Östliche Kesselwand seen during the approach
, a mountain in the triangle between the villages Lug
in the Südpfalz Region
is home to about a dozen climbing crags. On the south face of the mountain the sandstone cliffs align like pearls on a string and offer some of the highest density of routes in the greater region. The cliffs and routes vary in quality but the abundance attracts climbers from all areas. Moreover, access trails are short and a forest dirt road runs along right underneath all of the cliffs. The most popular cliff is the western Pillar of the mountain, Rindsberg Westpfeiler
where also the best and most solid routes can be found. However, the neighbouring crags are often used as substitute if the pillar is too crowded and often attract climbers in their own right.
Right to the east of Rindsberg Westpfeiler
there are two cliffs, Westliche Kesselwand
and Östliche Kesselwand
. The latter rises directly above the forest road, the shortest access of all the Rindsberg crags. It is what is locally called a massif, a cliff connected to the bulk of the mountain by a short ridge. Thus, it is climbed most easily from the mountain side. The west face is rather brittle so that most of the climbing routes were established on the south and east faces. The most obvious feature in the narrow south face is the roof halfway up the face, across which a couple of difficult routes run. On the east face you find a crack system, which goes all the way up to the summit and which is home to the most famous (and one of the oldest) route, Talwandriss.
All the Rindsberg
routes were established rather late in the history of Südpfalz climbing. On Östliche Kesselwand
the earliest documented routes date back to the early 1960s. Protagonists were Hans Laub, Albert Friedrich, Rolf Ernst and Fred Frey. A second period of first ascents started in the late 1970s, pioneered by Hans Laub (again!) and Reiner Braun. In 2001 Andi Ziegler created some of the most difficult routes on the cliff. Due to the general difficulty of the routes, today Östliche Kesselwand
is climbed only occasionally even though it is the most accessible cliff on the south face of Rindsberg
Climbing Routes on Östliche Kesselwand
The slightly detached Östliche Kesselwand south summit
In general the Rock quality of Östliche Kesselwand is not too convincing. However the south and east faces show pretty solid sections in which a nice number of routes have been established. About half of them run into very difficult grades up to 9 while the easiest ones start at 5- only. Among the routes several Südpfalz classics can be recommended: Geht's ? (9-), Wiederbelebung (9), Talwandriss (6-), Sonnenschein und Untergang (8+). The upper east face can be rather mossy.
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.
|Östliche Kesselwand||Östliche Kesselwand||18 routes with variations ranging from 5- - 9|
Östliche Kesselwand east face
The cliffs on Rindsberg
can be reached from the village of Spirkelbach
. It can be most easily reached from the main highway B10
, exit Wilgartswiesen
. Follow the signs to Spirkelbach
once you are in the centre of Wilgartswiesen
(small hidden road). Drive through Spirkelbach
, right after which you'll see a pig parking area to the left side of the road. Here a trail starts, which winds close underneath all the crags of the mountain. For shorter access you can also drive on for about a km. However, the parking space near Rindsberg Westpfeiler
is very limited.
The closest airports are at Frankfurt and Stuttgart so the itineraries start there too.
There 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.
- e it at Frankenthaler Kreuz for A61 south.
- At Mutterstädter Kreuz take A65 south until you reach Landau.
- At Landau turn on B10 west.
- Leave B10 at Wilgartswiesen and drive into the village
- Right in the center K54 turns off south in the direction of Spirkelbach
- Drive through the village, direction Sarnstall. Right after the end of the village there is a big parking lot to the left of the road. You need to hike for about 10 minutes to the east.
- 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
- At Wilgartswiesen turn off and follow the instructions above
- Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
- At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
- Tke the next exit to head for A65
- At Landau North turn to B10
- Rest as above
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 cancelled even before that date. For a list of closures see the Closure List of PK
The cliffs on the south side of Rindsberg are rather often closed to climbing. Never all of them so you should check the link above before venturing out in the first half of the year.
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
You can find hotels and apartments in Wilgartswiesen or neighbouring Rinnthal and Hauenstein. Have a look at the following links (which are in German, however):
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
- Annweiler am Trifels
LVA RLP Map 6713
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