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Areas in Hillbilly Hollow

Hillbilly Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 21 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21
Hillbilly Routes 15 / 11 / 23 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 31
Elevation: 956 ft
GPS: 43.977, -89.501 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 45,010 total, 330/month
Shared By: James Schroeder on Sep 22, 2006 with updates
Admins: Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE
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Description

Hillbilly Hollow is a nice little sandstone bluff hidden behind a wayside along highway 39/51 in central Wisconsin. It has also gone by the following names Pasamead (Psamead?) Hollow, Area 51 and Liberty Rocks. It is a quiet getaway sporting about a day's worth of climbing.

At "The Hollow" one will find both traditional and sport routes ranging in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.13a. Two ultra-classic routes, Zig-zag Crack (5.10a Trad/TR) and Swiss Cheese (5.8 Sport/TR) make Hillbilly Hollow worth a stop if you are in the area.

Please be quiet and respectful when climbing here.

Getting There

To find the wayside (Rest Area 81) start out southbound on Highway 39/51 from the Highway 21 interchange or further north. (Note: if approaching from the south one has to drive 5 min. past the wayside exit at Highway 21 and return southbound.) The wayside is located at about mile marker 120 (approx. 7 miles north of Westfield exit 113).

Once in the wayside locate the shelter/bathrooms. Walk around the shelter on the left (east) side and locate a trail into the woods approx. 50 ft southeast of the shelter. Follow this trail through the woods, and slightly uphill. Upon reaching the shoulder of the ridgeline (this will all be apparent at the time), continue left to follow the trail into the canyon and the base of the climbs - or go right to access the top of the routes.

52 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Hillbilly Hollow

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3 6A
Moonshine
Boulder
V4 6B
Sex Muscle
Boulder
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
5.6 dihedral
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Left Side Dihedral (aka Corner Crack)
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Penitent Crack
Trad, TR
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
End of the Innocence
Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Curse of the Drill
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Swiss Cheese
Sport, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pine Tree Crack
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
PWB Arete
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Sunset Ascent
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Zig-zag crack
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Sex Weed
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Manic Depression
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Generation Gap
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Moonshine Hillbilly Bouldering V3 6A Boulder
Sex Muscle Hillbilly Bouldering V4 6B Boulder
5.6 dihedral Hillbilly Routes 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Left Side Dihedral (aka Cor… Hillbilly Routes 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Penitent Crack Hillbilly Routes 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
End of the Innocence Hillbilly Routes 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Curse of the Drill Hillbilly Routes 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Swiss Cheese Hillbilly Routes 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
Pine Tree Crack Hillbilly Routes 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
PWB Arete Hillbilly Routes 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Sunset Ascent Hillbilly Routes 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Zig-zag crack Hillbilly Routes 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Sex Weed Hillbilly Routes 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Manic Depression Hillbilly Routes 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Generation Gap Hillbilly Routes 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Hillbilly Hollow »

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Jonas Cole
Portland, OR
Jonas Cole   Portland, OR
Hey Hillbillys,

My girlfriend and I stopped at the Hollow earlier this week for a climbing break during a cross country drive and were pleasantly surprised. We got on End of Innocence, Swiss Cheese (I approve of the first bolt), and PWB ArĂȘte, which was one of the cleanest, most fun 5.9s I have lead. Other than a little bit of crag trash that we packed out, we found this spot to be quite a gem. Thanks to all who have put time and energy into bolting these routes!

Jonas Jun 11, 2016
Hey All,
Im a relatively new climber, going about 5 months now. How are the routes in this area? I haven't been leading that long so easy to moderate routes(my max lead is about a 5.8) with very good protection is what I am looking for, nothing that is super runout. Let me know any recommendations/tips around this area or any other climbing tips in general. Thanks! May 27, 2016
Cals Chers
Albuquerque, NM
Cals Chers   Albuquerque, NM
Yep, I submitted changes to Google Maps. The real Rest Area 82 is labeled 'Wisdot Rest Area 82' and is hard to find (small text under the search box says 'Showing results for Wsdot Rest Area 82. Search instead for Wisdot Rest Area 82.' and you have to click on the link for 'Wisdot Rest Area 82') May 18, 2016
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
On Google maps this is mistakenly marked as "Rest Area 82" (which is further south, on northbound I-39). It also appears this is part of the Ice Age Trail corridor? May 18, 2016
I did Booze Pigs about 3/4 years ago and thought it was great route that could use some retro bolting and an additional couple bolts in the top section. This is a good climb but almost unleadable at the moment. Mar 23, 2015
Chris Hinshaw
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Chris Hinshaw   Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Recovered a quickdraw on Sunset Ascent, 3rd bolt up. If it is yours, contact me with a description and I'll get it back to you. Sep 9, 2014
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
Josh,

I don't think a Hillbilly kegger is a good idea - way too high-profile of an event at a place that should be low-profile.

I'm also not sure the place needs convenience anchors at the top of every single line. The sport routes makes sense to me, and those that overlap with sport routes.

I do like some of the ideas for new lines though. Sep 7, 2014
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
I'd say sex weed is good enough for a convenience anchor, but it isn't really my call. I seem to remember the anchor being a bit weird, but it has been a while.

I heard the dead tree atop the 5.6 dihedral fell out? Probably makes that anchor a bit harder to establish.

The arete between the 5.6 and 5.7 dihedral goes, I think. Haven't sent yet, but some of you guys might be a bit stronger, looked like a good addition. Especially if the hard routes are getting some love, it'd definitely be worth looking at.

On the backside of the PWB arete block has a finger crack that goes up to a bulge, looks leadable until the bulge. One bolt and an anchor would probably put that route up. It is steep though, probably upper .12. Again, I need to get back on it to see if it'll turn into anything, but I'm maybe getting .11 with some dedication, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to get done.

Does anybody know where barnyard actually goes? Seems like another 5.8+ could be a decent addition, but I've never really played on it. So as far as quality and all that, I'm no help.

Didn't somebody pull an anchor and take a grounder from the .7 dihedral? I don't think an anchor there is necessary myself, but it's worth talking about. Should the community step up and put convenience anchors on top of the beginner trad routes to make sure we don't get that kind of publicity with the EMS/rangers/townships? That would mean Penitent/Two Hands of Prayer should be considered, but walking back with some webbing for those two specifically is pretty convenient already.

I am planning on getting out next week sometime, but planning my wedding is taking priority. I'll take a look at the old projects I had, and see what is worth bolting and what other work should get done. I know the trail has a lot of down trees and some pretty bad braiding, but I don't know if that's worth addressing or not.
I probably won't be able to help bolt, but I'm definitely down to help cover some of the costs.

I've also thought about bringing a keg to the Hollow, charging a fee per cup, and having a fall bash there. Kind of the end of the season shindig to complement Mike's Party, but the camping situation is definitely a bit harder to manage. What do you folks think? Sep 6, 2014
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
I'd be happy to lend my drill to a "Hillbilly Hollow Retro/Re-Bolt Session" - I think while the leaves are still up is good, because they will drown out the noise and we don't need to call any unnecessary attention to ourselves.

My five-minute brainstorm of potential projects:
  • Finish Swiss Cheese/Generation Gap Anchor Improvement (Just needs new chains and quick-links, and the old bolt pulled and patched)
  • Add an anchor to and Retro Turkish Revenge
  • Add an anchor to and Retro Booze Pigs
  • Replace Pagan Rituals
  • Add an anchor at the top of Pagan and Zig-zag
  • Add an anchor above Pine Tree Crack and Sunset Ascent
  • High School Romancer

Additions? Deletions? General Anger? Hardware Preferences? Donations? Volunteers?

If the community decides to go ahead with the "retroing" we should get a group of different-sized climbers out there, and do a solid job of planning bolt positions and clipping stances so that we make a positive contribution by doing so. Sep 5, 2014
Dave Meyer
Ojai
Dave Meyer   Ojai
I was TRing Booze Pigs not too long ago and definitely noticed that it and Turkish Revenge would benefit from retrobolting. With hard climbing on sketchy bolts and big runouts I'm not too eager to try to lead either. Sep 27, 2013
Dobbe  
I did booze big maybe 7-10 years ago. It could use some bolts up top from what I remember. I don't remember Turkish Revenge needing any bolts but that might be because the start is super hard and I don't think we got far. Sep 25, 2013
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
Sorry, I meant has anyone done Booze Pigs or Turkish Revenge in the past 10 years? Sep 25, 2013
Langlois
NYC
Langlois   NYC
Nope! I definitely jumped the gun on the new route (sorry) as I thought it could be led. Appears to be a nice new addition. However, I do still feel that community consensus is always a good policy especially when access can be an issue (not saying it is here). As for swiss, it's hard to argue against safety. I am still not sure another bolt was needed but if people are for it and it encourages more people to get on it then it will be a nice addition. Sep 25, 2013
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
Has anyone in the last 10 years done either of the routes mentioned? Sep 25, 2013
Remo
Madison, WI
Remo   Madison, WI
Hey Mike, I've had many discussions with Dave Groth about retro-bolting some of those routes and he is all for it. Sep 25, 2013
Mr. Mix
Sauk City, WI
Mr. Mix   Sauk City, WI
Since new bolts are being added and the community requests discussion before action...what are thoughts on a couple extra bolts on Turkish Revenge and Booze Pigs? Sep 24, 2013
Mike Minehart
Waupaca, WI
Mike Minehart   Waupaca, WI
Thank you all for your comments both on the new route left of Pine Tree Crack... now named "Sunset Ascent" and on the Swiss Cheese added bolt. Would like more feedback on rating the new route. As for the "bolting controversy" on Swiss Cheese, I agree with the suggestion that I could have asked for comments on here first. The first ascent owner is not listed here for consultation, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have found him/her with a little research. I apologize for the urgency I displayed. On the route description it is essentially described as a stick clip start. I never understood the rationale for designing a route in such a way when bolts are cheap and the standard here is generally pretty safe. When climbing there I have heard nothing but criticisms of this start, which is why I placed it, but nonetheless, I could have sought comments first. For those of you with jobs, children, responsibilities for others, and otherwise small huevos, enjoy the new bolt (I do NOT exclude myself from this group). Sep 24, 2013
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
The new bolt of swiss cheese is fine. No biggy. Plus the new route is really good. Nice work. Sep 23, 2013
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
Mike,

On yet further review (in person this time)-- I think the new route is good, and the bolts are legit, so I apologize about bagging on you for it. I also clipped the new bolt on Swiss Cheese, and don't think it was needed, but I'd be strongly against anyone chopping it because I think no good can come from starting that trend either.

I'd call your new route 10a, it definitely felt harder than PWB. Totally different climbing than PWB too, steeper and more slopey. I liked it, thanks for putting it up. Give it a name and post it up. I finished it up to the chains at the top of the face, a .5 or .75 Camalot would protect the run-out real well if one were so inclined.

Cheers,
James Sep 22, 2013
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
Another bolt on Swiss Cheese? That route stood the way it was for over 15 years. I'm not a fan of adding bolts to existing climbs (or subtracting bolts from climbs, for that matter) without the blessing of the FAist, or without the consensus of the local community. I'd be concerned that this recent situation on Swiss Cheese might begin a dangerous precedent of subsequent climbers altering routes to their liking. Sep 21, 2013
jon jugenheimer
Madison, WI
jon jugenheimer   Madison, WI  
1. I cliped the new first bolt on Swiss cheese today. Guess now I just don't need to find a stick on the ground. I am fine with the addition of the bolt. It makes for less of a run out to the old first bolt without the need to stick clip. Thanks for your 12 bucks or whatever a bolt costs to save me 3 minutes.

2. Climbed the new bolted route on TR. Thought it was in the 10's. Harder than the climb on the left side of that same wall. Yes, there is gear to be found by the first two bolts, but not the top two bolts to get to the tree anchor. I personally am not much of a fan of mixed routes. Either bolts or gear, no need for both on a 30' route. With a little more scrubbing, a fun route.

3. I believe that there is room for more routes at this crag. Sep 11, 2013
Langlois
NYC
Langlois   NYC
I also wish you would have started a conversation here before taking this irreversible action. My guess is community consensus would have been overwhelmingly against the alteration of either of these climbs. In my opinion Swiss Cheese was a perfectly safe climb and I fail to see how adding an additional bolt helps anything. Additionally the person who bolted this route is extremely safety conscious and felt there was no need for a lower bolt. As for the other route, if is has been led on gear no hole should have ever been drilled. Sep 9, 2013
FINALLY a little controversy back in WI! Bolting is lame, chopping is lame. My advice: Man up and PUKE! Sep 9, 2013
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
Not to mention that crack has been led dozens of times on gear. Sep 8, 2013
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
Mike,

Upon further review, now that I see where the bolts are on your other line I'm not psyched. Totally within reach of the crack. I can see good trad gear next to both of the bolts I can see. Ease up on the drill guy.

James Sep 8, 2013
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
Mike,

While a 50 foot 5.8 sport route is hardly anything to get upset about, I think you may have overstepped a little here. The lowest bolt on Swiss Cheese was easily "stick-clippable" and did not need to be supplemented. I was psyched to see your work across the canyon, but bummed to see this.

Ultimately I'm glad you were honest about it, and took responsibility here. I do wish you'd have started a conversation about it here first and tried to at least get a consensus instead of acting unilaterally. I don't think you'd have gotten much support, but maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, as a general rule, existing routes should not be modified without the permission of the first ascensionist, or if that person isn't available at least a consensus within the community. The bolt can be chopped, but the hole cannot be un-drilled.

Your argument about safety holds no water. First, even if the route wasn't "safe" there is no reason to make every route safe - leave some adventure. Second, the route was perfectly safe, and a stick clip could easily have saved a bolt here.

Just my two cents.

James Sep 8, 2013
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
Swiss Cheese did NOT need any more bolts. Sep 7, 2013
Mike Minehart
Waupaca, WI
Mike Minehart   Waupaca, WI
Another Statement of responsibility: I have added a lower first bolt to Swiss Cheese. The Hollow has primarily safe enjoyable sport routes, but this route had a potentially bad fall before the first bolt. It is otherwise a great route enjoyed by many who either are able to boulder up the unprotected first bolt, toprope it, or stick clip it. I just want more people to have safe access. I will hear your criticisms/feedback if you care to share. If you must chop that bolt, I will not argue, but I'm sure there are many who would like to do it with reasonable safety. For the most part the bolted climbs at the Hollow are not hero climbs. I took this into consideration when adding this bolt. Email me your feedback: mwminehart@gmail.com

Mike Minehart Sep 6, 2013
Mike Minehart
Waupaca, WI
Mike Minehart   Waupaca, WI
Statement of Responsibility: I am taking responsibility for what I consider improving the anchor chains at the top midway between PWB Arete and Pine Tree Crack. It was previously one chain connected to two bolts/hangers. We cut the middle so now there are two independent chain/bolt anchors to thread via a single open link at the end of each. Safer, and easier to thread your rope thru the open links. Comments can be directed to myself for any criticism. mwminehart@gmail.com Sep 6, 2013
Mike Minehart
Waupaca, WI
Mike Minehart   Waupaca, WI

Sunset Ascent
This is a new sport bolted route left,around arete from Pine Tree Crack. Pine tree is rated 5.8, PWB Arete is listed as 5.9. Its in this range. I think its harder than PWB but EASIER than Pine Tree, so what does that say? Please do it and submit feedback to develop a consensus rating. Its safe and ends at the sling belay above Pine Tree. Sep 6, 2013
I have been diagnosed with Lyme's disease. I may have contracted it at Hillbilly Hollow. I just want people to be careful. Wear hats and bug spray. Jun 28, 2012
rcongo
Memphis, tn
rcongo   Memphis, tn
Looking for a partner to climb with here on July 28th or around there. Will be in the area. Not sure how busy this place gets. Just looking to get some good climbing in while I travel for work. I will return the favor if you are ever in VT/NH/NY or ME. ropegun.r # gmail.com Jul 18, 2011
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
Sounds good Nick. I don't plan on throwing routes up I haven't climbed, so that shouldn't be a problem. Jun 12, 2011
Josh, I probably took alot of the pics you are looking at and I haven't posted them cause I didn't climb them. Generally speaking don't post a route until you've climbed it. Exceptions being well established routes that just haven't been posted yet for whatever reason. Jun 11, 2011
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
So I have been hunting down new lines in the hollow in the last month, and tomorrow I plan on sending these bad oscars. While looking through the photos on mp for this area, I see that people have at least looked at these lines. Am I missing the local ethic of not posting these routes, or have others not been as inclined to post up? Jun 11, 2011
Juggler  
To All Chicago Area Climbers:

I am looking for partners to go to WI climbing and other locations(Jackson Falls, DL, The Red, Grand Dads, etc) with.

I have an Airplane and can fly us there. Please send me a PM if you want more details and the cost of sharing the flight expenses. Hope to meet a few of you soon. I can fit up to 4 climbers with me in the Cherokee 6(with room for gear). I also have lodging available in a log cabin in the area :) May 31, 2011
According to the 2001 "Hunter's Guide to Public Hunting Grounds" this is definitely state land.

These are the approx GPS coordinates: 43.976009,-89.499961 Apr 24, 2011
Caleb Cerling
Boulder, CO
Caleb Cerling   Boulder, CO
If you're really concerned about access issues go to a public library somewhere in Marquette County and check out the Plat Maps in the reference section. They'll let you know without a doubt who owns that land. But also I'm with Nick Rhoads on this one. It's so close to the highway it almost has to be DOT land. Apr 5, 2011
Someone tried that trickery a few years ago. Hillbilly is state land. Probably DOT based on its proximity to the highway and rest stop. Mar 19, 2011
Went to Hillbilly today and apparently it is now closed. There were no trespassing signs posted all over the woods. Anybody have further info on this? Mar 19, 2011
Daniel Max Christiansen
Green Bay, WI
Daniel Max Christiansen   Green Bay, WI
Tons of poison ivy on the approach and in the canyon! Jun 29, 2010
Dave Deming
Grand Junction CO
Dave Deming   Grand Junction CO
Has anyone climbed the thin crack to the right from what I think is Pine Tree Crack? No bolts, thin trad gear, directly across from Swiss Cheese. If anyone has, what would they rate it? Thanks. Jul 19, 2009
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
The long discussion about bolting at Hillbilly Hollow has been moved to the forum. You can find it here: Hillbilly Forum

If you have anything to add on this issue, please post it to the forum, not to this page. Apr 13, 2009
AS far as the rock quality goes I had a question about the lower faces on waht i think would be the north west face of the ridge (opposite end that the trail comes in with a fence near the rocks) is any of this good for bouldering?? most of it looked rather brittle and never cleaned. Is any of it solid??? Feb 15, 2009
Balza7891
Appleton, WI
Balza7891   Appleton, WI
Hey I just wanted to say thanks to the guys who bolted both "Curse" and "End," both felt like solid lines for the beginning leader. I had a lot of fun out on them today, thanks. Aug 3, 2008
Climbed for the first time at HH today. A real treat. climbed "Curse of the Drill" and "End of the Innocence". Ron, you and your crew did an oustanding job on the bolt placement.

I agree with James. INSTANT CLASSIC!! May 24, 2008
I have been climbing at the Hollow for many years now and have even put together a climbing guide to the area and many other areas, but stopped because I did not want to see some of my favorite climbing areas overrun. Many of these climbing areas in Wisconsin have unique ecological niches and some are even off limits due to endangered plant species. Also, many of these climbing areas are not suited for large amounts or even a minor increase in visitors to the area. When providing information on climbing areas please keep in mind the overall impact of providing the information. Nov 1, 2006
Burt Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burt Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Wasn't or isn't this area also referred to as "Pasamead Hollow" by a lot of climbers Wisconsin? Just thought I would throw that little tidbit in there. Also, I love the ole bit of Sconny climber lore associated with this place--- permanent residence for Tommy Duechtler (sp?) for quite some time if I remember right??? Oct 2, 2006
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
Swiss Cheese is good enough for me until I hear otherwise... Oct 1, 2006
James23
Madison, WI
James23   Madison, WI
Regarding the name of the easy bolted route-- I don't know who set it, but the person that introduced me to climbing called it "Swiss Cheese"....Might not be commonly used though.....I Always had a certain affinity for it....Besides a couple trips to a gym, it was my first climb and then lead. Great site! Sep 29, 2006
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
This area was discovered by Dave Groth due to an off chance comment by a hillbilly at DL. "I seen rocks like this before..." or some such thing. Dave and Bechler lead all the gear lines and then added the hard lines on the left in the mid 80s. If you have not been here before, the rock quality is mostly excellent and on par with that of the New Sandstone area at DL. A very cool little canyon that could use some modernizing. Sep 26, 2006

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