Burgfelsen, Lofenstein

We spent a peaceful but very expensive (€24!) night at a campsite in Steyr (an odd spot which seemed to double up as the boathouse and launch ramp for the local rowing and paddling club). Steyr is an industrial town, world-famous for gearbox manufacturing, but is also the gateway to the Enns Valley and a surprisingly pretty part of Austria. Not that we could see much, as thick mist from the river cloaked the campsite.

More Internet research had suggested a few possible crags to explore, so we punched in the GPS coordinates and set off into the clag. We wound slowly up into the hinterland, barely able to make out the edge of the road, let alone climbing opportunities, before bursting out into the blue at the top of a hill for a spectacular cloud inversion.

Sadly, the crag that had drawn us here…

… turned out to be pretty much north-facing and not a great November venue. Fortunately we’d picked up a leaflet on climbing at the campsite…

… and we set off to explore more options. We found a bunch of interesting looking crags, all thoughtfully marked by matching signposts, but all suffering from the same chilly orientation. Our last roll of the dice threw up Burgfelsen, and what a great find!

In many ways it was similar to yesterday’s “Just Keep Driving” crag. Roadside, urban, south facing and about 25m high with a couple of dozen routes on steep walls and slabs. However, the outlook was absolutely charming 

and the rock was infinitely better, with fun edgy climbing and good bolting. Slightly odd grading though, as we figured we were in for a sandbag session when struggling on Ritter Sport (VII) and Ramazotti (VI). The latter had the unique (in my experience) reward for reaching the belay,  of a drinks cooler (machined from solid aluminium) complete with a bottle of liqueur (the eponymous Ramazotti). I wasn’t tempted, but it’s a nice thought! There must be a story there somewhere!

Moving further left,  to catch the last of the sun before it disappeared behind the hill opposite, we did a last couple of excellent routes Scotischer Blues VII- and the route to its left, a soft touch VIII-. Great way to end the trip from a climbing perspective.

Then back on the road for what turned out to be a hellish drive into Germany – driving rain and pitch black – why don’t German roads have cat’s eyes?

It was just as well that our planned overnight spot worked out so well – Gasthof Zum Pfandl in Bad Griesbach. Free overnight parking outside this friendly eatery and a 3 course meal and a couple of beers each for not much more than yesterday’s campsite fee. This one is on the map for future visits! 

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