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Suche Skaly
Mountain/Rock

Suche Skaly

 
Suche Skaly

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Czech Republic, Europe

Lat/Lon: 50.63525°N / 15.21364°E

Object Title: Suche Skaly

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 1476 ft / 450 m

 

Page By: Liba Kopeckova

Created/Edited: Jul 21, 2014 / Jul 21, 2014

Object ID: 905701

Hits: 349 

Page Score: 84.27%  - 18 Votes 

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Overview

Stredni Vez
Stredni Vez - photo by Vladimir Prochazka


Suche Skaly AKA “Susky”, meaning Dry Rocks are also called Czech Dolomites, are a part of area called Maloskalsko. Maloskalko lies within the border of Bohemian Paradise


Suche Skaly create a significant landscape dominant of the Male Skaly region. It is an asymmetrical forked rock ridge between towns of Mala Skala and Zelezny Brod, that is rising over the left bank of the river Jizera. Due to its typical look the rocks are also nicknamed “The Teacher's Organ”. 

Geologically these rock formations were created in younger tercier period thanks to the repeated tectonic movements of the so called Lusatian Fault. Suche Skaly appear cracked, stand in a single line, and form ragged rock towers and blocks. The area was pronounced national protected area in 1956. 

The whole complex attracts rock climbers. The rocks here are more hard when compared with the surrounding sandstone and unlike the other sandstone rocks that stay wet after rain for a long time, the "Dry Rocks" dry very fast, this is also reason for their name. 

Suche Skaly are popular with climbers - the rules of bohemian sandstone climbing apply here, which means no use of metal protection, only using slings, knots, and kinderkopfs. Also the use of chalk is prohibited. Some routes are protected with widely spaced bohemian sandstone rings (very thick metal rings - some skinny lightweight carabiners cannot clip through). This is not a hiking destination and the trails along the rocks are mostly used by climbers. 

History of Climbing here

Historically, the rocks were explored initially by german climbers from Liberec. Ferdinand Siegmund with Matouschka brothers summited the highest points of the rocks in the summer of 1893. The following year 1894 Willi Kahl and his friends crossed the highest points of this rock formation. In 1922 the area was visited by german climbing climb from Dresden. Many of the ascents from that time were not recorded.

Czech climbers started to participate as well in 1930s, initially by observing Germans. Czech climbing clubs from Prague and several local towns: Turnov and Jicin. Czech climbing parties documented a number of first ascents. 

There was a calmer time for Suche Skaly after WWII. Climbers had access to the real mountains: Tatras, and for rock climbing: Hruboskalsko, Adrzpach and Czech Switzerland. The area was again rediscovered in 1962. Another generation of climbers came and new first ascents were done. One of the most active climbers during time was Vasek Tuma, whose routes are nowadays classics. 

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Suche Skaly in autum - photo by Jaroslava Svobodova

Getting There and Location

Suche Skaly are located within Bohemian Paradise and are about 90 km northeast from Prague, capital of Czech Republic.

Car (cars are easy to rent in the Czech Republic) - take the main highway E65 (GPS very useful since getting out of Prague can be complicated, even my iPhone GPS worked well). It is 98 km to the town of Mala Skala, and it takes roughly 1 hr (depending on traffic). This is the most comfortable way to get around, especially considering you are traveling with climbing gear. 
Train - you can take train from Prague to Turnov, it is more expensive and slower when compared with taking a bus. (Turnov would be considered locally the big town, and is located only 10 km away from Mala Skala).  Local bus system can get you from Turnov to Mala Skala, but expect some waiting in between.
Bus - frequent buses run several times a day between Prague and Turnov, there is also a bus going directly to Mala Skala. It takes about 1 hr 20 min. Leave Prague at Cerny Most station. 

Climbing at Suche Skaly

Suche Skaly have a different terrain and rock quality when compared with the rock towns of Bohemian Paradise: Prachovske Skaly and Hruboskalsko. Locals used the area for winter training and practicing for alpine climbs. The sandstone here is much harder and dries quickly. One wonders why they do not allow to use of metal protection here, but the whole area of Bohemian Paradise follows the same rules: only protection with knots, kinderkopfs, and placed large sandstone rings, which are very run out. The use of chalk is not allowed either (locals spit up on their hands and then wipe it into their pants - claiming it works the best with sweaty moist hands. I like that style and started to use it even now back in USA).

The height of most towers is from 30 to 50 meters. There are more than 430 routes described at Suche Skaly, and about 20 towers.

Approach to Suche Skaly
Approach to Suche Skaly 
Just climbing...
Just climbing…Suche Skaly Osindelar

Rugged rock towers
Rugged rock towers

Sandstone Ring
Sandstone Ring

Passage between towers
Passage between towers

Sokoli Vez
Sokoli Vez

Sokoli Vez
Sokoli Vez - photo Chroust II
 
Sokoli Vez
Sokoli Vez - photo Vladimir Prochazka AKA Chroust II

Vychodni Cesta
Vychodni Cesta - photo by Chroust II


The Saxon grading system is used here. 

YDS (USA)Saxon grades
(also Bohemian sandstone)
UIAA (Union Internat.
 des Assoc. Alpinisme)
   3-4                 I               I
 5.1-5.2                II              II
   5.3               III             III
   5.4               IV             IV
   5.5               V             IV+
   5.6               VI             V
   5.7               VI             V+
   5.8              VIIa            VI-
   5.9              VIIb            VI
  5.10a              VIIc            VI+
  5.10b              VIIc            VII-
  5.10c             VIIIa            VII
  5.10d             VIIIb            VII+
  5.11a             VIIIc            VII+
  5.11b             VIIIc           VIII-
  5.11c              IXa           VIII-
  5.11d              IXb           VIII
  5.12a              IXc           VIII+
  5.12b              IXc           VIII+
  5.12c              Xa            IX-
  5.12d              Xb            IX

Red Tape

There are no fees to visit or climb at Suche Skaly. Parking is free as well.

When to Climb

Summers are the easiest and most popular, but as mentioned above the area was known to serve as a training field for alpine climbing. Year round - with snow and icy conditions during the winter. 

Camping/Accommodations/Dining

After climbing refreshments
After climbing refreshments

Pub U Boucku
Pub U Boucku with the view of Suche Skaly

  • Autocamp Ostrov, Mala Skala, looks like 10 cabins (each for 4 people), about 80 campsites, and some caravan areas. Cheap prices ~ 2$ per person per night. I have not stayed there, but recommended by the guidebook. 
  • Hostel Mala Skala - I personally don't know about this place, found while web browsing, nice website in English.
  • Hotel Mala Skala - I have not stayed there, recommended from the climbing guide book, looks like room run about 30$ per person per night.
  • Dining: Pub "U Boucku" - a beautiful example of czech traditional architecture, serving classic czech dishes and good beer, nice views of Suche Skaly. Highly recommended.

External Links

Images