Rodenstein …and beer!

Rodenstein is a bit of an outlier in Frankenjura – the most westerly in the area and given its own chapter in the guidebook. The crag occupies pride of place on the skyline of the hill of the same name and gazes out serenely over Walberla.A windsock flutters at the left end, and it turns out that this marks the top of a pinnacle taken by the classic Edelweiss Kant. Before that, we warm up on Pfeilerkant (Kant seems to mean Arête) and I’m glad I’ve brought a fistful of wires as it’s a l-ooo-ng way to the first bolt. These are in pretty short supply with a 20m route meriting a miserly 4 bolts. The arete itself is fun and airyOn to Edelweiss Kant and the start is scrawled in red paint, which is useful because otherwise you wouldn’t imagine a 3* route starting up the scrappy vegetated wall. Things improve as you reach the arete itself, and all of a sudden you’re confronted by glistening holds as options are limited on the thin initial moves. These soon relent and you motor upwards to pinnacle summit to be crowned King of the Castle and Lord of all you survey, and you can document the fact in the ubiquitous book.Over on the right of the crag is an impressive wall of gleaming white rock, gashed by an obvious leaning crack. This provides the start for two starred classics: Magarethenwand branches out rightwards after the first bolt and gains the groove via a stiff pull,whereas Schiefe Verschneidung follows the crack in its entirety.Both excellent in the manner of a 3* HVS at Ravensdale – polished to bu@@ery, but with good enough holds to be highly enjoyable despite this. The guidebook description for the former says it all: “Auch mit Patina noch sehr schon”There is a school of thought that climbing is the thing you do as an excuse for going to the pub – I don’t fully subscribe, but the two activities certainly complement each other, and we’d certainly worked up a thirst in the heat. Looking back at the guide I now see it recommends Rodenstein as a good winter sun venue, with summer climbing restricted to the morning shade after which you should seek the comfort of a beer garden. Happily The Frankenjura seems to have almost as many Brauereis as it has crags, with each sleepy hamlet having one or at least a Gasthof that serves a local brew.The choice is usually limited to Dunkel or Helles, but that’s no great problem when both are excellent.Highly recommended, especially when used to wash down the regional classic cuisine of salmon trout and boiled potatoes (the spuds are out of this world!)

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