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Sign Wall

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'D' Route T 
Black Powder T 
Daniel's Variation T 
Great Escape, The T 
Hard Up Direct T 
Hard Way Up, The TR 
Space Walk T 

Sign Wall  

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Location: 39.3247, -77.7258 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Frances Fierst, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Kelbel on Sep 9, 2011


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BETA PHOTO: View from gravel road at the base of the area.


The Sign Wall is one of the more popular areas of Maryland Heights and the home of the classic route “Hard Up”. The unique and fading sign in the center of the wall was painted around 1903-06 and reads “Mennen’s Borate Talcum Toilet Powder”. Click this link for a Historical picture of the sign.

Rock Quality
Most of the rock in this area is excellent however areas to be cautious in are to the right side of the painted sign. Also at the top right side of the sign above the cave / alcove the rock here has razor sharp edges and is broken and loose.

Rappel Location
The Main rappel descends along the left side of the sign as viewed from the town and is setup for 2 rappels with a single 60m rope.

From the top of the cliff there are two main overlook areas the upper one has a park info sign the other is a little lower and on the left when viewing the town. From this overlook locate a 6 foot wide chimney a little lower and around on the left side of the overlook. Scramble down the base of the chimney all the way to the exposed main face and a tree. The rappel bolts are still out of sight until you step down to the base of the tree and look back into the chimney under an overhang on the right side of the chimney wall.

A 60 meter rope is essential for reaching the second rappel. On the first rappel watch where you lay the rope when exiting the chimney there is a spot with a V notch in the crack system that sometimes will snag a rope. There is a large smooth protruding horn near the 2nd tree it is about waist high and makes for an excellent place to lay the rappel line keeping it out of the crack system. Also watch that you don’t rappel off the end of your rope as this long rappel will take you to the end of your rope. Then next rappel will take you to the base of the crag and “Hard Up Direct”

Getting There 

The direction on the main page “Maryland Heights” will get you to the base of the cliff on Sandy hook road. Take the trail on the right side of the white stone building and follow it straight up underneath the sign.

Climbing Season

For the Harper's Ferry area.

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

7 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sign Wall:
'D' Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches, 225'   
Hard Up Direct   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 170'   
Black Powder   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 180'   
Browse More Classics in Sign Wall

Featured Route For Sign Wall
Topo For Daniel's Variation of the Sign Route

Daniel's Variation 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b MD : Harper's Ferry : ... : Sign Wall
A variation of the Sign Route. The first two pitches are the same as for Hard Up.P1: Start in a large corner below the sign and head up to bolt anchors at the base of the sign. P2: Follow the ramp up and left to a pair of easy-to-miss bolts near the bottom of the crack that splits the sign. Belay from here for pitch 3.P3: Climb the right-leaning crack that splits the sign to the broken-out mini-alcove in the middle. from here head straight up over a rugby ball sized bulge (no gear). Once at ...[more]   Browse More Classics in MD

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