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Maryland Heights, MD

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ABC Ramps 
Confederate Walls 
Gully, The 
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Sign Wall 
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Train Tunnel Wall 
Union Walls 

Maryland Heights, MD Rock Climbing 


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Location: 39.3246, -77.7255 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 23,021
Administrators: Frances Fierst, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Kelbel on Apr 18, 2007  with updates from Travis.TF and 1 more
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Approach the wall via the railroad tracks that cro...

Description 

Maryland Heights is the tallest rock in central Maryland reaching 200 feet tall and offering much multi pitch trad climbing, some sport lines, and a few aid lines. There is very little top-roping that can be done without leading a climb first. Be sure to check out the Area Divisions Photo

Seasonal Closures
As of March 4, 2016, Sign Wall and points right are closed for Falcons. Confederate Wall is open. Rangers claim Union Wall is also open, but there are signs along the approach trail indicating the trail area is also closed, so while the wall itself may be doable it'll require a different approach, from climber's far left. This closure is now expected yearly and normally ends in August. For further information check with Mid Atlantic Climbers.

Mandatory Sign in
To climb on Maryland Heights it is REQUIRED to sign in at the ranger’s information station it’s easy and doesn’t take long. Not signing in may result in a $150 fee. This is the only cliff in the Harpers Ferry area that one needs to sign in for. The rangers often get reports from non-climbers that someone has climbed up onto the cliff and are in trouble. So by signing in the rangers know who should be on the cliff and who should not be. The rangers ask you to sing out however if it’s after hours 5:00pm and the station is closed there is no need to worry about it. Please do sign out to keep good relations with the park when possible. The ranger’s information station is located in the historical town in WV. The station is the last building on Shenandoah street (south side), near the intersection of High street. see marker 3 on map

Rock quality
The Rock quality varies form excellent solid clean rock to broken and loose blocks with razor sharp edges. Most of the popular routes are fairly clean. The areas to avoid are above the sign particularly the top right section. Also The Union and Confederate Walls and the Gully seldom see climbers and will contain much loose rock, See Area Divisions Photo.

Season
The Climbing Season is early spring to late fall, but seldom in the peak of summer. The rock faces South West so there is morning shade for most of the cliff. However the Train Tunnel wall and Confederate walls face south and will see the sun much earlier. Also the rock is mostly black and soaks up the solar heat making temperatures 10 degrees hotter then forecast. Harpers Ferry is notorious for chiggers in the summer time. So bring bug spray and spray your shoes and socks and don’t sit down.

Getting There 

Parking around Harpers Ferry can be frustrating when arriving after 9:00am on beautiful days. The recommended parking lot is the CSX / Marc lot located off Potomac St in downtown Historical Harpers Ferry, see marker 1 on map. This lot fills up quickly. The Fee is $10 and a year pass can be purchased at the visitor center for $30. From here it is a short walk to sign in at the ranges information station, see marker 3 on map. Head across the train bridge on the pedestrian walk way to the cliff. At the bottom of the stairs for the bridge walk under the railroad and go another 60 feet walk into the dry canal and mantle the wall on the other side from a stack of rocks. Cross Sandy Hook road to access the trails to the cliff. The trails to the climb “Hard up” and all the routes left of the train tunnel is located on the right side of the old white stone building at the base of cliff.

Alternative parking on the Maryland side is the trail head parking for MD heights,see marker 2 on map. Located a half mile north from the cliff on Sandy Hook / Harpers Ferry Rd. However this lot only holds about 8 cars. If you arrive later in the day it’s possible to find a spot here particularly if you wait around for 15 minutes as someone may leave. There is a self pay box located 100 feet up the trail for Maryland Heights.

If everything mentioned above is filled up you will be forced to park at the visitor center and take the bus into town which also means you need to be out before 5:00 to catch the free buss back.

Climbing Season

For the Harper's Ferry area.

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

58 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',31],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',21],['5.7',3],['5.8',12],['5.9',4],['5.10',10],['5.11',3],['5.12',4],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Maryland Heights, MD

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Maryland Heights, MD:
Center Stage and All Alone   A2 PG13     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 80'   Train Tunnel Wall
A-1 Climb   5.1 2 6 II 7 MD 2a PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 190'   ABC Ramps
B Real   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   ABC Ramps
'D' Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches, 225'   Sign Wall
Hard Up Direct   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 170'   Sign Wall
Black Powder   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 180'   Sign Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Maryland Heights, MD

Featured Route For Maryland Heights, MD
Rock Climbing Photo: Hard Up Direct 5.8 Topo

Hard Up Direct 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  MD : Harper's Ferry : ... : Sign Wall
The Classic route at Maryland Heights. It is recommended to link pitch 2 and 3 together. 1. Climb the left facing corner and face up to the white streak at the bottom of the sign. Step left to a set of bolts with chains. This pitch sometimes contains a little vegetation and is roughly 50 feet.2. Diagonal up and left along the steep ramp. Step out left around an overhanging block passing the main rappel chains. Clipping or placing gear near the rappel chains may create rope drag if linking pitc...[more]   Browse More Classics in MD

Photos of Maryland Heights, MD Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing wall.   Photo: Dave Fiorucci
Climbing wall. Photo: Dave Fiorucci
Rock Climbing Photo: Maryland Heights Area divisions
BETA PHOTO: Maryland Heights Area divisions
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott McClurg. The classic Harpers Ferry photo. (R...
Scott McClurg. The classic Harpers Ferry photo. (R...
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Clancy, Rob Savoye (foot), Maryland Heights (...
Paul Clancy, Rob Savoye (foot), Maryland Heights (...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob Savoye lead climbing on Maryland Heights
Rob Savoye lead climbing on Maryland Heights
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob Savoye lead climbing Maryland Heights.
Rob Savoye lead climbing Maryland Heights.
Rock Climbing Photo: The original guide image from Rob Savoye. Taken fr...
BETA PHOTO: The original guide image from Rob Savoye. Taken fr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Yellow Arrows are the main Rappel A single 60m rop...
BETA PHOTO: Yellow Arrows are the main Rappel A single 60m rop...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from Maryland Heights, looking down on Harper...
View from Maryland Heights, looking down on Harper...
Rock Climbing Photo: Marker 1: CSX / Mark Parking Marker 2: Trail Head ...
BETA PHOTO: Marker 1: CSX / Mark Parking Marker 2: Trail Head ...
Rock Climbing Photo: An overview of Maryland Heights. The Sign Wall is ...
BETA PHOTO: An overview of Maryland Heights. The Sign Wall is ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the Potomac river north-west into WV. C...
Looking up the Potomac river north-west into WV. C...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brain Roland, free climbing above anchors bare foo...
Brain Roland, free climbing above anchors bare foo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott McClurg. Recharging in Harpers Ferry after a...
Scott McClurg. Recharging in Harpers Ferry after a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob Savoye and Ed Bollack, on a Sign Route day. (R...
Rob Savoye and Ed Bollack, on a Sign Route day. (R...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Maryland heights, looking down on a popula...
View of Maryland heights, looking down on a popula...

Comments on Maryland Heights, MD Add Comment
Show which comments
By Gabe Cisneros
From: Baltimore, md
Aug 12, 2016
CONDITION REPORT 
Per ranger station downtown: Back in business as of three weeks ago. Sign wall and right are reopened.
By Michael.P
From: Pittsburgh
Mar 16, 2016
Some walls closed temporarily for falcons Mar 1, 2016 according to
midatlanticclimbers.org/news/2...
By Jess...
From: Westminster/ also DC area
Aug 19, 2016
Injured my ankle on Dees revenge this morning and had to leave behind 3 cams and a anchor cord... Would be eternally grateful if someone happens to clean them off the route and return em. Also just a heads up the Marc parking lot is closed, so you have to park by the top lot and take the shuttle.
By Bridget T
4 days ago
Due to climbing activity last year at Maryland Heights Peregrine Falcons' nesting was unsuccessful. These falcons start preparing nesting sites in January, not March. Harpers Ferry National Park will temporary close specific routes in the upcoming nesting season in consideration of the peregrine falcons. Thank you for being considerate and sharing the Maryland Heights wall with these feathered friends!
By Conrad S.
3 days ago
After PM'ing Bridget T we have some more information. She says she works "with" the Audubon Society and they work with the National Park Service. It looks like she is likely a volunteer with good intentions. Look for official announcements from Harpers Ferry National Historic Park on cliff closures via their Current Conditions page nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/con...
By Mark'Indy' Kochte
3 days ago
I, too, am curious as to the data used in the conclusion re: the falcon nesting. I am currently working on a new climbing guide to Maryland and want to have the best data and information possible in it.

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