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Rheinland Pfalz, Germany, Europe
Sport Climbing
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Created On: Jan 14, 2008
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Engelmannsfels west faceEngelmannsfels west face

The twin villages of Gosserweiler-Stein in the Südpfalz Area is surrounded by many sandstone climbing cliffs, making it a great place for climbers. In contrast to the main destinations Dahn, Erfweiler, Hauenstein or Annweiler, the village is less known. Therefore, in addition to have lots of crags to choose from, you have them for yourself.

However, there is one exception. Located on a hill between Gosserweiler and Stein, right close to both village centres, there is a large cliff called Engelmannsfels. It is a standalone crag, with its ridge running north to south. The south face, where the normal route runs, is an easy scramble while all other faces are vertical, some even overhanging. To the west of Engelmannsfels a small crag leans against it and it is here that you find the easiest approach to the summit. The route is rated UIAA I and - apart from some notable exposure - it poses no major problems.

The remainder of routes, especially the ones on the north and east faces, are more difficult. The north face is a slim vertical piece of rock which towers above the receding hill on which the crag stands. Both edges offer good climbing possibilities. The only drawback to Engelmannsfels is the summit cross, they placed on its top. Unfortunately someone decided to have it illuminated at night and thus a power line runs up the northern part of the west face, making at least one route impossible to climb. And obviously an illuminated cross is a matter of taste - bad one imho.

Climbing Engelmannsfels

Engelmannsfels north faceEngelmannsfels north face

Engelmannsfels, thanks to its location close to (or rather within) the village of Gosserweiler-Stein is quite popular. Moreover you must be aware of attracting an audience when climbing there. It hosts quite a number of routes, the easiest of which is a mere UIAA I scramble while the most serious one amounts to UIAA VIII. The following information is linked from the site of the Vereinigung Pfälzer Kletterer I link to their routes database directly with some summary info. Here is the link to the complete database.

For more information see the book by U. Daigger and H.-J. Cron (see below)
RegionRoutes linkSummary
EngelmannsfelsEngelmannsfels15 routes with variations ranging from 1 - 8

Getting There

Engelmannsfels is located to the east of Gosserweiler, the northern of the twin villages Gosserweiler-Stein. From the main road, which connects the two parts of the villages, simply follow a narrow path, leading for some 700m up the slope to the cliff. Gosserweiler-Stein is located deep in Pfälzerwald so that access is a bit longish.

From Frankfurt

There are two possible routes which both take equally long
  1. 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.
    • Take the exit Annweiler North after you have passed the second tunnel on the road.
    • Take B48, direction Wernersberg and follow it past the village to the intersection with K494 to Völkersweiler
    • Just before you reach the village turn onto L495 direction Gosserweiler-Stein
  2. 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 Hauenstein exit and drive along L495 to Lug and further on to Gosserweiler-Stein.

From Stuttgart

  • Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
  • At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
  • Take the next exit to head for A65
  • At Landau turn on B10 west.
  • Take the exit Annweiler North after you have passed the second tunnel on the road.
  • Take B48, direction Wernersberg and follow it past the village to the intersection with K494 to Völkersweiler
  • Just before you reach the village turn onto L495 direction Gosserweiler-Stein

Red Tape

Yes, there is red tape and lots of it. 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 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).


Sandstone rock structuresSandstone erosion structures

The following accomodation link offers hotels in the larger region (50km circle).

Weather Conditions

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
    ISBN: 3-85491-523-3
  • Bad Bergzabern
    LVA RLP Map L6912
    ISBN: 3-89637-194-0

  • Bad Bergzabern, 6813, ISBN: 3-89637-148-7


    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.
      • Pfälzerwald
        B. & J.-Th. Titz
        Rother Verlag
        ISBN: 3-7633-4268-0

      • Klettern im Buntsandstein
        U. Daigger, H.-J. Cron
        Westpfälzische Verlagsdruckerei St. Ingbert
        ISBN: 3-00-0155457-4
      • Pfalz ++, Klettern im Buntsandstein
        R. Burkard, P. Weinrich
        Published privately
      • Klettern im Naturpark Pfälzerwald
        Naturfreunde Lambrecht
        Published privately

    • Pfalz & Nordvogesen en bloc
      A. Wenner, Y. Corby, I. Bald
      Panico Verlag
      ISBN: 3-936740-19-4