Only 10 minutes outside of the beltway, with great routes Ilchester is the center of the universe for Baltimore climbers.
There are a few leads, but most climbs are set up via the concrete infused pole on top of the cliff. While exceedingly strong this can get crowded on busy days so some long static rope or webbing is a good idea just in case. Even if you use the pole you need twenty feet or so to put the TR over the edge.
The rock is generally sharp, and the well-used holds can be slippery, but often intricate sequences make for great climbing.
This is a well used/abused urban crag both by climbers as well as the community so every attempt should be made to keep relations with rangers and locals friendly.
Take exit 13 off of 695 for Frederick Road on the southwest side of Baltimore. Go west for 2 miles or so through the town of Catonsville. Just after the light for North Rolling Road (By the Candlight Inn) the next left will put you on Hilltop. Take this through the neighborhood (watch out for new traffic calming installations as well as cops) After a half-mile the road enters the park, park at the lot just as the road takes a sharp right.
Take the trail 1/4 mile to the top of the cliff, staying right at the fork. The trail leads to the top of the cliff. Currently the last bit of trail to the top has become extremely eroded and is even starting to effect the TR anchor. It is highly suggested to go around (it takes 10 seconds longer) to preserve both the trail and anchor.
The classic route at Ilchester and maybe in all of Maryland. Packs three cruxes in 30 feet of climbing.A burly first move over the roof to a decent rest jug, tricky jams lead to a stance under the rood and the final "Blue Rose" move over the hang to finish. When you finish look at the large welt on the back of your right hand to find the Rose.A proud on-site for any Baltimore climber. This climb has been led, free-soloed, done blindfolded, aided, and probably climbed more than the all the...[more]Browse More Classics in MD