Sächsische Schweiz

The pictures of the climbs got you started. All the legends, rumors, and stories in the internet and magazines have only fed your curiosity. Finally you have decided to make a trip to the Sächsische Schweiz! You even already have your top list of to-do climbs, but what about the rest, the logistic behind the trip? What does climbing in the Elbsandsteingebirge involve? Why is this place different from any other climbing destination? What do you need to start? The links below will provide some basic information and tips and tricks to get you started in Elbsandstein.

Saxonian grading system Climbing rules and regulations Climbing with knots and slings Recommended reading
Weather Moving around Where to stay (under construction)  

Unfortunately, many climbers have never heard about climbing in Sächsische Schweiz.  Most likely, climbing in Germany immediately brings up images of flasks of beer, bretzels, Wolfgang Güllich and the athletic routes in Frankenjura.  “Elbsands …What? Never heard of that place!”  Yet, upon your first visit you will discover a climbing area that will exceed all your expectations.

The Elbsandsteingebirge (literally meaning Elbe Sandstone Mountains) is an area located in Saxony, close to the border of the Czech Republic in the National Park of Sächsische Schweiz (Saxony Switzerland).  What could you find here?

With more than 18000 routes and 1000 peaks, the Elbsandsteingebirge is one of the largest climbing areas in Europe. In the Saxon valleys you will find several regions with very different types of rock, height, and exposure. This huge variety can be overwhelming, so choosing suitable routes can be a hard task during your first visits. Moreover, the lack of chalk marks, the sparse permanent protection, and the cryptical nature of most of the guidebooks make route-finding an adventure on its own.

To help you through this process I’ve started a database of climbing topos of peaks in the Sächsische Schweiz. In all the pictures you will find the layout of neighboring routes as well as the approximate line each route follows. You’ve read this far! Do you really need more reasons? Come and climb! Click on the blue links that will appear on each caption below to visit an overview of each area, where you will also find the current available topos.

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