Five reasons why Frankenjura is one of the most popular climbing areas in the world.
1. World's first 9a
2. Birthplace of red point climbing
3. Huge variety of climbing styles in every grade on more than 15000 routes within one hour drive
4. Quick access to the crags
5. Last but not least you probably get the best beer in the world
Is there more you need to know? Read on.
Frankenjura is separated into two main areas: north and south. The southern part is located west of Regensburg in the south-eastern part of Germany. The northern Frankenjura, also called Franconian Switzerland, is much bigger and ranges between the cities Bamberg – Bayreuth – Nürnberg – Amberg.
Formation of Frankenjura started 150 million to 161 million years ago, a period called "White Jurassic". The whole southern part of Germany was covered by a shallow sea and huge rock sequences deposited on the seabed as the earth's crust constantly sank. Resulting limestone and dolomite rocks embossed the typical Franconian karst landscapes with their river valleys and arid plateaus. In the late Jurassic period the sea receded due to the uplifting European continental plate. At this time there was a tropical climate which weathered the limestone and dolomite rocks intensively. In the following periods the sea advanced back and receded again due to more plateau drifting and the Frankenjura landscape, as we know it today, has been developed.
While the southern Frankenjura is popular for its sloping technical climbing on preferred vertical walls, the rocks in the northern part are often steeper and climbing becomes more powerful. A right mix between power, finger strength, and technique is necessary to ascend those steep routes.
When to go there ☀️
In Frankenjura you can climb the whole year. The shady crags hidden deeply in the forests are perfect for summertime. There are many exposed south facing crags which makes climbing possible in winter time, as well. If you are looking for the best conditions, autumn is the ideal season.
How to get there ✈️
If you travel by plane or train to Nürnberg, you can continue quickly to Pegnitz or Ebermannstadt by train. From there you will find several busses which get you to the particular villages. Due to the wide spread crags it's easier to approach by car, especially to get around in Frankenjura.
Where to stay 🏕
Besides the many apartments to choose from there are hundreds of camp sites spread all over Frankenjura. One great accommodation worth mentioning is BedAndBoulder Frankenjura, which is run by climbers for climbers! There are also many places where you can stay with a camper. Be sensitive if you do so, leave places cleaner than you find them and local gastronomy would be pleased about a little support.
Behaviour and regulation 🛑
There are not many regulations in Frankenjura, but it's important to stick to those few rules in order to be able to enjoy climbing in the future.
When it comes to climbing, the crags are divided into three zones:
Zone 1: Climbing is prohibited.
Zone 2: Climbing is allowed at existing routes.
Zone 3: Establishing new routes is possible, however you should contact IG-Klettern or DAV before.
Because there is a very sensitive and rare vegetation in Frankenjura, especially, on top of the rocks, there is no topping out of routes or boulders. Almost each route ends at an anchor just underneath the top outs. There are a few towers which are an exception.
A few crags are temporarily prohibited for climbing when there are falcons or owls breeding - mostly from January to July. You either find info at appropriate topos or directly on signs at the wall. The Franconian limestone is quite soft and can get damaged by harsh treatment. Just brush holds after climbing (no steel brushes!) and clean your shoes before starting a route.
Don't block streets and properties with your car. Remember there is a lot of local farming and farmers need access with their tractors to fields or forest roads.
Please, please, please bury your poop and take rubbish home. Ok, that's enough regulation. Back to enjoyment.
Typical Franconian cuisine includes a lot of meat, dumplings and beer and of course cake. In almost every small village you find a tavern, café and a brewery. A recommended nutrition for climbers in Frankenjura includes cake and coffee at one of the thousands of cafés while climbing, and local beer for recovery after climbing ;)
About the topos 📱
Routes are shown from left to right if you are facing the crag. These topos are constantly growing and updating!