Tour name: Greifensteine
Degree of difficulty: 2 – 9+ UIAA
Safeguarding: traditional Saxon
Route length: 30m
Access time: 5min
Type of rock: granite
GPS: area as GPX
The landscape protection area “Greifensteine” is located in the middle Erzgebirge, about 25km south of Chemnitz. The surrounding villages include Thum, Ehrenfriedersdorf, and Geyer.
Due to their central location in the Ore Mountains, the Greifensteine also have a lot to offer in terms of landscape: from the Kreuzfelsen, for example, you have an impressive view of the surrounding countryside.
Information about climbing
Climbing on the Greifensteine has a long tradition – already 100 years ago, climbers got to work on the rocks. At that time it was still mainly about the preparation for larger tours in the Alps, today are officially six of the seven Greifensteine as an independent climbing area.
Meanwhile, the granite peaks got a great popularity for climbers from near and far. As a rule, expect a lot of climbers especially on sunny days.
The Greifensteine are made of granite and are very firm and handy, but not as rough, as in other granite areas.
The interesting “woolsack” shape of the rock is dominated by round structures – pointed edges are one of the absolute exceptions.
Routes & levels of difficulty
In terms of variety, the Greifensteine have much to offer: Except for long chimney sections, can be found almost everything – and in almost every level of difficulty (the range is from 2 – 9+). However, the difficulty levels should rather be considered as orientation, as they are often more difficult compared to other climbing areas.
Nevertheless, climbers of all levels will get their money’s worth … especially friends of the climbing technique should rub their hands: Due to their relatively small wall height (10-30m) and their structure, the Greifensteine require more technology than power.
In the guidebook, the protection is described as “traditional Saxon”. The setting of own savepoints should be controlled accordingly. In addition to slings and knots, friends and slips are also allowed, since they do not harm the solid rock.
In many routes, the key location is additionally secured by a ring (in modern routes also bolts). Some routes are also completely secured by bolts in the style of a sports climbing route – but “southern French standards” should not be expected.
Approach to the rock
From the parking lot, it is only a few steps to the first rocks.
Seekofel, Kleiner Brocken, Stülpnerwand, and Turnerwand can be reached by using the marked crossing of the fence on the west wall of the Seekofel. Please do not cross the fence elsewhere, as the area is a private property.
Rules and other information
- Climbing is only permitted for members of the German Alpine Club or Chemnitz hiking and mountain sports club or by registering.
- During rehearsals and performances on the natural stage, climbing is only permitted to a limited extent – sometimes completely prohibited.
- The use of magnesia is prohibited.
- Summit books are on all the Greifensteine.
climbing guides: Glück Auf (Geoquest Verlag) ISBN: 978-3-00-052908-5
General information about the Greifensteine
Geology & History
The history of the Greifensteine begins with its creation more than 250 million years ago. At that time, cracks in the earth’s layers, caused by plate shifts, filled with magma from the Earth’s interior. This hardened and formed the granite stick of the first griffin stone. The granite giant was pushed to the earth’s surface by raising the Erzgebirge podium. In total, 13 granite rocks were created in this way. The weathering for centuries delivered, the rock received its present “woolsack” shape (inspired by the appearance of large, wool-filled linen bags, as they were then common in the Ore Mountains).
Unfortunately, only seven of the formerly 13 Greifensteinen have survived. The remaining six rock formations were demolished during quarrying in the 19th century. The valuable granite stone was then further processed into tools, tombstones or troughs for livestock.
The Greifensteine today
The time of the stone crushers is still reminiscent of a large quarry. Since 1931 this is used for theater and film performances. The natural theater in the midst of preserved rock formations ensures a cultural experience of a special kind.
The area around the Greifensteine is also known for its beautiful hiking tours (for example to the famous Stülpnerhöhle), while a mountain inn invites you to stop by. In the immediate vicinity, there is also an adventure climbing forest.
On hot summer days, the nearby Greifenbachstauweiher beckons. Here you can bath and splash extensively.
In Ehrenfriedersdorf (about 4km away) can also be visited a historic mine.
Arrival & Parking
To get there is quite easy. From Geyer, Ehrenfriedersdorf or Thum follow the signs “Greifensteine”. Arrived at the destination there are plenty of parking spaces right next to the inn where you can park for a little fee.
Very close to the Greifensteine there are two youth hostels. In addition, there is within walking distance a campground on the aforementioned Greifenbachstauweiher.
Also in the inn right next to the rocks you can rent a room.