Entering a Chalk Free Zone

Dahn Region, Südpfalz - exploring one of the local sandstone cliff crags. Having just moved to Germany from the United States and still in the juvenile stages of friend development, it is monumental when you meet a fellow female who like you, climbs! This beautiful moment occurred last week and I quite eagerly made, borderline [...]

Dahn Region, Südpfalz – exploring one of the local sandstone cliff crags.

Having just moved to Germany from the United States and still in the juvenile stages of friend development, it is monumental when you meet a fellow female who like you, climbs! This beautiful moment occurred last week and I quite eagerly made, borderline obsessively encouraged, plans to climb for the upcoming weekend. A few communication failures later, I eagerly met up with my new friend at 4pm on Sunday. Rather late for me who obsessively starts climbing days at an ungodly hour, but with six hours of sunlight left and my need to stay awake for an 11:30pm airport pickup of my boyfriend returning from the Verdon there was plenty of time to basque in the glory of the sun (an oddity in Germany) on a beautiful sandstone wall.

Jungfernsprung Formation - Dahn Region, Südpfalz

Jungfernsprung Formation – Dahn Region, Südpfalz

My new friend had brought a friend of her own. Thus making us a climbing party of three which also added to the excitement of not only climbing with one new partner, but becoming comfortable climbing with two new partners. After working out some logistics on a practice run partially up Pfeilerwand (6-, 5.8) we worked out the kinks experienced when climbing together for the first time and began our three person climbing adventure on the 55m (180 ft) Nordverschneidung (7-, 5.10b).

Nordverschneidung (7-/5.10b) – Dahner Gebiet, Südpfalz
The route is approximately 55 m and can be broken into 2-3 pitches. I chose to break it into 2 while keeping in mind a comfortable belay at the top of P1 and limiting rope drag for P2.  The line is on the north side of the Jungfernsprung formation and is two lines to climber’s left of the prominent arête – a mindblowingly aesthetic route I will be back for, Franz-Seiler-Ged.-Weg (7+, 5.10d/5.11a). The route has mixed protection, so bring a rack of friends with some draws (I believe there were 6 bolts).

  • P1 – follows a beautiful crack with a few jams and some happy stance stemming to a comfortable belay ledge about 20m up
  • P2 – easier climbing with a mantle exit to a comfortable stance before entering into a beautiful lieback sequence with a small rest before a few happy finger jams to a spectacular jug. One more rest before the strenuous crux traverse to the top.

Top of P1 of Nordverschneidung (7-/5.10b) - Dahn Region, Südpfalz

3 Happy Climbers on P1

P2 Nordverschneidung (7-/5.10b) - Dahn Region, Südpfalz

P2 of Nordverschneidung

Quick Reference Guide:

Location: Dahn, Deutschland

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Guidebook: Kletterführer Pfalz, by Jens Richter and Sabine Tittel. It is in German, but is still very useful to us non German speaking climbers with its full color pictures and topos with UIAA ratings.

Climbing Ethics/Red Tape:

The Power Bucket, Chalk – Generally there is a moral, no chalk rule in this region. The reason behind this is that the magnesium, what your chalk is made of, mixes with the sandstone to create a slippery mess when exposed to moisture. If you must use chalk, do so sparingly only at crux sections on routes that see limited moisture (i.e., overhung).

Area Closures – due to bird nesting and breeding there are some areas that are closed from Jan 1st through July. A full list of area closures can be found on this German website (or the google translated version).

Article by

Ilana is a native of Southern California. She is an accomplished rock and ice climber and is the brains behind Thrillseekers Anonymous. Currently residing in Colorado, she is a Registered Surgical/Trauma Nurse, who can be found leading her own adventures on days off. Ilana is a sponsored athlete with GoMacro, WoolX, and an Arcteryx Denver ambassador. She has been featured in various media outlets including the February 2015 issue of ‘Climbing’ magazine, December 2013 issue of ‘Rock and Ice’ magazine, December/January 2013 issue of ‘Gripped Climbing’ magazine, Canyoneering: A Guide to Techniques for Wet and Dry Canyons (How To Climb Series) by Dave Black and Pasadena Magazine as well as a Climbing Expert on MTV’s Parental Control (Season 7 – “Heather”).

Ilana has written 111 articles for Thrillseekers Anonymous.

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