After a weekend of sampling every beer and wine the south of Germany has to offer, we were in dire need of some fresh outdoor air and exercise to clear the
Luckily our friends had an ideal spot in mind with easy climbs, beautiful scenery and icy mountain water to refresh ourselves afterwards – Kostgefall nature preserve.
Located approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Freiburg, Kostgefall is located at the foot of Simonswald and features everything you would want from a traditional Germanic landscape – dense, steep forests, mountain lodges and stereotypical Alpine cows with bells. It is easy to imagine all those childhood fairytales such as Hansel and Gretel coming to life in the background of Kostgefall, as long as you aren’t too distracted from the beautiful scenery along the trails.
Or the heart-pounding trail incline.
After 20 minutes of walking, we came to our spot – a small clearing with a good mixture of slabby routes and slight overhangs. Sure, the bolts might have been few and far between, but we had the breakfast of champions to power us along the way: Ritter Sport Chocolate Brownie Chocolate bars.
The routes are graded between roughly 5+ to 6c, and offer breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding forest. Down at ground zero, small boulders offer the perfect spot to rest and catch some sun or catch up on conversation, or a soapbox to offer some serious advice on tricky moves:
Down towards to start of the hiking trail is what we called a ‘mountain swimming pool’:
The metal sheet allows you to trap the water running off the mountains into the box, giving you your own fresh pool to sit back and relax. With raw hands and sore feet, we were looking forward to a revitalising dip.
Well, that was the plan, but the heat of the day disguises the fact that the water is actually FREEZING:
Swimming pool? More like ‘mountain plunge pool’!
The area is closed in the winter/spring to allow birds in the area to nest, but for more info check out the Climbing Away website.