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Rheinland Pfalz, Germany, Europe
Hiking, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering
Spring, Summer, Fall
1194 ft / 364 m
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Created On: Nov 21, 2009
Last Edited On: Nov 21, 2009


KanzelKanzel, seen from the south

The sandstone formations in the northern part of the Südpfalz Climbing Region differ somewhat from the cliffs and towers you find in other parts of the range. During its creation for several times large inland seas covered the area. They deposited sedimentary rock each time so that three distinct layers can be distinguished. Then tectonic activity took over as two plates collided where today you find the Rhine River Valley piling up mountains on both sides. Thus the sandstone layers tilted resulting in a south-east to north-west slope in the Südpfalz Region. While the oldest two layers have a thickness of up to 150m, the youngest and topmost one only reaches 30 - 40m. Erosion already took away most of this top layer leaving formations only in sheltered places.

One of these places is the Schwarzbach Valley in the north of the area which runs from Waldfischbach-Burgalben to Clausen and beyond. Here the sandstone "density" is much larger than in the nearby areas with climbable cliffs on both sides of the valley. Of these, the Seelenfelsen Formation is one of the largest. It is also very typical for the cliffs in this area: while barely 10 - 15m high it is very broad with a width (or length) of roughly 1km. Moreover, the sandstone is very solid and thus offers excellent conditions for any climbing or bouldering activities.
Rechtes Sommerwändchen
Kanzel tower

The Seelenfelsen Cliffs consist of about a dozen smaller formation, our of which ten can be climbed. They form a rampart in the very south of the long-stretched Dinkelsberg, with a sharp bend (corner) at the southern tip. Thus there are two branches - a northern one, consisting of rather low but sunny cliffs - and an eastern one, where the formations are more interesting but also more overgrown and mossy. Both branches connect and culminate and the biggest formation, Kanzel (pulpit), a big block with a huge overhanging roof.

Roofs and overhangs are the predominant features of Seelenfelsen. Often the soft soil has eroded away at the very base of the cliffs so that climbs directly start with a roof. On the other hand you also find horizontal ledges and cracks which offer excellent holds. Thus the difficulty of most climbs remains moderate (up to 6 on the average) and only the Silberfuchs Route on the left side of the big roof reaches Grade 8.
Mittlerer Seelenfels

Due to the small size of the rocks and of course also due to the fact that the formations are rather far away from the better known towers of Dahn, Wilgartswiesen or Lug, the Seelenfelsen-Cliffs were detected for climbing very late. The first climbs were documented in the late 1980s but most routes were established during the 1990s. Of the Südpfalz climbing legends only Hans Laub (who else?) has documented first ascents while the bulk of the routes was established by Volker Nickel and Hans Hammel, who in the summer of 1993 created about a dozen routes. In 1998 Rainer Braun followed with half a dozen routes and during the same year Hermann Folz, Hans Laub (again) and Sepp Braun explored the westernmost cliffs creating about ten new routes.

Climbing Routes on Seelenfelsen

KanzelKanzel big roof

The following table has a links 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.
Mittleres Sommerwändchen
Rechtes Sommerwändchen
Birkenwand west face

FeatureRoutes linkSummary
Seelenfelsen, Mittleres SommerwändchenMittleres Sommerwändchen1 route, 4+, A0
Seelenfelsen, Rechtes SommerwändchenRechtes Sommerwändchen3 routes, 4+, A0 - 5, A0
Seelenfelsen, KanzelKanzel9 routes, 3 - 8
Seelenfelsen, BirkenwandBirkenwand2 routes with variations, 3
Seelenfelsen, SeelenturmSeelenturm5 routes with variations, 1 - 6+
Seelenfelsen, SeelenwandSeelenwand5 routes with variations, 4 - 6+
Seelenfelsen, Waldgasses WändeWaldgasses Wände2 routes with variations, 2 and 3
Seelenfelsen, Mittlerer SeelenfelsMittlerer Seelenfels3 routes, 4 - 5+
Seelenfelsen, BlockhöhlenwandBlockhöhlenwand9 routes, 2 - 7-
Seelenfelsen, HundsweiherwandHundsweiherwand5 routes with variations, 4 - 5+

Getting There

BlockhöhlenwandBlockhöhlenwand - the name indicates blocks and caves...

The Seelenfelsen Crags are located above a bend of the Schwarzbach Creek a bit to the north-west of Clausen. It is hidden deep inside Pfälzerwald, so that the itineraries are rather lengthy.

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.
    • At Rinnthal switch to B48 north, direction Kaiserslautern
    • At Johanniskreuz switch to L496, direction Leimen
    • In Leimen switch to K32, direction Waldfischbach-Burgalben
    • Right before the exit Clausen there is a small parking area. A hiking trail leads across the Dinkelsbach Valley to Seelenfelsen
  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 the exit Kaiserslautern Zentrum turn onto B270 south
    • At Waldfischbach Burgalben turn onto K32, direction Johanniskreuz
    • Right after the exit Clausen there is a small parking area. A hiking trail leads across the Dinkelsbach Valley to Seelenfelsen

From Stuttgart

  • Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
  • At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
  • Take the next exit to head for A65
  • At Landau switch to B10 west.
  • At Rinnthal switch to B48 north, direction Kaiserslautern
  • At Johanniskreuz switch to L496, direction Leimen
  • In Leimen switch to K32, direction Waldfischbach-Burgalben
  • Right before the exit Clausen there is a small parking area. A hiking trail leads across the Dinkelsbach Valley to Seelenfelsen

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).

In addition to these general rules, Heidelsburg also is a cultural monument, given its age and history. You may climb and hang out there but please keep what little remains of the old architecture in place.


The closest villages from Seelenfelsen are Clausen and Waldfischbach-Burgalben. There are some inns there and you also can get holiday apartments. If you are looking for hotels, you should go to the cities of Pirmasens in the south or Kaiserslautern in the north. Here's a link with accommodation in the area:

Accommodation in the Waldfischbach-Burgalben vicinity

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
  • Annweiler am Trifels
    LVA RLP Map L6712
    ISBN: 978-3-89637-191-1

  • Merzalben
    LVA RLP Map 6712
    ISBN: 978-3-89637-140-9


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