The village of Busenberg in the midst of the Südpfalz Climbing Area is surrounded by numerous sandstone climbing rocks, which almost form a perfect circle around the village. Most of the formations consist of long stretched ridges, which upon closer view separate into single towers or massifs. There are a few exceptions and Eckturm is one of them.
Eckturm - loosely translated as cornerstone tower - is perched on the slope of Eichelberg, high above the village of Schindhard. Thus located outside to the north of the enclosing circle, it is plainly visible from below, also unlike most of the other sandstone formations, which stay hidden underneath the forest canopy. Eckturm is a small formation, with 20m high walls but stands alone, separated from the Eichelberg slopes.
Eckturm received its name thanks to its location on the north-western corner of Eichelberg, which separates the climbing districts of Busenberg and Bärenbrunner Tal. Its climbing history starts in 1948, when Südpfalz' most active climber and first ascensionist, Hans Laub established the West face route together with Heinz Faul (V, A1), in which must have been one of his first climbing routes in the area.Together with Herbert Buchmann he established two more routes, Plattenweg (III+) and Juliwändel (IV, A0, later free at V+). The formation attracted attention in an off-and-on sort of fashion with routes dating from the early 1960s, mid 1970s and early 2000s. The most difficult route is running at VIII- and was established by Falk Heinicke and Anett Riemer in 2004 (Geschenk zum Männertag).
Getting ThereThere is a parking lot at the road between Busenberg and Schindhard, about 500m to the south of the formation. It also serves nearby Strackfels and Eilöchelfelsen. You can reach Busenberg as follows:
From FrankfurtThere are two possible routes which both take equally long
- Via Ludwigshafen
- From Frankfurt take motorway A5 southward to Darmstadt.
- There change to A67 south.
- At Viernheimer Dreieck turn onto A6 west. Leav
- e it at Frankenthaler Kreuz for A61 south.
- At Mutterstädter Kreuz take A65 south until you reach Landau.
- At Landau turn on B10 west.
- At Hinterweidental turn onto B427 south which will take you through Dahn to Busenberg
- Via Kaiserslautern
- From Frankfurt take motorway A3 west
- At Mönchhofdreieck turn onto A67 south
- At Rüsselsheimer Dreieck take A60 west
- At Kreuz Mainz Süd take A63 south
- At Kreuz Kaiserslautern turn onto A6 west
- At Kreuz Landstuhl turn onto A62 south
- At Pirmasens turn onto B10 east
- At Hinterweidental take B427 south to Busenberg
- Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
- At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
- Tke the next exit to head for A65
- At Kandel you can leave onto B427 which will lead you directly to Busenberg.
Red TapeThe sandstone of Südpfalz forms lots of caves and overhangs. Though this makes it most interesting for climbers, two species of birds of prey compete for this habitat: the peregrine falcons and the eagle owls. Both are endangered and wherever there is a eagle owl pair found nesting in the sandstone the crag will immediately be closed. Generally this closure lasts from the beginning of each year through Aug. 1st. If breeding is not successful the closures will be canceled even before that date. For a list of closures see the Closure List of PK.
The use of magnesia is not allowed in the whole Südpfalz region. This is rather a directive or an arrangement than an outright law. Thus you probably will get away with using it but do so only when absolutely necessary. Magnesia closes the pores which you find in the sandstone and together they form a smooth surface which will get very slippery in wet conditions. The rule of thumb is to use magnesia in the highest difficulty sections and only extremely sparingly.
A list of guidelines can be found here (in German).
AccommodationIn Busenberg you can find pensions, apartments and restaurants. Have a look at the official site for more info. There is a campground at Neudahner Weiher, north of Dahn, a second one west of Dahn. Both are about 10 km to the north-west of Busenberg. A third campground can be found at Bruchweiler-Bärenbach, about 7km to the south-west.
Maps & Books
As for maps there is a good overview map (1:50000) by Kompass Verlag but the best ones are the official topographic maps by the state government of Rheinland Pfalz, scaled 1:50000, 1:25000 and 1:5000. All official maps can be found on the web page of Landesvermessungsamt Rheinland Pfalz
- Naturpark Pfälzer Wald
Kompass Map WK766
- Pirmasens Süd
LVA RLP Map L6910
LVA RLP Map 6812
There are a number of climbing guidebooks on the region of Südpfalz. The best ones, however, have been published privately and are sold only in selected bookshops of the region.
B. & J.-Th. Titz
- Klettern im Buntsandstein
U. Daigger, H.-J. Cron
Westpfälzische Verlagsdruckerei St. Ingbert
- Pfalz - Klettern im Buntsandstein des Pfälzer Felsenlands
J. Richter, S. Tittel
- Pfalz ++, Klettern im Buntsandstein
R. Burkard, P. Weinrich
- Klettern im Naturpark Pfälzerwald
- Pfalz & Nordvogesen en bloc
A. Wenner, Y. Corby, I. Bald