How long ’till we get there? You haven’t even left Schmilka. How long ’till we get there? You still haven’t reached the Grosser Winterberg. How long ’till we get there? It’s been over an hour since you started and you just reached Heringstein, one of the entry doors (and a fantastic door, for that matter) to the Kleiner Zschand.
Deep within the Sächsische Schweiz National Park, this climbing area boasts impressive scenic views from every climbing peak (and even during the approach). Of course, the peaks themselves are fantastic spires that rise steeply from the valley and form compact groups of towers which are a pleasure to climb. The rock is relatively solid and finding “sandy” routes is the exception, rather than the norm. In fact, here you will find a lot of incredibly solid red iron structures which from a distance resemble feeble fractals on the rock. However, up close, pulling and stepping on them, or using them as protection is always reassuring. As usual, the difficulty range is very broad as you can find great long exposed classic Vs right next to to demanding technical new Xs (or above). Regardless of the grade, many routes are small “expeditions” navigating these fantastic towers, ensuring you’ll get lost on the special adventurous feeling of this area.
All these benefits come at a price: no matter where you come from, using car, train, or bus, the approaches are always long (at best above an hour for the “closest” peaks). On the other hand, what could be better than logging in some kilometers (5 km and almost 500 m elevation gain to the nearest peak when you take the long road) for that precious aerobic conditioning while enjoying the view? Plus, most peaks will never be crowded! Overall, while the Kleiner Zschand is not a good option for a quick climb after work, it gives plenty of choices for weekend trips.
Currently I have topos for 3 peaks in this area: