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About Frankenjura (Fränkische Schweiz) North:

The Frankenjure (German: 'Frankenjura' also 'Fränkische Schweiz') might be one of the world's most famous sport climbing areas. This is where back in the days guys like Wolfgang Güllich, Kurt Albert, Jerry Moffat and many others developed the idea of modern free climbing: Kurt Albert started leaving red dots at the base of 'freed' climbs - and created the 'Red Point'. Wolfgang Güllich climbed the first UIAA 11 ever (Action Directe, 9a or 5.14d). And so on.

In the end it's not the history what pulls us into the area these days but the incredible amount of perfect limstone routes spread over hundreds of small crags in the area. And the food. Of course the food. And the beer. Oh yes, the beer...

Overview The northern Frankenjura is seated in the triangle between the three cities of Bamberg, Bayreuth (that's pronounced by-roid, not Beirut, okay?) and Nürnberg (Nuremberg). Unlike other areas, the Fränkische Schweiz is not a system of crags but merely a collection of hundreds of small rocks spread over the woods. There are supposed to be over 1000 crags with over 7000 routes and countless boulders.

Climbing The rock is finest limestone, known for perfect face climbing and incredibly roofs with mean finger pockets. If you wanna climb multi pitch... go somewhere different. In Franken if you're not exhausted by the 30m given, then try something harder! There are some longer routes, but most climbing takes place in crags ranging from 15-25m (50-80ft). Some of the roof routes tend to be wider the high...

Climbing the Frankenjure is gentle for the fingers - at least for the remaining eight. (Erbse)

Protection is widely close to perfect. Bolt spacing varies from gym-like to Saxon stlye (who wants to live forever?), but the mojority of routes offers reasonable to comfortable sport climbing. In the major areas you'll mostly find so called 'Bühlerhaken', glue in bolts of stainless steel. Those are made for eternity, so in doubt they are bomber single-bolt anchors. Same goes for glued in rings, sometimes you just gotta trust German engineering. Due to the publicity of the area the all over quality of the bolting is beyond question - which should't mean you're off responsibility though.

Transportation Though there's public transport and hard core enviromentalists might wanna take the bike the fastest and easiest way to get around is by car. Sorry. On the other hand you might even belay out of it...

Accommodation The Frankenjure is pretty much a tourist area, so it's easy to find a place to stay. For climbers there are at least three places which might be of interest:

  • Gasthof Eichler (Trubachtal) Maybe the all time number one accommodation for climbers in Franken: Camping on the lawn or two levels of commodity in a dorm. The true spirit of the place, Grandma Eichler, left this world in 2006 but the place still is a major meeting point for climbers. Kind of a Camp 4 for the Frankenjure. Just the kitchen is much, much better. And the beer.
  • Gasthaus Kroder (Schlaifhausen) offers cheap rooms, a hostel like dorm and a lawn to camp on. Besides that, the Gasthaus offers legendary food at a reasonable price. And beer. Of course.
  • Gasthaus "Zur Guten Einkehr" (Morschreuth) Same as Kroder: Cheap rooms, a hostel like dorm and a lawn to camp on. You wouldn't be surprised the Gasthaus offers incredibly good food at a reasonable price. And - you might have already guessed - beer too.

Local Specialties Food and Beer. And more food. And don't forget about the beer (Oh, did I mention the beer?).

If people talk about the merrits of the German cuisine, they might have been in the Frankenjure. The essence of German food is to be found in one of the hundreds of little restaurants ('Gasthaus') in the villages. A meal normally includes a big piece of meat, f.e. Braten (marinaded roast), Schäuferle (a piece of pork shoulder with rind) or Schnitzel, some Bratkartoffeln (roasted potatoes) or Klöße/Knödel (dumplings made of either potato or bread crust) and sauce. You might find some alibi salad too. For dessert try the famous 'Apfelstrudel' (apple pye of some sort), preferrably hot with vanilla ice. Forget about your diet quickly, there's just one way: climb more!

Now for the beer. Here we are in the paradise of beer-a-holics. Franken hosts about 270 breweries, most of them being micro breweries attached to a restaurant in some village. So have fun and try to taste as much as you can - you won't be disappointed.

What’s on the Web A couple of useful links about the area:

  • A most complete and instructional guide to the Frankenjure. Contains a superb database of routes and a couple of places to stay etc. Kind of an online compendium of the area. (English and German)
  • If you can't get enough of the beer: here you find a guide to all Franken breweries available on CD. (German only)

Forum Discussions (1 posts)

  Subject Author Replies Last Post
With Replies Guide book to Frankenjura in the USA ilikerock13 11 May 07 2014, 11:02 AM