Elevation: 1,232 ft
GPS: 40.928, -77.3465
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 5,223,071 total · 26,809/month
Shared By: jeremyadams on Jan 28, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Justin Johnsen, SCPC, SWPACC, EPAC

Description

PA, the Keystone State, is home to a variety of cragging, whatever your style. But it's the bouldering on diabase, gritstone and sandstone that are world class. While the diabase areas are well documented (mainly because they are in the eastern part of the state where all the people are) - the gritstone bouldering in western PA is somewhat unknown and OUT OF THIS WORLD! Think Coopers Rock is a good gritstone area? There are at least 3 gritstone areas in PA that beat Coopers in terms of concentration, number of problems and quality of climbs. Haven't climbed on gritstone? Well there is a reason it's called "God's own rock." Climb a bunch on gritstone and it will ruin you for all other rock types. Yosemite granite? Piece of crap. The unreal friction for your feet and hands and beautiful classic shapes on gritstone yield the most amazing fun (or frustrating) sequences you will ever climb on rock. PA probably has more gritstone than bloody England. Why doesn't anyone know about it? Well no one lives in west central PA and for the lucky few of us who have discovered this stuff we've been too busy putting up climbs and finding new gems to bother documenting.

For roped climbing, there are many worthwhile local areas tucked into Penn's Woods.

The largest sport crags in eastern Pennsylvania are Birdsboro Quarry and Safe Harbor, both bolted on man-made post-industrial rock cuts. In the western half of the state, the Lost Crag offers the most clip-and-climbs.

Toprope and trad tends to be single pitch, on cliffs eroded on the sides of rivers. Some of the tallest routes in the state are on Mount Minsi in the Delaware Water Gap.

Ice climbing can be found, often on waterfalls, mostly scattered through the northern half of the state. The number and quality of ice climbs is highly dependent on the weather that year. Some predictable ice forms every year at the Narrows and Ricketts Glen (hikebikeclimb offers Penn ice beta).

The rock varies from sticky gritstone and conglomerate, exquisite sandstone, and crisp quartzite, to some overused polished choss and loose machine-cut walls.

When neighborhood crags get old, PA is close enough for weekend road trips to the Gunks, the New and the Red.

As a Mid Atlantic state, Pennsylvania gets hot and muggy summers and somewhat cold winters. Despite the cities' stereotypes, Pennsylvania gets more rain on average than Seattle. Luckily Pennsylvania sees far more sunny days than the Pacific Northwest, so things dry out pretty fast after a downpour.

All the rain grows lush forests and undergrowth, including poison ivy - some of it ridiculously large by late summer. Remember, "leaves or three, let it be."

The only poison snakes are Timber Rattlesnakes, who usually have the good manners to warn before striking, and Copperheads, who don't. Both are common but not frequently seen throughout the state.

Many crags here are on or near State Game Lands. Find out when hunting season is before you go there, and wear orange during deer season (or find another place to climb).

Discuss Pennsylvania climbing, or post partner calls, in the NE states climbing forum and NE states partner finder forum

The ongoing discussion of PA crack!

Other beta

Bat Conservation | How You Can Help

See a Bat on a Route, Give Us a Shout! 

Hey PA climbers, Ken Hull here from South Central PA Climbers. I’m working with Rob Schorr, a researcher at Colorado State University, to help him spread the word on his bat research. Here’s a message from him about this important work and how we, as climbers, can help.

“Climbers for Bat Conservation is working with climbers to understand bat ecology and why bats choose certain cracks and flakes. We’re a collaboration between climbers, bat biologists, and land managers to understand where bats roost and where large populations may reside. We are interested in finding bats because of a new disease called white-nose syndrome (whitenosesyndrome.org) which has killed millions of bats in North America. This collaboration has identified bat roosts throughout the U.S., and as far away as Norway and Bulgaria. CBC was developed by biologists who climb and they are advocates for climbing access and bat conservation.

So, if you see bats while climbing, please let us know by emailing us at climbersforbats@colostate.edu, or visiting our website to learn more. climbersforbats.colostate.edu.”

Thank You!
Rob Schorr

Zoologist, Colorado Natural Heritage Program (warnercnr.colostate.edu/rschorr/)
Director, Climbers for Bat Conservation
Robert.schorr@colostate.edu

3,521 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Pennsylvania Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Pennsylvania

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V4 6B
 88
Smiley Face
Boulder
V5 6C
 58
Little Fluffy Clouds
Boulder
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 91
(9) Eclipse
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 173
Orange Sunshine
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 86
Slab Master
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 105
Virgin Suicides
Sport 2 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 134
Mental As Anything
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 134
Safe Harbor Direct
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 156
Jenga
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 101
Locomotion
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 155
Autumn Arch
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 81
Hinterland (first pitch)
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 83
Super Slab
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 93
Hydroman
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 84
Laid Back and Well Hung
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Smiley Face S Central PA > … > Smiley Area > Smiley Boulder
 88
V4 6B Boulder
Little Fluffy Clouds Southeastern Lo… > … > Caves Trail > Little Fluffy Clouds…
 58
V5 6C Boulder
(9) Eclipse Southwestern Hi… > Breakneck > Main Wall
 91
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport, TR
Orange Sunshine Southeastern Lo… > Birdsboro Quarry > b. Orange Sunshine Wall
 173
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Slab Master S Central PA > … > Safe Harbor South > f. Super Slab Sector
 86
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Virgin Suicides Southeastern Lo… > Birdsboro Quarry > i. Sun Wall (Long Slabs)
 105
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Mental As Anything S Central PA > … > Safe Harbor South > k. Hydroman Sector
 134
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Safe Harbor Direct S Central PA > … > Safe Harbor South > c Electric Co. Sector
 134
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Jenga Southeastern Lo… > Birdsboro Quarry > d. Zorro Wall
 156
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Locomotion S Central PA > … > Safe Harbor South > g. Autumn Arch Sector
 101
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Autumn Arch S Central PA > … > Safe Harbor South > g. Autumn Arch Sector
 155
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Hinterland (first pitch) Southeastern Lo… > Birdsboro Quarry > f. Big Wall
 81
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Super Slab S Central PA > … > Safe Harbor South > f. Super Slab Sector
 83
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Hydroman S Central PA > … > Safe Harbor South > k. Hydroman Sector
 93
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Laid Back and Well Hung Southeastern Lo… > Birdsboro Quarry > f. Big Wall
 84
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
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