Here we talk about some matters (i.e. climbing and politics in Northern Germany) we are interested in.

Climbing and nature protection – What happened to the Selter, our local high end climbing area, and what can be done?

The Selter cliffs, for hard core climbing particularly the cliffs of Erzhausen and Freden (Süd), 60 km south of Hannover, up to 30 m high, are the most important rocks for extreme sport climbing in northern Germany. Comparable rocks with a wide range of such difficult climbing routes can nearest be found only in the Frankenjura, about 400 km south.

Due to the poorly structured, very compact and often overhanging rock the development so far culminated in two climbing routes by Ralf Kowalski (1001 Nacht, Wipe out) in the 11th grade (UIAA), which are the only two of this difficulty in the North of Germany. But in the Selter there are some more projects and there ist still potential for some more routes on this or even a harder level. The continued existence of such climbing opportunities is very important for the self-understanding and the further development of sport climbing in Northern Germany.

By April 2009, due to a nature conservation law, climbing was limited only to 3 sections in the Selter. According to a regulation only 20 out of 80 previously climbed rocks were allowed. (In the Selter there are about 150 rocks.) From the former over 320 challenging climbing routes only 120 (37%) were still given free for climbing.

That was the time, some of us younger climbers started to think about our future climbing possibilities here in Northern Germany and some action …

Competitive climbing and school – How to integrate the dual task?

In Germany the situation is different from other countries, such as Russia or the United States. There, school support is very strong. There is no independent sports club system, but it is integrated into the school system. Therefore, the problem of coordination of school and competitive sports is virtually eliminated. Our sister Louisa spent her exchange year at Wyzata High School (Minnesota) and she loved to be part of her school sports team (athletics and down hill skiing). She had almost no problem of integrating the demands.

In Lower Saxony there is no cooperation between school and climbing sport system. They seem to be two different worlds. By far we do not have the structures and processes of cooperation, particularly in climbing, as in other German-speaking, i.e. alpine countries, such as Austria or Switzerland.

That’s the reason why we went there for an exchange during our 10th school year. David was at the Sport-BORG Innsbruck, Ruben is at the Sportgymnasium Rämibühl Zurich. Our sports achievements are clearly better at these schools than they are in Germany.

Anyway, we try to find some solutions to improve the situation here in Lower Saxony together with our family and our climbing association. That’s not easy. There are many discussions and agreements to make. Furthermore we want to report a little about this.