Dahn Rockland, Palatinate, Germany

DAV/AC International Climbing Meet in the Palatinate/Pfalz

Expanding horizons – making friends – exchanging know-how.

The aim of the International Climbing Meet is a long-term exchange between the British Alpine Club and the German DAV Wetzlar through mutual visits and the opportunity to get to know climbers, introduce new areas in the two countries, know-how transfer, the exchange of climbing traditions and a general “thinking outside the box”. In autumn 2023, the first exchange meet took place in the Palatinate.

What a brilliant week! Not only the sunny and pleasant late summer weather, but especially the great camaraderie, all the first-class climbing routes on the best sandstone crags of our Palatinate and the wonderful time we spent together made this exchange meet a unique event.

Two years late due to the pandemic, the first exchange meet took place with a lot of organisational effort in the Dahn Rockland/Palatinate at the beginning of October 2023. We had climbers from five countries at the event. The programme included a week of trad climbing on the best crags the Palatinate has to offer. Challenging chimneys, cracks of all widths, wall climbing on the beautiful sandstone honeycombs and special Palatinate edges as well as the infamous smearing top outs provided numerous exciting moments. Thus, day after day, we were able to climb routes that filled us deeply and will remain in our memories forever.

Autumn is the best time for climbing in the Palatinate, because no crags are closed for nature conservation reasons – and so we were very active on the crags for the whole week. Our English friends were very committed from the start and quickly got used to climbing on the Palatinate sandstone. Thanks to their know-how in placing mobile protection, they were able to cope with the routes anyway, and were able to dedicate themselves to the special chimneys and cracks in no time. There were several successful surprises, and on a famous chimney on the Asselstein we were able to take part on the miraculous transformation of a sport climber into a chimney climber. Beside our forearms, our laughing muscles were not neglected during the whole week. There was a lot of laughter, a lot.

With the sustainable and emission-free old customs house in Fischbach, we had the perfect accommodation for the whole group. In the evenings, we either cooked and barbecued together or enjoyed delicious game dishes and other culinary delights in one of the regional restaurants beside a good glass of wine. Afterwards, three lectures (Climbing in the Palatinate, Peak District and Isle of Skye, Large Format Photography in Mountaineering) were on the programme, there was always a lively exchange and a lot of gear talk. Our guests were very appreciative of the good climbing style we have in the Palatinate.

The crowning glory on Friday evening was the joint ascent of the Adelsnadel. Just in time for sunset, we all stood on the summit and toasted the fantastic week with a good red wine.

Facts

Let’s see where it is:

Our selection of crags:

» Nonnenfels
» Schafsfelsen
» Asselstein
» Fladensteine
» Bruchweiler Geiersteine
» Büttelfels
» Rappenwand
» Hochstein
» Adelsnadel

Recommended group accommodation:

» Altes Zollhaus, Fischbach (www.altes-zollhaus-fischbach.de)

Route equipment:

Belays and rappel anchors are mostly protected with heavy bolts, you find a few bolts in every pitch, mobile devices are necessary for further protection.

Caution:

Chalk only from UIAA 7. Watch out after heavy rain, because sandstone might lose its firmness – Handholds, footholds and placements can become very fragile. Numerous accidents happened already!

Climbing gear:

60-70 m single rope, 1 set of Stoppers, 1 set of C4-Camalots, slings

Culinary recommendation:

Seasonal specialties are delicious game dish on chanterelles, Alsatian tart, and chestnut creme soup with pork-stomach in fall.
My favorite Restaurant in the Saarbach valley:

» Gasthaus zum Landgrafen, Ludwigswinkel (www.zumlandgrafen.de)

» Route database Southern Palatinate (tourendatenbank.xoxs.de)

» Association of climbers from Palatinate (www.pfaelzer-kletterer.de)

» Bärenbrunnerhof – climbers meeting point, Pub, climbing shop and campground (www.baerenbrunnerhof.de)

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