Romantic Prachov

Tips

6 min.

The Prachov Rocks, situated in the west of Bohemian Paradise, is one of the most classic sandstone areas in the Czech Republic. And no wonder. The extensive rock town near the fairytale town of Jičín offers more than a thousand routes on the whole difficulty scale on relatively solid sandstone with reasonable belay options and a romantic atmosphere.

Technical steps in the route called "Jihovýchodní cesta" (South-eastern route, grade VII) to Jehla

MORE THAN 100 YEARS OF CLIMBING

Climbing in the Prachov Rocks has a tradition of more than 100 years. In 1907, a group of students from Jičín, led by Josef Hendrych, founded the first climbing club in the Czech Republic called the Prachov Climbing Club. The first tower they climbed was Mnich (Monk in English, also called the Prayer of the Rocks). It happened on October 4th, 1907, via the Old Route with grade II. To commemorate the first Prachov climb there is still a Czech flag on the top of the Monk. The Prachov Climbing Club is still active today, its members belong among the top Czech climbers.

The local icon - Mnich (in the middle) as seen from the east

Greater development of climbing in this area came after 1925, when climbers from alpinist clubs from Prague, Hradec Králové and Pilsen began to visit Prachov. This subsequently led to drawing up of the first climbing guide by one of them, Josef Janeba.

There is something for everyone at Prachov. You can climb traditional and adventurous routes as well as "sportier" routes in big walls up to Xc difficulty.

Since then, many other generations of climbers experienced their golden days here, for example, climbing icons such as Petr Mocek, Míra Vacek, Standa Šilhán or Jarda Havlík.

At the top of Mnich

YOU CAN STILL FIND FREE ROUTES EVEN TODAY

The first ascents are still being made in Prachov area today. You can read about what new climbs were made there during spring 2021 in a nice post by “a local”, Vítek Lachman, on eMontana.

The rock city in all its glory

RULES OF CLIMBING IN PRACHOV AREA

The whole area is located in a private property that belongs to the Schlik family and any climbing activity is allowed only with their consent, subject to strict compliance with the operating rulesthe rules of climbing in sandstone areas in Bohemia and the decision of the NCA CR (Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic) and PLA (Protected Landscape Area) Management Turnov.

  • Climbing is allowed from April 1st 4. to October 31st 10. except for the prohibited areas listed in the PLA Management Decision from October 18th, 2016
  • No climbing on wet or damp rocks
  • Absolute prohibition of climbing with magnesium or other chemicals (fine up to CZK 5,000)
  • When climbing, save the rocks in every possible way – keep it tidy around the rocks
  • Every climber is obliged to present either a valid CMA (Czech mountaineering Asociation) card or a Climbing Pass to be allowed to enter the Prachov Rocks. This pass can be obtained at the Information Centre at the Tourist Hut according to the rules set by the owners of the rocks.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Locality

The Prachov Rocks, Bohemian Paradise

MAPS and guidebooks

The newest printed guidebook “PRACHOVKSÉ SKÁLY” is from 2017 and was written by Petr Hejtmánek, Zdeněk Koťátko and Zdeněk Petráň. You can order it in Horokupectví, for example.

WHEN TO SET OUT?

Climbing is only allowed in Prachov area from April 1st 4. to October 31st. 10. There is a strict ban on climbing on wet or damp rock, so you must wait at least 48 hours after the rain.

Ideally, go climbing on weekdays (less concentration of civilians under the rocks).

WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT?

Preferably in the stylish, log cabin (Turistická chata) right at the entrance to the Prachov Rocks.

ARRIVAL AND PARKING

The central car park at Turistická chata.

Description of arrival and parking prices can be found on the official website of the Prachov Rocks.

There's not much room at the top of Jehla
The route called "Stará cesta" (Old route, grade I) to the Pelíšek rock is manageable even for smaller children
The climb of the "Jihovýchodní cesta" route (South-eastern route, grade VII) is undoubtedly one of the best things you can experience on the Czech rocks

DIFFICULTY

There is something for everyone in Prachov area. You can climb both traditional and adventurous routes full of cracks, chimneys and unpleasant slabs, in which the history of climbing was written, as well as more “sporty” routes in big walls and also massifs up to Xc grade.

EQUIPMENT

A 60-metre rope, harness, climbing shoes, 10 quickdraws and lots of slings.

WEATHER FORECAST

Try Meteocentrum, for example.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

If you are visiting Prachov area for the first time, it is almost obligatory to go directly to the centre of the rock town and climb the local icons – Mnich and Jehla (Needle in English).

Abseiling from Rektorka

PHOTOGALLERY FROM PRACHOV

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