Doing a Klettersteig or Ferrata might not be something everyone enjoys. People with a fear of heights probably won’t have a lot of fun doing one, while they are pulling themselves up the face of a mountain while holding on to a cable. About 1.5 years ago I made my first Ferrata in the Italian Dolomites. Although it was quite a bit harder than I thought it would be, because of the snow still present on the biggest part of the track, I enjoyed it and knew I wanted to give it a second try. However this time, at my own pace. When we found out that there’s a Ferrata within 3 hours driving from where we live, I knew it would be fun to go and try that out!
The Calmont Klettersteig / Ferrata is located in the German Mosel region and has a length of approximately 3 kilometers. While doing some research, we found out that, other than a pair of sturdy hiking shoes, you don’t need any special gear when doing this Ferrata, not even a helmet, which makes it easily accessible for anyone, whether you are traveling with kids or friends.
The Calmont is known as the steepest vineyard in Europe. When we spoke to some of the winemakers, they actually told us it’s not proven there’s a steeper one anywhere else in the world as of yet, so according to them, it’s even the steepest in the world. How steep is what we would experience during our Ferrata tour at Calmont Klettersteig.
About the Calmont Klettersteig
We park our car in the town of Ediger Eller and from here take a walk up to the start of the trek. It’s a gloomy Friday in October and the fall colors appear more intense than what we’re seeing at home, nature is a couple of weeks ahead of us here. Each shade of orange and yellow you can think of, is present in the landscape. Upon arrival at the Calmont Klettersteig trailhead is a warning signpost. “Only for hikers with ‘schwindelfreiheit and trittsicherheit’.” Ik had a short déjà vu back to a trek from hell I once did in the Austrian Alps and am starting to wonder what I got myself into. It would be my first physical challenge after my physiotherapist gave me the OK to get excercising again after recovering from an injured ankle. Maybe doing a Ferrata was a bit too much?
The first couple hundred yards take us over a pretty steep track uphill and soon after, we reach the first ladders and ‘drachseilen’, some kind of iron pins that are plugged into the rock and can be used to step on with your foot. Without too much trouble we get through it and we are hiking right through the vineyards. The sun has started shining and makes it pretty hut. The harvesting has been done and most grapevines are already empty. The danger of the Ferrata is not actually the steep passages but moreover the steep tracks that are still muddy from last night’s rain, making me slip down the hill every now and then.
Conclusion about the Calmont Klettersteig
Eventually it took us about two hours to finish the Calmont Ferrata, including taking picutres. For true mountaineers it won’t be much of a challenge however it’s a nice adventure whether you are with friends, your kids or your partner. If you want to try out whether doing a Ferrata is your thing, without immediately signing up for a one-week trek in the Alps, I would definitely recommend you trying this out. It’s not a technical one, yet it still gives you an idea what it’s like to depend on nothing but iron steps and cables. How comfortable are you when you are balancing on a iron cable with nothing below you but a few rocks? How stable are you on your feet when making a steep descent? I have to admit that I asked for helping hand once or twice, also because I usually walk with poles (so uncool) when in the mountains. When not having them on an almost vertical descent, it does feel kind of weird, especially when you rely on them for stability.
About the Calmon Höhenweg
From the end of the Calmont Klettersteig you can walk back to Ediger Eller along the riverbanks but this also means walking next to the main road. A better alternative is to continue walking to the Gipfel for a view on the most famous part of the Mosel region. The view that you have from up here, is pictured in every brochure or website about the region as it’s the place where the Mosel makes its narrowest turn. But, you will have to work for it. The hike up is nearly vertical (I’m glad we didn’t have to go down there, I saw people coming down shuffling and walking hand in hand) and I was glad that I didn’t have my pack. Along the way we actually saw quite a few nice viewpoints, even better than at the top, if you ask me…
Drinking the Moselle wine
At the end of the afternoon we are meeting Herr Berg in the small town of Bremm. We have no idea who he is, until he reveals he is actually the former major of the town. He takes us to his vineyard with the small Doppelmayer cable car that takes us up for a ride through the steep vineyard. The cart can carry about 350 kilos and within 10 minutes, we are where we were earlier that day, but without having to do any effort.
He tells us he bought this vineyard with 3 of his friends and that it’s purely hobby for them. Once they started with half a hectare but nowadays they have 10. It’s sort of a hobby that got out of hand I conclude, kind of like our blog. When I tell him that, he has to smile, while he opens up a bottle of wine. He keeps on talking and filling up our glasses. Herr Berg and I finish the bottle with the two of us. He tells us about the history of the area, the winemaking and how this vineyard produces 3.000 bottles of wine each year.
Doing a quick calculation, I tell him that when there are four of them and they all drink a bottle each day, there’s not much left for sale. However, he tell me he doesn’t drink more than one bottle a week, so no more than 50 a year. The rest is given to family and friends, as well as to us! At the end of the tour, he tells us to wait for him while he goes and picks up a bottle for us. It’s a special one, so we’ll keep it with the rest of our wines and only drink it for a special occasion…
Looking for a nice place to stay? We stayed at Hotel St. Georg, a nice and traditional hotel in Ediger-Eller.
Conclusion and disclaimer
Hopefully you’ll find this article about the Calmont Klettersteig useful. Let us know if you have any questions. We were invited on this trip by Moselle Tourism. All opinions are of course entirely our own. Note that this blog has affiliate links. In case you make a reservation through any of those links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!
This article was first published in 2016 and updated in 2020.