Pulling Hard in the Polish Jura – By Pawel Wrona
The little sister to the better-known Frankenjura over in Germany, the Polish Jura, near Krakow, Poland, is one of the best kept secrets of powerful limestone sport climbing in Europe.
Photos and captions by Pawel Wrona, CCD Fotografia.
The Polish Jura is located in the South of Poland, up on the hills between medieval castles, their ruins, clean forests and fields. For Poles it’s a cradle of rock climbing and other mountain activities. It is in these peaks that Polish mountaineers trained and continue to train for gruelling first winter ascents in the Himalayas.
The Polish Jura sits near Krakow and boasts thousands upon thousands of routes.
Limestone, small crimps, one finger pockets and powerful moves, on sustained routes up to 25 meters in length; the Polish Jura crags have character and fierceness.
The hardest climb in the area is Stal Mielec, a 9a+ (5.15a) opened by Piotr Schab in 2016. There are several other 9a (5.14d) routes, but they are considered quite tricky in comparison to climbs of the same grade in Western Europe. One of them, Made in Poland, sent by Łukasz Dudek in 2010, was repeated by Adam Ondra as his 100th 9a.
Before traveling to the Polish Jura it’s strongly recommended to check the weather, as the region suffers from the same capricious rains as the neighboring Frankenjura.