Necedah (Petenwell Rock) Rock Climbing
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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 to climbing), 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. There is nearby camping at Buckhorn State Park, Petenwell County Park, Adams County Castle Rock Park, and seasonal camping at Roche-a-Cri State Park (no climbing). These last two also give you quick access to the Quincy Bluff/Rattlesnake Mound and Hillbilly Hollow areas.
From the town of Necedah, drive east about three miles on Highway 21. You'll see the sandstone towers right in front of you. Take a right onto the road that parallels the cliff (19th Avenue), 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 at the south end is at coordinates: 44.042510,-90.020508
There is also parking at the north end of the bluff, on a spur road beside Highway 21. Walk south into the woods until you find an old logging road angling back north - please don't scramble straight up. This takes you right to the base of Anthrax, and gives you good access to everything from Riverboat north.
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