Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen

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Rheinland Pfalz, Germany, Europe
Sport Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall
1109 ft / 338 m
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Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen
Created On: Jun 11, 2009
Last Edited On: Jun 11, 2009


Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, VorgipfelLauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Vorgipfel

The small village of Lauterschwan to the south-east of Vorderweidenthal is among the southernmost ends of the Südpfalz Region. Itself almost too small to be noticed it is home to a couple of sandstone cliffs, the most important (and impressive) ones of which are the Rappenfelsen. There are quite a number of cliffs, bearing the same name and this is the third one to make an appearance on SP. From a climbing pespective one you could argue that it is the most important crag but since Erfweiler Rappenwand is more popular the topic is up for discussion.

Anyway the four towers of Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen were not discovered for climbing before the late 1950s, which is quite remarkable for an area where the normal routes usually were established in the first two decades of the 20th century. After all, nearby Rödelstein had been the first cliff to be climbed "by fair means" as early as 1903. The first routes on the "Lauterschwaner" were established on the Ostgipfel (Eastern summit) by Hans Laub and Fred Frey in 1958. The former returned from the 60s through the 80s to create more routes all over the 4 crags with different partners. The real discovery of the Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, however, took only place in the mid 80s when the sports climbing craze swept over the whole area. Some of the most difficult routes of the whole huge region were established here, the most impressive ones across the big roof of the Ostgipfel.
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Vorgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Hauptgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Ostgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Vorgipfel

Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen are located to the north-east of the village and are easily accessible by hiking trail (10 min). Recently - in April 2009 - the access trails were secured, which became necessary due to erosion of the very soft ground around the crags. The work was done by a group of kids from the nearby children's summer village near Silz and the PK documented their work on its site.

As mentioned above, there are four distinct towers, which make up the Rappenfelsen cliff. The two westernmost ones, Vorgipfel and Hauptgipfel are separated by a chimney only, which serves as the normal route to the western Vorgipfel. This tower posesses a wide west face through which difficult routes run. To its sides - the north and the south faces - offer good ledge and crack climbing to reach the summit. The second tower, Hauptgipfel, is home to only half as many routes, which however reach the highest difficulty levels. The route "Klundefiesl" is rated 10- and runs through the big roof on the eastern side of the tower.
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Ostgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Ostgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Hauptgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Vorgipfel

Speaking of roofs, the third tower, Ostgipfel, displays the biggest one. When seen from the west, the whole tower appears to be balanced on a small foundation only. The most difficult routes - or to put it differently - most of the most difficult routes run across this roof. The fourth tower, Ostturm, is like an afterthought, only. Its five routes are short and (in comparison) easy so that they are climbed mainly when traffic on the other three towers is too busy.

Climbing Routes on Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen

Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, OstgipfelNorth face of Ostgipfel

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.
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Vorgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Ostturm
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Hauptgipfel
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, Vorgipfel

FeatureRoutes linkSummary
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, VorgipfelVorgipfel33 routes with variations ranging from 1 - 8
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, HauptgipfelHauptgipfel15 routes with variations ranging from 2 - 10-
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, OstgipfelOstgipfel18 routes with variations ranging from 1 - 9-
Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, OstturmOstturm5 routes ranging from 2 - 6

Getting There

Lauterschwaner Rappenfelsen, VorgipfelWest face of Vorgipfel

The Rappenfelsen cliffs are located to the north-east of the village of Lauterschwan, which itself is located on the main southern access road to the Südpfalz area, B427. From the closest international airports at Frankfurt and Stuttgart the itineraries are as follows:

From Frankfurt

  • 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.
  • At the exit Kandel Nord turn onto L548 west.
  • The road will join B427 which will take you through Bad Bergzabern to Lauterschwan

From Stuttgart

  • Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
  • At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
  • Take the next exit to head for A65
  • At the exit Kandel Nord turn onto L548 west.
  • The road will join B427 which will take you through Bad Bergzabern to Lauterschwan

Red Tape

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).


There is a campground in Vorderweidenthal and there are several inns in the area. 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
    LVA RLP Map 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

    Climbing Guidebook

    • Klettern im Buntsandstein
      U. Daigger, H.-J. Cron
      Westpfälzische Verlagsdruckerei St. Ingbert
      ISBN: 3-00-0155457-4
    • Pfalz - Klettern im Buntsandstein des Pfälzer Felsenlands
      J. Richter, S. Tittel
      Panico Alpinverlag
      ISBN: 978-3-936740-41-7
    • 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