Limestone walls filled with finger size divots lined the leaf lain trail. The sun crept through the trees, glittering the smooth walls and tree trunks. The breeze calmly blew through the forest as travelers headed to the popular via ferrata that was near by. As for my friends and I, we wanted to climb the beautiful cliffs splattered with green moss without any crowds, pre-bolted steel ropes or any other nuisances. We just wanted to embrace the pure nature and climb.
It was about 5:45 P.M. when we got off work on Friday. One of my best friends Blue, another good friend Brandon and I had planned a trip up to Höhenglücksteig where we would meet up with a friend I’ve known as long as I could remember, David. David was going to come out the following day, but Blue, Brandon and I decided we would leave the night prior and just sleep in the Jeep until Saturday morning when David arrived.
Around 6 P.M. Friday night we began our drive to Höhenglücksteig. The weather was definitely not the greatest to say the least. Winds were high and rain was sideways, clouds grouped as a blanket making it dark and feeling later than it actually was. It was a pretty cool evening which was unusual for July, but we were determined to climb and the forecast read all clear for the rest of the weekend. Even David had his doubts about coming.
On our way to the Corn field surrounded parking area, with the cell phone service cutting in and out, I remember receiving a text message from David. He stated he was unsure if he was coming due to the weather, but asked if we had still planned on going. I remember telling him it was really up to him if he wanted to come or not and that there were no hard feelings if he didn’t show up, but we were already on our way and we were going to climb regardless. David let us know that in the morning he would give us an answer and that was all we heard from him until the next day.
After an hour of driving through small towns, weaving in and out of tiny roads we were almost to our destination. The parking area was what looked like a corn field on our google maps and unsure really what we were doing trusted the map and location given to us by a friend. Blue and I laughed joking that we might get murdered as at the time the creepy clowns were a big rise in the states, luckily for us we were no where near the states and the only worries we had were getting stuck in the glue like mud.
We got situated, drank and played cards most the night. Talked about what routes we wanted to climb as we flipped through our Frankenjura route book. We found a couple routes that look decent and marked them for the nexts days excursions and then attempted to pass out for the night in the cramped jeep.
The weather breathed softly and a little chilly, the rain had ceased. We slowly slugged out of the cramped jeep and began grabbing our Jetboils. We made coffee and began gathering our gear together and all of a sudden here comes David scooting along in his red little half van half car. He had made it out to join us on our little climbing journey, and personally I was excited as I have known David for as long as I can remember. He was basically family to me.
We began walking through the spread out forest and unsure of the route followed one of the many trails that lead upward. After about a ten minute walk from the parking area we noticed some cliffs that were bare of any people. We quickly made our way to these cliffs and then began getting our gear on to ascend them.
It was gorgeous out as the sun beamed through the trees glittering the ground with sunlight. David agreed to go first, I belayed him and we began climbing like monkeys on stone. It was enjoyable to be in the great outdoors.
David lead the first route and no one else followed, because he had told us up top was extremely mossy and the wall runs out. We agreed to move further down the wall and try a second route where I lead and David belayed this time. I was excited to be on the wall of a cliff. It made me feel at home.
As we each ascended then descended, we’d “pay for our ride” a term climbers use meaning once you’ve climbed you’re up on belay. It was a good time and we all made it up the second route.(David climbing the second route)
The third route was the last route. It was a harder route. David made it up, I made it until the crux, or hardest sequence of moves, Blue made it partially Along with Brandon. The finger holds had won and worn us out but it was a good time any way.
(Blue on the third Route, practice lead, right before the crux)
Once we finished we packed our gear and tiredly walked back to the vehicles. we talked with David about Germany, since he spoke German and lived hear long than us, about things to do and the culture. After about a good 5-6 hours of climbing it was time to call it a day. We said goodbye to David and then headed off to a new adventure.