Easygoing, airy line at Suché skály full of positive holds. There might be only one ringbolt in the main wall but plenty of placements for your knots and slings. Why won’t you treat yourself to a nice, easygoing route, once in a while? Video from the Czech Paradise.

| APRIL 2023


“After you pass the last ringbolt, you have three lines to choose from according to your skill. If you feel confident, you can just go ahead and follow the straight line up – the holds are easily spotted since they’ve darkened with all the sweat. So you can easily see where you can and cannot hold. (VIIb) If you feel a bit weaker, you can climb it from the right using the big hole where the holds are completely black, because that’s the most popular option. (V) And the third option is to turn left over the edge, where you completely avoid the overhang and go through the slab spotted with holds… (VII),“ Franta Čepelka describes his favourite route on Suché Skály, which he climbed last year together with his friend Aleš Sedlák.

Franta Čepelka chose the most difficult option during the filming of our Story of a Route, the middle option straight through the overhang… The sun was beating down mercilessly that day and for a while it looked like he was going to take a proper whipper. „I was twitching because my hands were sweating like a pig. But fortunately, I remembered the saying: ‚If you can’t hold on, use your feet.‘ I found the footholds, got up, and reached to the safe territory. About 10 % of my mind thought about falling. But I didn’t feel like whipping it, so I climbed on,“ he laughs.

Take a look at our new episode from Bohemian Paradise and read a few lines about Slavoš Jiřena, who is responsible for this amazing grade-seven line… You can only clip into a single ringbolt in the main wall, but the whole route can be easily protected with slings.


– Climbing and talking Franta Čepelka –


Not only „Fotogenická / Photogenic“ route, but also the quite-climbable „Poslední přelíčení / Last Trial“ VIIIa (1969) are well known lines at Suché Skály (also dubbed Sušky among local climber). Slavoš Jiřena did the first ascent of “the Trial” when he was just over twenty years old – he was born in 1948 and died in 2005. Apart from Sušky, he liked to go to Skalák, Zbiroh or Rathen in Saxony, which with its softer rock reminded him of his loved bohemian sandstone.

Among his hundred or so first ascents you can also find a lot of grade-threes, fours… Jumps, lean-overs, chimneys… But we all know what’s up with the whole Czech sandstone grading system, especially at Zbiroh… A good example of the rather suspiciously low grade for the actual difficulty is his „Zbirožská“ VIIb on Vyšehrad. (The routes dates back to 1967, originally including the infamous sandstone tactics of “building”, where climbers have to crawl and stand on each other. The first free climb was made by Pepis Koudelka in 1984) The „Valley Route“ VIIa to Dárek from 1969 is just another example of an undergraded line. „These are all grade-sevens, and they feel quite unprotected since a good placement for a monkey fist knot was always taken as a full ringbolt. I get the impression that nobody has climbed them much until now because they can be quite sketchy. If you want to climb lines like that you have to be high on adrenaline or fearless. They tried to be economical with the ringbolts, to say the least,“ Kuba Jiřena recalls his father’s work.

What else have we found out about Slavoš? He was trained as a glassmaker in South Bohemia and has been in trade almost all his life. Two years before the revolution he got to the cooperative in Úlibice near Jičín. Climbers used to work for the company repairing and checking lightning rods on the prefabricated blocks of flats. He stay in the job until 1995, when he returned to the factory and remained there until his retirement.

However, he was not bored in retirement and lived it a little differently than most of his peers. He met a local Romani girl from Železený Brod, perhaps 20 years younger than he was, and he even married her in the end. When the guys laughed at him, he told then she was a ‚Brazilian student‘, which soon became a catch-phrase,” laughs Kuba.


I first climbed „Fotogenická / Photogenic“ during one my first
visits to Suché Skály, where I followed the author of this article on the rope. I really liked it, I thought, I might even lead it one day. Since then I passed by several times, but there was always some excuse – birds nesting, too hot, weaker companion, the route was busy… It wasn’t until last summer, ten years later, that it worked out and I finally managed to lead the route for my two grateful friends. (laughs) I combined it with „Malá Plotna“, which seems like a nice and logical combination. The arete itself is beautifully exposed, full of good holds, solid sling placements, but don’t place too many, that could get you pumped…



Standa Mitáč

Editor in chief

“Climbing is not about the grades and life is not about the money.” He loves to write about inspiring people. Addicted to situations when he does not care about date and time – in the mountains or home Elbe Sandstones. Not being treated.

Jakub Freiwald


Professional video editor, cameraman and occasional photographer. He was shooting in China, Argentina, Indonesia or India. His next destination is New Zealand. Motto: „When there is a will, there’s a way.“

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