Adršpach and Křižák = bohemian sandstone climbing

Adršpach and Křižák = bohemian sandstone climbing

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jun 30, 2010
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing

The Rocks of Adršpach introduction

Simplicity of the old times
The Prussian King Frederick the Great said this: " Who has not seen the rocks of Adršpach, the Royal Chapel in Grussau, and the Ossuary in Sedlec, has never yet laid eyes on the nature, splendour, or art". I have to admit that I have not seen the mentioned chapel, but the ossuary is Sedlec is truly amazing.

In 1800 John Quincy Adams, later President of the United States, was travelling in the area. He described Adršpach in his book "Letters of Silesia" as follows: "Adršpach is remarkable for its great number of free standing rock formations, oddly group or isolated, rocks such as I have never seen before....

The place is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, and in the winter for cross country skiers. We used to go there for school trips.

This was my first climbing trip to the area, and my third visit to Adršpach rocks. I heard so much about it, and had to experience it on my own. This rock climbing area was also portrayed in the american film "The Sharp End". So, and what did I say:" This place is truly an amazing climbing destination, but crazyy...nearly no protection, and some towers have only one or two rings, sometimes the first clip in is not until 10 meters - 30 feet high up. You are lucky if you survive without major injuries".

Location and map

The drive takes a long time since the roads are small with many curves. It took us nearly 4 hrs from Brno on a busy Friday. There are many polish signs around since it is located nearly on the border with Poland. Historically, the area was inhabited by Germans, and the first climbers were German.

The map is a map of the Czech Republic. Poland would be to the north, Germany to the west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. Europeans, please forgive me for this basic information, but trust me, after living in USA for many years, most Americans have no clue...

Rock climbing in Adršbach

The first ascents on the rocks of Adršpach were made in 1923 by German climbers. And the fist tower they climbed was called the King. Local inhabitants watched in amazement as they accomplished the climb, with just one fall by the first climber, who had just luckily inserted a protection ring.
The sandstone is very popular climbing destination, and the closeness of towers developed into another sport discipline - tower jumping. I could not convinced Michal to demonstrate it, and photograph him. His friend broke his ankle last year while jumping from one tower onto another one. Just try landing in rock climbing shoes, not the softest landing you can get...
I heard so much about this climbing area, and could not wait to experience it on my own. I went way past my expectations. We climbed the first day at Křižák, and two days in Adršpach, and even on a busy holiday weekend, we found peace, solitude, and more towers to climb than my imagination could reach. I wish to visit again, and hope for more sunny days in the future.

Adršpach on YouTube
Nice crack
Why not a helmet?

Křižák or Křížový Vrch

Summit of Ústecká tower
Signing in
667 meters high, Křížový Vrch is a natural reserve located near the village of Dolní Adršpach, just across from the Adršpach rocks. There is a path with the stations of the cross leading to its top, therefore the name Křížový, which means Cross Peak.
The Křižák is accessible by following a yellow tourist mark from Dolní Adršpach in the direction Zdonov. It is a popular rock climbing destination wit more than 1,000 routes. The rock is a soft bohemian sandstone.
The climbing guide to Křižák published unfortunately only in Czech is better than to Adršpach, probably since the area is smaller, and it made it easier to draw small plans of each tower. I think that for the introduction to the area, Křižák is a good place to start up. The type of sandstone is the same for both Adršpach and Křižák.

You Tube Křižák

Climbing rules, regulations

Climbing season is from July 1st to November 30th in Adršpach, the entry area and the Lovers area is open from 1st of May.
Křižák is open year round, but you will encounter a lot of snow during the winter.
1. You can climb only if you are a member of Czech climbing club = CHS, or if you are accompanied by a member of CHS. Foreigners can buy a membership to CHS. MEMBERSHIP TO CHS
2. It is not allowed to change in any way the surface of the rock, e.g. rope scratching into the sandstone, cutting out handholds or footsteps.
3. You are not allowed to use any hexes, nuts, or cams. The only protection can be provided by placed rings, and in between you can place rope loops.
4. You are not allowed to climb on wet sandstone.
5. You are not allowed to climb with boots which have a hard sole damaging the sandstone.
6. You are not allowed to use magnesium - chalk.
7. Climbers are required to carry with them their membership card to CHS.
8. Climbers are asked to inform local authorities about bird nestings.
9. and some more minor things, which seem pretty obvious, e.g. leave no trace, follow the climbers path.

I could not find any information in English, so translated from the Czech website. RULES IN CZECH HERE


Sleeping options
Village of Dolni Adršpach has several hotel/hostel type of accommodations. Hostel is "penzion" in Czech. Most are around 300 to 500 czech crowns per person per night, which is about 15 to 25 US dollars. Some more expensive places can go up to 80 dollars per person per night, e.g. Hotel Javor. Breakfast is typically included, and rich. Soy milk is not available, so I had to survive with cows milk latte.
I would recommend to make an advanced reservation if you are planning to stay in a hotel. Summer weekends get full.
Most climbers sleep on the open meadow right next to the main parking area. Sleeping outside is officially prohibited, but accepted since everybody does that. You can even pitch a tent there after 7 pm, and you have to take it down before 9 am. There are two picnic shelters on this meadow. These tend to get full. I did spend one wonderful night inside the shelter, and one on the meadow. The morning dew was thick and my sleeping bag got damp, and also had several slugs on it. I am afraid that I accidently smashed at least one slug during the night. Poor slug... Bug spray is very useful unless you are planning to feed a herd of mosquitoes.
The closest town is Teplice nad Metují,located about 5 km southeast. There are several hostels along the road between Teplice and Adršpach, including an official camping area. This camping area looked very unappealing, right next to the road with no trees or shade.
You can probably sneak inside the rock, and find some spot between the towers. Again, this is not officially allowed, but the rock maze is so huge that you should be pretty much unseen.

Links to some hotels:
Hotel Javor This is one of the more expensive hotels in the area. My niece and my son stayed there, while I was paying for it, and "roughing it" on the meadow. The breakfast was huge, and the garlic soup, which I ate every night,was excellent.
Hotel Skalni Mlyn A cheaper option for accommodation. I have not stayed there, and did not eat there. This hotel is perhaps one mile from the main area, but there are some southern Adršpach rocks just behind this hotel. The walk to the main area is easy along a nice path.
Penzion Skály
Penzion Pod Hradem This place has one of the best location. I did not check it inside, but from the outside looked beautiful. Very close to the climbing areas, and the "must to visit pub" is right next to it.
Penzion Dita
I would like to mention that there is a public shower for 20 czech crowns - 1 US dollar, available at the entrance to the rocks for those who are sleeping on the meadow.

A pub not to be missed

U Tošováka
The climbers pub
A pub "U Tošováka" is very popular with climbers. Its decor is very interesting with some old photos of rock climbing and jumping, and some old equipment. It has two rooms indoor, and a nice terrace with the view of Adršpach rocks. I would highly recommend this place for finding out more about the climbing area. I am pretty sure that you would run into some English speaking climbers over here.

The food is a typical czech pub food, which means not very good and healthy. It is cheap, roughly 3 to 4 dollars per meal, beer is excellent. The vegetarian options are not great. Czechs love fried food, so fried breaded cheese with french fries would be an unhealthy vegetarian option, my son liked it. I tried "šopský salád", which is basically salat with some balkan cheese on it. It was good. I also had fruit dumplings, a czech specialty. You get dumplings filled with fruit. The traditional czech dish would be pork meat with dumplings and sauerkraut.

Sand Mine Lake

Nice beach
Sand Mine Lake

The Sand Mine Lake, or Piskovna in Czech, is an arteficially created lake located at the entrance to the rocks. It is beautiful, filled with carps, and full of ducks. There is a rental boat area at the entry as well, and you can either rent a rowing boat or a small kayak. It is relatively cheap - 50 czech crowns per boat per person = 2.5 dollars.

Officially, there is no swimming allowed, but after the park s the official hours are gone, many climbers and kids love to jump in. The water is very refreshing and swimming suits are optional.

Cliff jumping

Tower jumping

The multitude and the proximity of the rock towers lead to a development of a new sport discipline over here - tower jumping. The jumps are rated from 1 to 5 based on its difficulty and length. I did maybe a 0.5 jump - haha. I have to admit that I found landing in rock climbing shoes king of hard, and broken ankles are a common result.
Small jump
A little bigger jump
The best trailer on YouTube

A pretty unknown area

The Czech republic is pretty small, and not a major destination for climbers. The local sandstone was caught in the american film "The Sharp End" together with Yosemity, Indian Creek, Diamond wall on Longs Peak.

Trailer Sharp End
At to end this writing, I think that this is one of the best climbing areas I ever climbed in. Definitively, a hard place to get dissappointed. You should have fun even if you may end up with a broken leg.
Have fun!


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-20 of 23

yatsek - Jul 7, 2010 5:16 am - Voted 10/10

Superb Page

Looks like an area page actually - a whole lot of useful information. As to how to get there, the place is easily accessible from the other side of the border; just about two hours' drive from the city of Wroclaw

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 7, 2010 5:26 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Superb Page

Thanks so much Jacek. I was so frustrated with my brother s slow internet. It crushed several times, and I had to down sized photos, so lost a lot of quality...
I do not want to steal it from someone as an area page. I think that I have not climbed there enough. Thanks for the information for driving from Poland. Yes, a lot of Poles climbing there...

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 7, 2010 5:30 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Superb Page

I checked ArankaP already made it an area page, so I attached my page to hers.


yatsek - Jul 7, 2010 5:30 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Superb Page

And many more Poles drinking lager in what's not to be missed. ;)
Thanks for having coped with the taxonomy issue.


visentin - Jul 7, 2010 7:41 am - Voted 10/10

Excellent page

I'd just advise you to attach it to Aranka area's page not as "related" but as "child". With Yatsek we try to put the mess in the Sudetes into order ;) Thanks !
p.s: ever been on the "Swiss Bohemia" near the Elbe ?

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 7, 2010 7:43 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Excellent page

Thanks, I will try to change it = so, a child...
I visited the Swiss Bohemia and Pravcicka Brana with my son, maybe 14 years ago. I did not climb in that time yet.


lcarreau - Jul 7, 2010 6:44 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Excellent page

I will be the first American to admit I had no clue ...

Yet, I do remember seeing my Grandmother slave over the stove,
while cooking the delectable dish of the Czech traditional:

Pork meat with dumplings and sauerkraut.

Good stuff! In America, they called it "Pigs in the Blanket."

And, what's "Pigs in the Blanket" without a good imported beer? YUM.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 7, 2010 11:54 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Excellent page

Pigs in a blanket? What a name... Did you like it Larry?


lcarreau - Jul 12, 2010 12:25 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Excellent page

Samoz?ejm? !? !!

When my grandmother laid out food on the table, it disappeared very
quickly !!!

And she knew nothing of the Google Translator ! : )


asmrz - Jul 11, 2010 11:58 am - Voted 10/10

Ahoj Libusko

Napsala jsi krasny clanek o bezvadne lezecke oblasti. Dekuji, udelalo mi to Nedeli. Cheers, Alois.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 11, 2010 2:27 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Ahoj Libusko

Mockrat diky Lojzíku... hahaha....
Adršpach je opravdu skvelý.


rpc - Jul 12, 2010 4:46 pm - Voted 10/10

great page!

enjoyed the write up & the photos Liba. Any guidebooks on the area that you can recommend? thanks.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 13, 2010 10:28 am - Hasn't voted

Re: great page!

Hi Radek,
i am not aware of any english guidebook for rock climbing. I can send you english book about the rocks and hikes... I need to work more on this page, but the internet here is so slow... I think that the best thing is to hook up with some local climber who will show you around. I know, you like to climb only with Shirley, but even czechs get confused about towers over there, and often do not know what they are exactly climbing, unless it is one of those famous towers.
I was told by some that if I don t feel comfortable climbing VII, I should not bother climbing there...I did one traverse totally unprotected on second, and think that would kill myself or had some serious injury if I would fall...but a lovely place. Pub is a good source of information...


rpc - Jul 13, 2010 11:03 am - Voted 10/10

Re: great page!

THanks Liba. No immediate plans, more out of curiosity. Did once pick up a "coffee table" type book about the history of climbing in the region (unfortunately for us, it's in German & there's really very little in the way of beta).

"I was told by some that if I don t feel comfortable climbing VII, I should not bother climbing there..."

Always love those elitist attitudes of some [pricks] :)

Cheers & thank you for the info again!

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 14, 2010 1:54 am - Hasn't voted

Re: great page!

Elitist - I am afraid quiet a few of those... I knew only one climber, other than my family members, in the country and I ran into him in the pub. He immediately started to make jokes about Americans climbing here, but not all are like him... I think that part of that is having a little low self esteem and jealousy of not being able to climb in Yosemity... here everybody is asking whether I climbed El Cap? hmmmm.....


rpc - Jul 14, 2010 11:45 am - Voted 10/10

Re: great page!

the a-hole gene knows no race or nationality :)
plenty of those everywhere or maybe I'm turning into a bitter mid-aged guy. cheers Liba.

Sierra Ledge Rat

Sierra Ledge Rat - Jul 13, 2010 10:43 am - Voted 10/10

Nice work.

Nice work Liba, happy jumping! Now you can jump the W on Sandia's Knife Edge.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 14, 2010 1:50 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice work.

Thanks... sure the W is a piece of cake compare to tower jumping... I am a chicken!


DrJonnie - Jul 14, 2010 7:10 am - Voted 10/10

Top notch Jamming exercise

Hi Liba,

great clip of the crack climb, seems pretty scary to me if you cannot use chocks or cams. You Czech climbers have some neck.

cheers Johnnie

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 25, 2010 1:30 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Top notch Jamming exercise

I would not consider myself very brave... I was freaking out... Basically, you don't want to fall... Thanks so much...

Viewing: 1-20 of 23



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