The farmstead of Hermersbergerhof serves as the base for quite a number of climbing and bouldering destinations in the midst of the Pfälzerwald area. It is located in the north of the Südpfalz Climbing Region, where the sandstone climbing cliffs tend to be lower but more structured. The sandstone itself is of a different texture, much paler and often much sandier. "Vertical Sand" is what the worst formations are called. Sometimes you find them right between two rock solid neighbours.
To the north of the farmstead is a lookout tower, Luitpoldturm, at the western base of which a set several interesting boulder-like formations can be found: Husarenfelsen. The name was given to the four main towers, which rise out of the mountain slope in their back. All are facing south so that they are interesting, even in early spring or late autumn. However, they are hidden beneath the forest canopy and so offer shady climbs on hot summer days. Moreover, at an elevation of 545m they are among the highest climbable formations in the Südpfalz Area so that temperatures are some 5 degrees lower than everywhere else.
Like all the formations around Hermersbergerhof, Husarenfelsen offer a lot of roofs and overhangs. The rock is organized in blocks, so that it forms perfect ledges for resting and belaying. Most of the routes were established in the 1980s by Hans Laub, who can be seen as one of the sports climbing pioneers of the area. Difficulties vary between 3 for the normal routes and 7 or 8 for the crack and roof routes. Routes are short - one or two pitches - and can also be interpreted as bouldring problems. Quite actually the bouldering guide book lists 13 problems here.
Speaking of bouldering, to the east of the main formation, there is a lower second cluster of rocks, directly beside the narrow dirt road, which leads to the formations. A second set can be found to the south-west of the main formation, some 50 m lower on the slope. Here you can find all types of bouldering problems, of which 12 are listed in the guidebook.
Climbing Routes on Husarenfelsen
The following table has a link to the tour database of the PK, where you can find the grades for the free routes plus additional information. Here is the link to the complete route database.
|Husarenfelsen, first tower||1st Tower||4 routes with variations ranging from 3 - 7|
|Husarenfelsen, second tower||2nd Tower||6 routes with variations ranging from 4 - 6+|
|Husarenfelsen, third tower||3rd Tower||1 route rated 4+|
|Husarenfelsen, fourth tower||4th Tower||13 routes with variations ranging from 3 - 8|
Getting ThereThe Husarenfelsen are located in the greater area of Hermersbergerhof, an old farmstead far from any real habitation. The closest village is Wilgartswiesen, some 8km to the south of the farm. There are two possible ways of accessing the area, one from the north, the other from the south but it appears more reasonable to describe the southern approach because of its greater simplicity.
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.
- Leave it at Frankenthaler Kreuz for A61 south.
- At Mutterstädter Kreuz take A65 south until you reach Landau.
- At Landau turn on B10 west.
- Some 500m after the village (pass Falkenburg Castle) a road, K56, heads north, direction Hermersbergerhof
- Pass the farmstead and take the first parking lot on the left hand side. Follow the dirt road for around 800m, then cut through the forest to the left until you reach a second road, lower on the slope. Follow this to the right until it bends left. 100m after the bend you can see the Husarenfelsen Towers.
- 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
- Take the Wilgartswiesen exit and immediately turn onto K56 to Hermersbergerhof
- Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
- At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
- Take the next exit to head for A65
- At Landau switch to B10 west.
- Take the Wilgartswieden exit and follow the instructions above, then follow the instructions above
The 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 cancelled even before that date. For a list of closures see the Closure List of PK. The Schillerfelsen are so close to the nearest houses of Dahn, that usually birds don't nest there. However, please adhere to "stop signs" if there are any.
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).
AccommodationYou can find hotels and apartments in Wilgartswiesen or neighbouring Rinnthal and Hauenstein. Have a look at the following links (which are in German, however):
- Wilgartswiesen information
- Trifelsland information
- Hauenstein Pfalz information
- Hauenstein information
- Rinnthal information
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
- Annweiler am Trifels
LVA RLP Map L6712
LVA RLP Map 6712
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