The Thuringian Forest is not only a varied natural area with numerous hiking and mountain bike trails. Connoisseurs also appreciate it as a climbing area. Amidst the densely forested hilly landscape, there are over a hundred rocks waiting for climbers and outdoor bouldering enthusiasts.
Let's start with the Red Tower: This mysterious-sounding name describes what is probably the most curious rock form to be found in the area around the Lauchagrund near Bad Tabarz. It is a solitary, fifteen-meter-high porphyry rock that looks as if Obelix had forgotten a menhir in Thuringia. Incidentally, porphyry is the collective term for various volcanic rocks, i.e. the lava that has cooled down after a volcanic eruption. Climbers appreciate the "Red Tower" because it can actually be climbed from all four sides: It is considered a family-friendly rock for beginners. In the immediate vicinity is the Bärenbruchwand, a similarly "easy" route wall, while many of the 20 crags in the Lauchagrund are much more difficult, or high up. Conclusion: The Lauchagrund at the foot of the Großer Inselberg is a really varied climbing area.
Is it getting a little religious in the Thuringian forests now? One would think so when one hears that the climbing area of Oberhof in the Kanzlersgrund is also home to the 12 Apostles. But the very beautifully situated rock group, which usually offers a lot of sun due to its southern orientation, should be interesting mainly for disciples of climbing and less for churchgoers. Hoher Stein, Finkenstein or Moosbachtal - around Oberhof there are diverse rock formations with diverse temperaments. Professional cross-country skier Thomas Bing impressively shows us in the video how charming it really is near the well-known winter sports resort Oberhof.
The Hülloch Grotto near Tambach-Dietharz in Thuringia is especially popular with those who have already experienced quite a bit in their climbing and bouldering vita. You have to be a bit more advanced to master the challenging rock overhangs of the roof routes, which can be up to 30 meters long. And if it really should get a bit more difficult and a route is not completed, you should not be annoyed by the friendly mockery of colleagues, who like to shout "Howl! In fact, the name of the Hülloch Grotto comes from the word howl... Supposedly, the extraordinary half-cave was always sought out by the inhabitants of the village of Tambach-Dietharz as a place of refuge in troubled times. If, in addition to all the climbing, there is time to see the place for yourself, it is worth it: it is idyllically located in the middle of the Thuringian Forest, surrounded by seven valleys and nestled in one of the largest hiking areas in Germany.
And in the literal sense: The impressive freestanding climbing rock is the highest of its kind in all of Thuringia. Anyone who wants to conquer it has to climb 96 meters high. Jacob Zimmermann, who is still known to have been a glassmaker and a courageous climber, succeeded in doing so for the first time on July 25, 1852. The Falkenstein is known all over the world, it is a real challenge for climbers for sporting reasons and, moreover, it is visually impressive. But be careful: the Falkenstein is not an option for beginners. You need not only years of experience for the ascent, but also top professional equipment. Small consolation: the Falkenstein is also suitable for an excursion, not everyone has to go up high to have fun. You can also simply hike around the rock massif, which is set against a beautiful forest backdrop, and then fortify yourself in the mountain rescue hut.
Cover photo: Crazy: In Thuringia, there are not only the 12 apostles, but also a thirteenth elevation: It's called Judas. But you can also do it well ... © Adrian Seeber
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