Trips, trips and...trips...
There is a whole world of climbing out there waiting to be discovered…you kind of know this is true intellectually but it’s not until you go to some of the lesser known venues and start chatting to the locals that you realise just how much more good stuff is out there.
Tim and I and the dogs have just come back from two such venues. We’ve had a fantastic couple of weeks of great climbing, lovely weather and friendly people. We headed to Germany first and the eclectic area around Ettringen. This is a mixed trad and sport climbing place, perfect for travelling Brits. The crags are basically all Basalt quarries, it’s a very volcanic area but the unique thing is that they are littered with cracks. It’s a great place with loads to discover, maybe not always the most beautiful but the fun climbing makes up for that.
The next place we went to was Berdorf in Luxembourg, a mere hour and half drive away. This is a bolted sandstone crag, again unique and interesting. The setting is idyllic in a beautiful forest and the climbing is fab. A much smaller venue than Ettringen but most of the routes are very high quality and it feels like there’s plenty to do. We met some friendly locals here and people of all nationalities- it’s a very popular place. But it has stringent access arrangements and a permit is required, which you need to get before you go.
I haven’t got enough time to write a detailed blog of the trip but suffice to say these venues are good destinations and we’ll be writing articles on them both in next year’s mags, so keep an eye out for those.
The end of the trip was marred slightly due to the fact we weren’t allowed onto our ferry because the pet passport hadn’t been done properly in Luxembourg. This was incredibly annoying, as we had to spend an extra two days in Dunkirk and another visit to the vet. We just had to wait it out and got back a couple of days later. It wouldn’t have been so bad but I’m off to the Verdon again on Friday and it’s all a bit manic getting ready for that.
Thanks goes to Stijn (Belgium) and Michel (Luxembourg) for all your help and company.
Also, to add insult to injury, I took the van in for a service and it’s now come back not working properly. So they are still working on it to try and sort out the fault- what is going on??
Anyway, fingers crossed the van will be ok and Alex and I will set off for the Verdon tomorrow.
Next blog will be full of Verdon-ness in a few weeks, hope the weather stays good over here and you can all get out and do some good climbing before the Winter sets in.