Recreation the Czech way
If there exists a fairy tale forest, it must be somewhere here. Vegetation is exceptionally lush. Big ferns and soft, succulent lichen surround the way to the crags. It is very warm - around 30°C. We start sweating in this subtropical Czech climate. After 30 minutes of walking we are totally wet. “Just like in the tropics, isn’t it, Andi? Although there you don’t have to climb”. This makes no difference anymore.
We see various rock structures. Little edges and unusual holds make the climbing here very attractive. There are also various belay possibilities, from easy to more demanding ones. In general, protection on some routes is typical for the German Elbsandstein region (in situ rings and big runouts), but other routes are equipped with standard bolts.
Of course you cannot compare this region to the climbing spots of France, but lots of routes on these sandstones deserve to be called pleasant. You can usually see them from the distance, as the lines with new, shiny bolts differ from the ones with traditional rings. But we can find some well protected routes among them as well. There is something for everyone here. If you decide to climb routes with more demanding protection, it will be good training before going on big wall expeditions.
Standa shows us the most interesting routes of the area. One of them is Tyrdolin, graded IXc, which is more or less equivalent to French 7a+. Andi starts slowly, but with every move he’s becoming more and more used to the specifics of the rocks. It is a very attractive line and great for warming up. If we didn’t know where we are, we could believe we are somewhere in Smith Rock, the USA. We know such deep holes, sharp edges and orange-coloured rock only from some remote regions. Kati starts her climbing with the Palici do palice route graded at VIIIb, which is around 6b. This is extraordinary climbing, and we all feel delighted. Also because we don’t have to give up chalk. The German border is also a borderline of the chalk ban on sandstones. Here you are allowed to use it! (you should know that it’s not exactly what locals would say – ClimbandMore)
Our guide doesn’t let us wait. We go on. Standa is great in his role. But without the help of locals it’s easy to find your way around as well. It’s enough to go along the walls, and after every corner you discover something new. After several minutes we are standing next to the wall called Sicilska stena. Here the holds are smaller and rounder and the routes are longer. After climbing La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana, Andy has enough stamina, as well as motivation, to make me happy as a photographer. He repeats parts of La Bomba Xb (7c) several times, so that I can use the light in an optimal way. Exactly at the moment when it starts to rain, we decide to go back to Dolni Zleb.
Luckily, just there is a crossroads of forest paths, and after 15 minutes we are at a climbing bar. What a great solution! But men shouldn’t visit the toilettes there. What you find there is not tips for handling small holds, but rather women’s misbelieves.