I haven’t climbed on something like this yet! The rocks in Nové Město nad Metují, although not very diverse, are also different from Jura, Sokoliki and any other climbing area I have seen. In addition, the pleasant location by the river and the lack of crowds make this area a very nice change from other climbing regions.
The climbing area, called HIS, is located in the town of Nové Město nad Metují, near Kudowa-Zdrój in Poland.
There are about 130 routes in it, most of them 12-20 m high. The most are fives and sixes, but there are also a lot of fours and some sevens and eights (UIAA scale).
There is a topo under the rocks. It is not very legible, but the routes are also written on the rock itself, so you do not need any printed guidebook.
Most of the rocks are located on the river itself, which creates a very pleasant climate. The Czechs also took care of benches under each rock and a place for a bonfire.
The rock is said to be a marlstone, something between limestone and clay. These are glued boards arranged in horizontal layers.
The rock looked fragile to me at once, and it really is. Therefore, a helmet for a climber, and especially for a belayer, is very sensible.
And what about climbing? It was interesting, because it was something new for me, but at the same time it gets boring quickly. All routes are very similar to each other. You climb like on a ladder, only on more or less overhang and with smaller or larger rungs. It’s little technical, definitely requires more power. The friction is on the plus side, which is what I like best. I mean, it is not slippery, but it is also not as rough as, for example, in Sokoliki or in Szczytnik, where 1-2 difficult routes are enough for me to have torn fingertips.
The bolting was rather good, although on some routes the first bolt seemed a bit too high for me.
There is a chain and a carabiner (screwed or not) on the belay stances, so you do not have to do lowering off procedure. They are bolted with bolts, not rings, so, on the other hand, you can’t lower off in the middle of the route ;)
I really liked the various interesting accessories… For example, a platform decorated with colorful prayer flags like in the Himalayas, which can only be reached by climbing (unbolted IV or V + without the first bolt, which at the beginning can be cheated by the other, bolted four).
And best of all, there’s… a piano on the platform :D
There is also a climbing rope and a zip-line…
and at the belay on some routes there is a bell with which you can tell everyone around that you’ve sent the route ;)
Is it worth coming to Nove Mesto nad Metuji? One time to climb something else, I think so. However, I would not plan to spend more than 1-2 days there. After 1 day, I felt satiated and maybe I will come again next year, again for a change from other, more interesting climbing regions and to have a good time without crowds of people.