A great limestone sport climbing area for those operating from F4 to F6c+ (or looking for some leisurely mileage), in a close proximity to the Swiss city of Basel. The crags are a selection of solid high quality limestone outcrops mainly situated on wooded hillsides in out of town locations, yet still close enough to facilities and small to large urban conurbations. Most of the climbing is on edges and small pockets over terrain varying from the steep side of vertical to slabby walls. An ideal destination for a long weekend’s mid-grade sport climbing, in a fantastic location! Right: Gempenkante (F5+).
The area can be visited throughout the year, although to give yourself the best chance of climbing as possible, spring, summer and autumn are the best times to visit. Due to the deciduous woodland settings – offering awesome autumnal visuals – and favourable fresher weather conditions, autumn is possibly the best time to visit the area.
The cheapest and easiest options are to fly with either Easy Jet or Ryan Air, depending on where you are located in the UK. If you are in the south both Ryan Air and Easy Jet fly from London, Stanstead, whilst Northerners can fly with Easy Jet from Liverpool. Finally, those heralding from the Emerald Isle can fly from Dublin with Ryan Air.
Whether you decide to camp in the vicinity of the crags or stay in accommodation in Basel itself the city and surrounding area has an excellent public transport network of tram and bus services, and nearly all of the crags, in the area described, have a tram stop within walking distance – adding, at most, an extra 10 minutes to the described walk in. Obviously if you did wish to hire a car it would give you access to the large number of crags further to the south west of Basel.
Accommodation & Provisions
You can either stay in Basel itself, and combine your trip with a bit of city centre sightseeing, or alternatively camp at the large campsite in the countryside (see link below) just south of the city. The campsite is close to numerous tram stops and more importantly within 10 to 15 miles of all the crags. There are obviously plenty of restaurants and shops within Basel itself. If you are camping there is a decent Italian restaurant within walking distance and plenty of grocery shops too.
Title: Schweiz Plasir Jura (Filidor): The guide also covers a further proliferation of similar limestone crags to the south west of the area described here. As mentioned earlier you will need a car to access these areas.
Purchase a local area terrain map (1:25000 scale) as some of the approach maps are less than perfect.
Grade Spread and Recommended Routes
There are 350+ routes of F3 to F6c+ in the Schweiz Plasir Jura guide. Remember this guide is a low to mid grade guide only, so you will need a different guide for the harder lines. That said the area seems most suited to this grade range. A few standout routes include Gempenkante (F5+) and Al Capone (F6c), at Schartenfluh and Satz des Pythagoras (F6a+) and Sargdeggel (F6a) at Hofstettenchopfli.