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Guide to Berlin's Climbing & Bouldering Spots

Kirchbachspitze. 

Berlin is not a city for climbers. Unfortunately, it’s flat and doesn’t offer any interesting rock getaways within easy reach. However, if you love the German capital for all the other reasons and still wish to strain the tendons somewhere, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. There are many well-equipped climbing and bouldering gyms in which you can make a first attempts to reach the top or simply build up your strength and stamina for any outdoor conquests. This article will guide you through the walls in the city.

CLIMBING IN BERLIN

Berlin has three huge gyms to climb with a rope, couple of outdoor concrete towers and the famous Bunker. If you sign in to Der Deutsche Alpenverein (DAV – German Alpine Club), you would be able to use some of these places easily (including special facility called Mercedes-Welt am Salzufer).

Outdoor

Unfortunately, all of the outdoor options for Berlin’s climbers are artificial. The oldest tower for open-air climbing is located in Teufelsberg. It reaches up 9,80m and has over 60 routes. The second one worth trying (Kirchbachspitze in Schöneberg) is higher, but grants only 45 routes. Much more exciting is definitely the Bunkerwand Humboldthain. There, you would be able to climb over 50 routes (of varied difficulties), try some overhangs, small pockets, crimps and almost feel like in the famous German Frankenjura. Almost, anyway. Some other towers are: Kletterturm Spandau,

Der Kegel Tower.

Reinickendorf’s wall, Monte Balkon (currently closed due to safety reasons), Wuhletalwächter and Schwedter Nordwand. To use them you would need to be a member of DAV (tip: it’s always good to check their website for any climbing updates from the city). Two Berlin gyms also have outdoor climbing areas: Magic Mountain and Der Kegel.

Indoor

For indoor climbing, you should head to T-Hall in Neukölln or Magic Mountain in Wedding. Both gyms are relatively big, well equipped (including gym equipment and sauna) and offer both leading and top-rope routes (the ones at Magic Mountain are longer). In both of them, you can boulder too, but it’s more of a warm-up option rather than an alternative to other bouldering places. So which one to choose? There’s not much between them as they are fairly similar (with an exception that Magic Mountain which is much more modern and perhaps more friendly for all people starting to climb), so only the proximity and the price might be decisive. Another exciting wall, but with limited access is called DAV Kletterzentrum – up to 3 entrances for non-members. The facility is suitable for both climbing with a rope and bouldering and offers trainings in groups.

BOULDERING IN BERLIN – Outdoor & Indoor

When it comes to bouldering, the choice is biger than straight climbing. There are many interesting gyms to try out (and a new one to be opened soon - Boulderklub Kreuzberg). Again, if you are looking for a place to boulder on a regular basis, you would probably decide upon location/price. Otherwise, it’s always good to occasionally visit some of the existing gyms, because each of them is very particular and will allow you to develop different skills. The most easterly place is obviously Ostbloc, located by Rummelsburger See (or for some, almost in front Sisyphos…). This gym will help you master slopers’ gripping. Other advantages: system climbing wall, defined traverses and cool post-workout treats: a bar with snacks and beverages, outdoor chill out zone overlooking the Spree, Thursday special events (Langer Donnerstag with barbecue and music). Ostbloc’s sister gym is Südbloc in Tempelhof. It’s relatively new and resembles Ostbloc – they even use the same coloured holds to mark the grades. Not far from there, you will find another quality gym - Bright Site - Berlin Boulder Project (big variety of boulders, large scale of problems, outdoor section for summer). You can easily tell that the route setters there are advanced climbers, as the boulders are well optimized and make bouldering at Bright Site enjoyable experience. A superb gym in Northern Berlin is Berta Block (Pankow) – one of two in Berlin using Fontainebleau grades to define the difficulty of boulders (as opposed to colour marking, used at other walls). Also, the only one with an impressive roof (all the other ones are only slightly overhanging which makes most of Berlin climbers pretty insecure in overhangs). Additionally, the gym offers extra training facilities and has a nice bar. Berta Block, along with all the aforementioned gyms, is family- and kids-friendly. Slightly different vibe characterizes

Der Kegel Bouldering Gym.

Der Kegel is the gym with the highest density of strong climbers in Berlin. Regardless, the atmosphere there is super friendly, though beginners might not feel comfortable here. What predominates is sporting spirit and many people climbing there already have their training routines. However, if you are a beginner, it can still be good for you, as you might have a chance to observe more capable climbers and learn from them. The gym is perfect for summer with its outdoor section both for climbing and bouldering. Similarly, outdoor wall is available at the most westerly bouldering gym in Berlin - Boulderworx in Wilmersdorf. It’s relatively small, with majority of vertical, short and easy boulders. That’s the second one using Fontainebleau grades. Apart from all the gyms, there are some small artificial bouldering structures in Volkspark Friedrichshain (Kletterfelsen).

Now, with this short overview, all that’s left to do is climb on!

By Justyna Dolecińska

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