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Jura has always been popular among rock climbers as well as among mountaineers who treated it as a great training spot before expeditions.



In the interwar period on the rocks in the valleys near Krakow teams climbed the ropes and bundles burdened with steel hooks and carabiners (then sticks a here while climbing hooks, as in the Tatras). These people painstakingly " climbed " the most difficult walls , snarling and screaming,  local people don’t understands their motivation so they called them " penitents ", assuming that the drifting damned tired so celebrated in the form of penance for grievous sins mortal .

The name "penitents" adopted among climbers and began to live your life . Cult title of the book "The chimney penitents " wrote by Jan Dlugosz greatest Polish mountaineer 50s and '60s, refers to the etymology of this name.


It is worth noticing that thousands of rocks that can be found in Jura differ as to their shape and origin:


In the southern Jura erosion created mostly deep ravines and gorges. When walking along a stream at the bottom of those valleys, we are surrounded by steep walls many metres high that are a clear invitation for climbers.

Northern Jura, on the other hand, is where the harder limestone remained on the hills, in form of walls, towers or monadnocks of incredible shapes. The only problem is that in the 60s there was a campaign to afforest the rocks and because of it today many rocks valuable for sport climbing, are covered with bushes and trees.

However, thanks to campaigns run by climbing lovers, many rocks have been recently deforested.


Because of landform features, the rocks of Jura are often grouped in ranges.

Some examples of those in central Jura are:

- Gora Zborow mountain in Podlesicie (which is an Inanimate Nature Reserve)

- Koloczek range in Podlesice

- Ruskie Skaly on Apteka mountain in Podlesice

- Biblioteka rocks in Podlesice

- Turnia Motocyklistów in Podlesice

- Mirowskie Skaly – a range that stretches between Mirow and Bobolice

- rocks in Lutowiec

- Skalki Rzedkowickie in Rzedkowice

- Okiennik Wielki in Skarzyce/Piaseczno

- Suchy Poleć in Ogrodzieniec/Podzamcze

- Skaly Wzgorza Zamkowego in Ogrodzieniec/Podzamcze


Luckily, the times when it was difficult to get a map or any materials about the region are gone. Today, there are many publications on the topic and the internet resources offer incredible amounts of information.


However, before you go climbing, it is a good idea to attend a practical training in one of the many local climbing schools. Remember, that not the person who climbed the most difficult route is the winner, but the one who came back home safely...


And I wish that to all of you.


Piotr van der Coghen