Back from a weekend in Berdorf, and this time we got checked.

Berdorf is getting more and more popular, for fairly obvious reasons - it's a beautiful location, it's quiet, and it has excellent, well-bolted routes. The crag is situated in a nature reserve, and the Luxembourg environment ministry try to manage it through a permit system. There is no automatic right for anyone to climb there - you must have a permit. These are very easy to obtain, and you can apply for a permit for specific weekends, or for the whole year.

However, Berdorf is now getting too crowded, and it's starting to get out of control. Too many people are turning up - sometimes there can be as many as 150 people trying to climb - and many of these people don't have permits.

The ministry has now started regular permit checks, and it looks like they'll continue to do this throughout the year. We had three people on a rope, and they checked all three of us. The neighbouring group didn't have any permits, and they were all asked to leave the crag. The policy at the moment is that people without permits just have to leave, but they'll probably start fining people soon. I couldn't find out how much the fines would be.

The ministry is still happy for people to climb there, but there's a real management problem at the moment, and unless they can find a solution there's always a risk that the area could be closed down. They're looking at alternative management systems that might start next year, eg, quarterly permits, e-permits, etc.

Climbing in Berdorf is a privilege, and not a right. So please, if you want to climb in Berdorf, ensure that you apply for a permit.

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