Germany is one of the key transit points of Europe. Whether you travel from France, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Austria or a sixth country you go through Germany. And crossing Germany in central Europe on the immense Autobahn network of motorways, there is a high likelihood that you will pass by Hannover. So why not make a stop for a few hours and climb at the KletterCAMPUS, one of several climbing gyms in Hannover.
During a sport climbing trip to the Ith area in northern Germany I made an unintentional visit to one of several climbing gyms in central Hannover. Unintentionally as I was in Ith for climbing outdoors, but the autumn weather was not as predictable as I had hoped. It poured down and practising rock climbing in heavy rain is not a sport I find very amusing. And since the group I travelling with and I only had the weekend we decided to pay a visit to a climbing gym.
KletterCAMPUS is a small climbing gym located in the center of Hannover on the campus of the local university. It is very easy to find. It is based on the premises of the sport arena belong to the university in the large recreational park that the campus is built upon. Just type in ‘Am Moritzwinkel 6, 30167 Hannover’ in your GPS and it will lead you right straight to the parking place the gym. KletterCAMPUS is situated in a bright, square-looking building with large windows right next to a Basketball court. Look for that.
KletterCAMPUS is a dedicated rope climbing gym, so do not expect to find any boulder problems around. The gym has one large wall and a smaller wall at the far end of the gym covering about 70 routes in total. As seen on the picture above there is not much space, but I am quite impressed of how many routes they have actually managed to squeeze into a place like this. There are three routes in different grades on each line of fixed bolts with fixed quickdraws. There are maybe 1,5 meters between each line, which is plenty of room to belay right next to each other. Adding to this, most of the routes follow their own line, so you do not cross other climbers’ paths on your way to the top. What I also find really nice is that there are grades across all of the spectrum, so there are something for everyone.
I am also impressed about the variety the routes offer. There are several overhangs, slabs and corners. There are actually a few routes, where the wall itself has features such as small cracks, which make a nice addition to the wall. All routes are marked with the local German grading system as pictured below, so if you are used to the French (which I am) or the UK, you need to factor this into account, when embarking on a climb. Speaking of grades, members of the gym have actually expressed their impressions of the difficulty of the routes, which is shown on a small graph on the route descriptions hanging on the wall. So you can actually see how many have voted that a route is a specific grade, which means that the quality of the grade scoring are actually quite sustained throughout the gym. This is nice! So a 6a is actually a 6a relative to the local interpretation.
On a more practical note remember to bring either cash or EC Card (which is a local German debit card). KletterCAMPUS does not accept international credit cards and if you do not have cash or EC Card, you can submit your bank account information incl. IBAN number at the counter. You can buy a one-day pass for 10 Euro, and the gym is open during weekdays from 10:00 to 22:00 and during weekends from 12:00 to 22:00. The gym is part of a sports arena, so there are showers, changing rooms, lockers and toilets just nearby.
In terms of gear you need to bring your own rope if you want to practice lead climbing. There are a few ropes that have been set up for top roping, though.
So why not stop by in Hannover if you are passing through anyway, or if you are climbing in the Ith area and the weather is bad. You can still enjoy climbing! Any tips on other climbing gyms in the area, please do not hesitate leaving a comment below.