Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rocking up the Collis Steilpfad (Steep Path)

Eventful Woman climbing up the Collis Steilpfad (all photos copyright to Eventful Woman 2011)
As you know "walk", "up" and "hill" are not my favoured activities. It's the relentless plodding with no excitement that I don't like. However, throw in a challenge like rock climbing and I'm all for it.

TH suggested I wouldn't be able to clamber up the rock face of Collis Steilpfad to the Collis Tower, which looms 300 metres above Zell an der Mosel. I guess he thought I'd eaten too much of those delectable kuchen (cakes), since we've been here. Of course, we had a bet (a choice cake) just to make it extra interesting.

If the kuchen of my choice wasn't enough inspiration, the warning sign on the way up gave me an extra thrill. It had a number of stern warnings for the faint-hearted in several languages:
  • Walk at your own risk
  • Only for experienced hikers
  • Freedom from vertigo is essential
  • Sure footedness is essential
It didn't mention there was no safety rope. Still, with TH below me taking photos, at least he'd break my fall and also make a soft landing pad.

I admit there was more than a bit of huffing and puffing and I had to raid the nearby vineyard for some nutritious grapes to keep me going.

But I did it. The views were magnficent both up and down The Mosel. We completely dwarfed the Round Tower that we had conquered on an earlier climb.
View of the Round Tower and Zell

We noticed several padlocks clipped onto the viewing tower at the top.  Each of these had two names (a bride and a groom) etched on their surface.  This is a modern day tradition for hiking couples. They lock the padlock shut on one of the tower's rail as a sign that their love is sure and made in heaven. Then, they throw away the key so the padlock can't easily be opened - "let no man put asunder" and all that.

There wasn't time to suggest this romantic concept to TH for ourselves.  I was too busy making my way down so I could get that divine cake I had been promised.

Looking downstream towards Alf from the viewing tower
View of the Round Tower and Zell
Click here for more information about the Round Tower.

Directions to get to Collis Steilpfad (about 10 - 15 minutes walk uphill to get to the path): Start at Zell's Black Cat (Zeller Schwarze Katz) fountain, walk up Marktstrasse and then turn right onto Cuxbornstrasse. Continue left up Zeller Kehr, passing the Square Tower on your right hand side. At the top of Zeller Kehr, turn left onto Kabertchenweg for around 50 metres.  Look for the warning sign (about needing to be sure-footed and free from vertigo) on the right hand side. That is the start of the path up to the Collis Steilpfad.  Depending on your fitness levels, the walk/climb from there up to the Collis Tower will take between 25 - 45 minutes.

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