The area of Jura, and especially the area of Kraków Valleys, is a great area for rock climbing. The local limestone rocks with a wide variety of shapes and slopes of the walls create great terrain for both novice climbers and more demanding amateurs of the sport.
From a climbing perspective, the Polish Jura can be divided into two areas. One is the close vicinity of Kraków, the other is in the central and northern part of the region, closer to Częstochowa. There are quite a few rocks in both places with marked and insured climbing routes. They have been created over the decades and new ones are still being marked.
The scale of their difficulty is wide, so both the beginner and the advanced climber have something to do.
The highest rock in the Jura is located here. The majestic Sokolica rises more than 100 meters above the valley floor and has been the destination of the most avid climbers for years.
At the foot of Sokolica, the Brandysówka shelter operates year-round, which is particularly popular with the climbing community. You can stop here for a night and eat, and in summer stay overnight at the adjacent campground. Right next door, the Jurassic Group of the Mountain Rescue Team has its base.
A few hundred meters away, in a side branch of the valley, rises a group of rocks with the memorable name “Dupa Słonia” (Elephant’s Bottom). Climbing competitions and special shows are often held here.
There are many rocks in this intimate, charming valley, but only one, topped by a distinctive cross – Żabi Koń – is a hallmark of the valley. Climbers also often meet here under the rocks of the Kula, Turnia z Krokiem, or Turnia Zjazdowa.
The small, wild cave located just outside the center of the village of Wierzchowie is known for the mammoth tusk found here years ago in the mound, as well as for Poland’s most difficult climbing route.
Extremely difficult route “Stal Mielec”, difficulty level VI.8+, has been attempted by many climbers here for years – and only some succeed in doing so.
Center and the north
The northern part of the Jura is the second climbing spot in the region.
Climbing around castles in Ogrodzieniec, Mirów or Olsztyn is particularly popular. Other places well-known in the climbing community are Rzędkowice, where the rocks form a kilometer-long sequence, or the nearby 30-meter-high Okiennik Rock with a characteristic hole resembling a window.
How to get started?
The Internet is full of offers for rock climbing courses. They usually last 5-6 days, and climbing is done under the constant supervision of an instructor and with the use of professional equipment.
When choosing a course that interests you, pay attention to the qualifications of the instructor. The average cost of a 6-day course closes in 1000 PLN. It is also important to remember that climbing is only possible in designated areas, outside of reserves and national parks.