in the sun, browse through it and let yourself be inspired by the numerous possibilities”, recommends the expert. “As a beginner, you should ensure that you choose climbing rocks with an easy level of difficulty and good protection.” But there are more than enough of them. A course with a climbing guide provides excellent starting conditions for beginners and indoor climbers. Such courses are regularly offered in Franconian Switzerland.
Incidentally, it is not an accident that the coffee and cake mentioned by Sarah is excellent in the Franconian Jura Mountains. The climbing legend Wolfgang Güllich, who opened up a number of difficult routes in his adopted homeland of Franconia, was also an advocate of this “culture”. Güllich is supposed to have said: “people do not go for a coffee after climbing; drinking coffee is an integral part of climbing.” Correct! And after climbing, cosy Franconian pubs, some of which even have an in-house brewery, await visitors.