If we look into far away history it was approx. 100 milion years ago that this was a seabed. Sand was washed down here and pressurized. At the end of Jurrasic era thanx to the tectonical activity as well as volcanical eruptions the seabed was elevated and broken into blocks. Erosion did the rest of the work and this is how Czech sandstone came into life.
History of climbing sandstone in Czech republic is widely described in book from Bohumil Sykora. This book has also been filmed lately and also narrated in english.
First climbers to have climbed Adršpach were from Germany – Saxony. In 1923 they arrived in Adršpach rocks and spent a few days here. The King (Král) was climbed first by Willi Adam and his group followed by Cimbuří and Saxon head (Saská hlava). They were so amazed by the beauty of local rocks virginity that after one month they came back and climbed Lovers (Milenci) and Mayor’s wife (Starostová).
Till the beginning of the second world war most climbs were completed by Saxon and Sudeten Germans except for one trip of the Club of Czech alpinists in 1935, who climbed Lovers, Štěpánská Crown (Štěpánská koruna) and Jug (Džbán).
Before the war also local climbers from Náchod started climbing in Adršpach. They were trying to keep up with Germans, but Germans had advantage – they were already training on their local German sandstone rocks.
During the war, there was very little climbing in Adršpach as it was taken by German soldiers. Only place climbed was Ostaš - a little rocky hill close to Police nad Metuji as it was the only rocks not taken over by Germans.
Training on Ostaš rocks allowed Czech climbers to domintate and put up new routes in Adršpach along with Saxon climbers after the war. It was Parrots Crack on Parrot (Papoušči spára na Papouška) or Solstice on Mayor (Slunovrat na Starostu). Put up by Herbert Richter. Werner Rump with Václav Bruckner and Jiří Nejezchleba climbed Western crack on Tyrolians (západní spáru na tyroláky).
New Generation of climbers of 50th and 60th started climbing harder cracks and also found their way into climbing walls that seemed too hard before. One of the most respected climbers of those times was Karel Hauschke (Kokša). Among his most famous routes belong Pilots route on Lovers (Letecká na Milence) or Two day route on Pegas (Dvoudenní na Pegase). Together with Jaroslav Krecbach they created the best couple for upcoming years with legendary routes such as Decháč on King (na Krále) or Magic wall on Kokša tower (Čarovná na Kokšovu věž).
Adršpach has always been a home to crack climbers.
60th and 70th brought the biggest boom of climbing in Adršpach. Mountaineers gatherings with 200 participants were almost 10 times more often than in previous years. Names such as Václav Bruckner, Jaroslav Poul, Petr (Pete) Blahna, Stanislav Lukavský or Petr Mocek were just some of many extraordinary climbers.
After the communist era, climbers started travelling abroad and brought new trends into Adršpach. Together with harder routes there was less opportunities to put natural protection therefore bolts are much closer in lately made routes. Yet there is still very strong community of classical climbers who would make the routes badly protected and would never use chalk.
Along with climbing a new sport evolved based on the need of getting from one tower onto another - jumping. Secured only with rope climbers jumped more and more difficult gaps which resuled in a speciffic grading system. So far the hardest grade jumps are 5. This sport is rather decreasing nowadays though.
With the boom of slacklining and especially highlining, climbers started putting up high lines all over the place. The most famous one was probably between Mayor and his Wife.
Nowadays Adrspach is one of the few places where generations of newcomers meet the legends and even famous mountaineers who still climb here. Adršpach is simply something for every climber.
When coming to Adršpach you should definitely not leave out Teplicke skaly. Unlike many other marginal rocks (cracks) Teplicke skaly started catching attention of climbers from the very beginning. Normally it was only towers to be interesting for climbers. But Teplicke skaly with their huge compact faces up to 70 meters high were exception.
Labak (Elbe sandstone):
History of climbing in Labak started in 1904 by Saxon climbers Edmund Klar, Martin Franke and Karl Wagler. They climbed todays Klarka on the right bank. Left banks needle was climbed first in 1906. Willy Baudisch, Hans Baumgart and Sascha Zieger called it Jeptiska. The first etape of discovering Labak was started. Lasted only until 1925. Climbers managed to climb most of towers than. During the war not much climbing was done. In 1949 climbers club was founded in Decin. This meant new climbers and new interest in Labske piskovce. Many generations climbed Labak and number of routes and difficulty was rising.
The main era of climbing in Labak are eighties and nineties. Which is signiffied by new approach to climbing where mental barrier was pushed away. Names such as Jindrich Hudecek and Weingartl brothers put up legendary routes of difficulty by far exceeding grading of those times where VIIc was the hardest grade. Routes such as The last relikvie (Posledni relikvie), Goodbye waltz (Valcik narozloucenou) are still nowadays some of the hardest.
The Elbe valley was becoming centre of climbing. Todays scene of climbing is divided between classical climbers who still put up routes with very little protection and middle grades and sport climbers such as Jindrich Hudecek, Ondra Benes, Petr Lastovicka and Tomas Sobotka who put up well protected usually difficult routes...
History of climbing in Prachov is connected with students from local gymnazium of town Jicin. Its principal František Lepař (1871-1891) who was an enthusiastic tourist started bringing his students to Prachov with permission of its owner than - the duke Ervin Schlik for walks through the tower city. Those students than founded the first climbing club of prachov in 1907. An important moment of the club was reaching the top of an important local tower of Monk (Mnich).