May 13 20

After more than six months break – and a bit of back and waist problems in the meantime – I finally managed to get out on rock again! Could I have picked a more scenic location for the big occasion than Dürnstein in Niederösterreich? Well, probably yes, but certainly not as close to Budapest! Dürnstein is ca. 80 kms from Vienna, it’s an old little village lying at the Danube, with impressive rock towers and a castle ruin which was built around the rocks.

It’s situated in the Wachau, a lovely area with lots of things to do: one can climb, hike, or bike along the Danube bike trail (Donauradweg) which takes you all the way to the Black Forest or the Black Sea, depending on which direction you go. :-) For those who desire for less activity and more culture there are plenty of old churches, castles and ruins to visit, and for the wine lovers, the place is famous for its lovely wines! But you can even decide to take a nice boat trip along the Danube and enjoy the sights along the way.

This time, we didn’t go there for the biking or the culture but we went to try the nice gneiss towers. Wachau offers many opportunities for beginners and experts alike, for the sports climbers and the trad climbers, from one pitch to more than 15 pitches. We stuck with the one pitch s easier grade sports routes, which were all slabs. This was the first time we tried gneiss and we just loved it! Even though the area is very frequented, the friction of the rock was perfect! Amazingly enough, our feet stayed where we had placed them and soon we started to trust them and stopped our desperate search for handholds which were not so easy to find. I’m sure we will be back soon for the harder and longer routes!

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