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Justin Johnsen, William Sonoma, SCPC
History (Admin Only): Justin Johnsen edited "Description" Nov 27, 2018 View all 2
William Sonoma edited "Description" Apr 23, 2019
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 Eastern States forum.
The ongoing discussion of PA crack!
Classic Climbing Routes at Pennsylvania
Days w Precip