Elevation: 1,062 ft
GPS: 44.045, -90.02 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 147,988 total · 844/month
Shared By: chris tregge on Oct 26, 2004 with updates from Matt M
Admins: Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, chris tregge

Description

Perhaps the best sport climbing area in Wisconsin now that Gibraltar is closed, Necedah has been drawing Wisconsin's finest for decades. Comprised of solid, colorful sandstone, these walls offer interesting climbing on clean, steep rock. Upon arriving at the cliff, THE wall invariably grabs the climber's attention. Fifty feet tall and steadily overhanging, this wall holds some of the best climbing in the Midwest.

Y-Crack (also called Wide Crack) splits the wall, with technical and pumpy jamming on its left variation (5.10d/11a) and technical crimping with thin gear on its right (5.11c). Many difficult sport climbs broach the wall's flanks and feature technical climbing with no rests. Wisconsin's premier sport route, "Whiskey a Go Go" (5.13a) can be found here.

Spires are situated around the wall like moons around a planet, and a mega classic 5.9/10a climbs up the center of the largest spire. On a clear day Roch a Cri, Wisconsin's largest cliff (now closed), can be spotted from the top of the spire. Further down Necedah's backbone of rock, the adventurous climber can find many exciting trad routes and some hidden sport gems.

If you visit Necedah, please keep a low profile. Climbers have been here for many years and Necedah has remained a peaceful place to escape the Devil's Lake throngs. PLEASE KEEP IT THAT WAY.

Dont even THINK about camping there; we don't need to get this place closed.

Getting There

From the town of Necedah, drive east about three miles on Highway 21. You will see the sandstone towers right in front of you. Take a right onto the road that parallels the cliff (19th street) and park in a pull-out on your left a half mile down. A short hike through the woods straight back and then uphill to the left will take you to Y-Crack, the southern most formation.

Parking is at coordinates: 44.042510, -90.020508

82 Total Climbs

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Location: Necedah (Petenwell Bluff) Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Necedah (Petenwell Bluff)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 41
Phallus in Wonderland
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 199
Air
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 42
Pigeon Crack
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 51
Chucklehead Crack (aka Spike's C…
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 46
Glass Balls
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 50
Hydroponics
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 111
Tower Route
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 65
Mercy F**k
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 45
Fire in the Sky
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 30
Riverboat Gambler
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 66
Y-Crack (aka Old and in the Way)
Trad, TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 54
Dakota Farms Cheese
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 65
Early Times
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 29
Straight No Chaser
Trad, TR
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 44
Whiskey a Go-Go
Sport, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Phallus in Wonderland Air Spire
 41
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Air Air Spire
 199
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Pigeon Crack Y-Crack Wall
 42
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Chucklehead Crack (aka Spik… Air Spire
 51
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Glass Balls Hell Wall (aka Quarry…
 46
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Hydroponics Coyote Tower
 50
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Tower Route Y-Crack Wall
 111
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Mercy F**k Hell Wall (aka Quarry…
 65
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Fire in the Sky Fire Spire
 45
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Riverboat Gambler Above Anthrax
 30
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Y-Crack (aka Old and in the… Y-Crack Wall
 66
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, TR
Dakota Farms Cheese Y-Crack Wall
 54
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Early Times Y-Crack Wall
 65
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Straight No Chaser Y-Crack Wall
 29
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, TR
Whiskey a Go-Go Y-Crack Wall
 44
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport, TR
More Classic Climbs in Necedah (Petenwell Bluff) »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
this is a great crag for those who have done most dl climbs or not.there is a great dining /drinking facility at the base(is it still open?)an important feature.the rock is generally goodand has more friction than dl(anything has more friction than dl except maybe polished limestone in blighty (u.k.) the gear is okay especially since they added bolts to alot of the trad climbs we did years ago.Old AND IN THE WAY 5.10d aka y-crack is not to be missed as it offers some kick ass crack climbing.STRAIGHT NO CHASER,WHISKEY A-GO-GO will also kick ass of a different sort. to the right of y-crak wall is a small tower with a steep wall which we did on trad gear(5.10+?),this tower has some other easier climbs as well.on the opposite end the last tower to the north had a left? curving crack,short but hard,cant remember what we named it.there seemed to be some short hard thin cracks to the left of y-crack wall as well.all in all necedah is a quiet place to pull down please help keep it that way.peace and fuk-nes. Mar 31, 2005
ZoeyG
Brattleboro, VT
ZoeyG   Brattleboro, VT
There are some bouldering opportunities in the area. Might not be enough to fill in a full day, but will add to the fun having a pad and being creative with the rock. May 27, 2013
Laura Adrian
Saint Paul, MN
Laura Adrian   Saint Paul, MN
Are any of the climbing areas at Necedah in the shade? Aug 26, 2013
chris tregge
Beersconsin
chris tregge   Beersconsin  
In general the climbs are on the east or west side. So, start on the west side then after midday, move to the east side. Aug 27, 2013
jon jugenheimer
Madison, WI
jon jugenheimer   Madison, WI  
Petenwell Rock
From the Juneau County attractions Page, a bit of history for us.
The largest scenic rock formation in northern Juneau County, Petenwell Rock is named for a star-crossed lover, who legend has it, leaped to his death from this spot with the local Indian Chief's daughter, Clinging Vine. It is said that the Indian gods returned Clinging Vine to the rock where she stands today, faithful to the memory of her lover, Peter Wells, surrounded by magnificent bald eagles that nest and soar over their special place. The eagles are particularly evident here in winter when they fish the bountiful open water below the dam. Mar 5, 2017
Hey yall! I was wondering if anyone has any beta on top roping. Are there any easy places to scramble up and place a top rope? Cheers! Apr 26, 2017
Paul Campbell
Waukesha, WI
Paul Campbell   Waukesha, WI
Alex it is possible to top-rope sections of the crag. The main wall that contains Y-Crack and quite a few other routes has a (slightly sketchy) 4th class access route to the top. However, the majority of the crag is free standing towers and fins of rock that you will not be able to top-rope.

Apr 27, 2017
Greg Kosinski
Minneapolis, MN
Greg Kosinski   Minneapolis, MN
Are any of the walls here especially sunny, and does anyone know if the sun is able to get through the trees at the moment without any leaves on them? Mar 11, 2019
Remo
Madison, WI
Remo   Madison, WI
Hey Greg, a lot of the sunnier sides face west. The Hell Wall and Y-Crack Wall being some of the sunniest. I hope this helps! Mar 11, 2019