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Areas in Breakneck

Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 33 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 33
Lower Slab 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Main Wall 1 / 15 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Right Wall 1 / 3 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Tee Pee, The 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Elevation: 1,466 ft
GPS: 40.035, -79.543 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 35,674 total · 281/month
Shared By: truello on Nov 26, 2007
Admins: Justin Johnsen, Kyle Stapp
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Access Issue: Private Land Details


Breakneck is a small bolted cliff south east of Pittsburgh in the small area known as Breakneck. It can get slightly crowded on weekends, so consider one of the other several crags in the area as a backup plan.

The cliff faces the north east and will receive morning sun. However due to the shade that exists for the majority of the day, snow can remain on this hillside for days after it melts elsewhere. It can be a good crag following a day of rain, thanks to the morning sun and great quality rock. The rock is sandstone and in great condition, as are the bolts and anchors.

A few trad lines exist, but if you want to climb some cracks this definitely is not the area. The route to the far left is listed as a trad route on Tim's page, but is now bolted. This was to increase traffic on the route in hopes of keeping the dirt/moss from returning, and it can still be led with gear.

Eclipse is the most obvious route on the main wall and goes at 5.6. It is where a lot of SW PA climbers led their first route. Another classic is Mosquito on the left part of the wall. The faint of heart can avoid the 10a bulge by escaping right on a separate 5.8 line of bolts. This is great for those in groups with varying skill levels.

Getting There

Breakneck earns some of its popularity due to its easy 10 minute approach.

Parking can be found at the following coordinates:

Google Maps Directions

Park and walk up the road towards the east a short way until you see a wooded trail that crosses a stream on your right. This trail is just after a red house on your right (note: Tonsef adds that this house has been painted a different color, probably whitish blue?). Follow this logging path up the hill (past a few interesting but dirty boulders) and look for a stone cairn on your right. This marks the beginning of the trail straight up to the rocks.

60 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Breakneck

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3 6A
3a. Main Bloc Arete
V4 6B
3b. Main Bloc Arete Sit
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
(9) Eclipse
Sport, TR
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
(3) Mosquito Variation
Sport, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
(10) Grab Your Balls
Sport, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
New Spice
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
(2) Mosquito
Sport, TR
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
(4) New School
Sport, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
(6) Transfusion
Sport, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
(7) Burning Balls
Sport, TR
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Crimp Fest
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Do You Like Apples
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
(8) Diesel
Sport, TR
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Gas on the Fire
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
3a. Main Bloc Arete Bouldering
V3 6A Boulder
3b. Main Bloc Arete Sit Bouldering
V4 6B Boulder
(9) Eclipse Main Wall
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport, TR
?? Lower Slab
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
(3) Mosquito Variation Main Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
(10) Grab Your Balls Main Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport, TR
New Spice Lower Slab
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
(2) Mosquito Main Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
(4) New School Main Wall
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport, TR
(6) Transfusion Main Wall
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, TR
(7) Burning Balls Main Wall
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, TR
Crimp Fest Main Wall
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Do You Like Apples Main Wall
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
(8) Diesel Main Wall
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport, TR
Gas on the Fire Main Wall
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Breakneck »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
Just finished a better topo and updated route listing.
Info gathered on site via climbers and old printout.
Credit given where known on FA, etc...
email or send me msg to get a copy. Jul 23, 2012
Tim Anderson
Acme, PA
Tim Anderson   Acme, PA
As of 8/2012 All hardware has been upgraded and improved. Sep 6, 2012
This crag is packed with classic bouldering problems.

Main bloc:
1. The arĂȘte is a classic V3.
2. From the arĂȘte finishing in middle of the overhung face is V10+ project.
3. Start on good hold at bottom right of bloc, climb face using 2 small pockets is V7.

There are another 8 good boulders in the woods. Established problems range from V0 to V7. There were several undone projects. Nov 22, 2012
First time at breakneck in a while. The new hardware is AMAZING, thanks for all the upgrades!! May 30, 2013
Hi all, I just uploaded some route pictures to go along with Tim Anderson's Breakneck Guide. They should match pretty close (with respect to route numbering and grading) to what his guide states.
Enjoy!! Apr 1, 2014
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
Zi, love the topos, thanks! Apr 2, 2014
Pete Baertsch
Connellsville, PA
Pete Baertsch   Connellsville, PA
In case everyone doesn't know, this is the new parking situation at Breakneck. A few months ago there was a complaint about parking at the usual pull off by the stream. The SWPACC asked some of the land owners and decided these new spots would be better for now. The areas in green on this picture are the new spots (this image is old and shows a trailer and cars in this lot, but it's clear now), and obviously red is the old spots. It only adds another 2 minutes of walking up the road.
Jan 29, 2015
A couple of us were out here yesterday (3-25) and went to set up for "don't pat the tree". After climbing up, my buddy noticed that the right side bolt holding the ring to the rock was spinning. Not sure who to contact about this but I figured I'd put it out there Mar 26, 2016
I notified Joel Brady from the Southwestern PA Climbers Coalition about the loose bolt on "Don't Pat the Tree" so that someone can tighten it up if they head out there in the near future. May 8, 2016
Andy P.
Andy P.   Wisconsin
Download the parking photo and maps in case you don't get cell reception up here. I also want to note that (especially at the base of right wall) there are some really large stacked boulders that create some fall hazards (in between the boulders) that are pretty ominous. Exercise care when walking on boulders and be aware this might not be the best crag if you have meandering children or pets along. Aug 20, 2016
Hey all, I found some gear on my way into the crag on Monday. If you lost something and can properly ID it I will be more than happy to return it :) Aug 25, 2016
Carpooling to Breakneck should be encouraged. The last few times we've been there both lots have been full and we saw people leaving by themselves.

It seems like if you see 15 people at the crag you'll see 15 cars in the lot.

Space is limited and we're guests on this property. It would be the neighborly thing to do to cut down on our interference as much as possible.

If you can't carpool the whole way, then consider meeting near the baseball field by Bullskin Elementary on 982 right off of 119 by Sheetz. Oct 21, 2016
Looks like there are some new bolted sport routes on the right wall next to Legends of the Green (directly behind you if you are faxing Touch of Green). Anybody have any rating info on them? I know the mixed route Legends of the Green is on Tim Anderson's blog but I don't see anything for the others including the gnarly looking roof route and I don't remember them being there last summer. Apr 19, 2017
Can you hike to the top to set up a TR line? Or do you need to sport it first?

Thanks! Jul 3, 2017
Forrest, there's top access for the vast majority of routes here. The hike up is quite easy and very obvious once you're there. Jul 9, 2017
Just a heads up to everyone: when we were here on the 4th, we were informed by the homeowners across the street that we are not to park in the spot where the new house is being built. In the picture above, it's the leftmost green area. Jul 9, 2017
Thanks for that heads up Mariah. Was planning on going up there this week to climb, can anyone provide a map that shows the acceptable places to park at this point in time? Don't want to cause any parking problems for anyone! Jul 29, 2017
Thefryman Fryland
Chicago, IL
Thefryman Fryland   Chicago, IL
I have climbed most of the new routes (as of June, 2017).

There are 3 new sport routes on the back of the "Touch of Green" area. I believe they go at 5.7-5.8, 5.9 and 5.10 in that order (though I might be wrong).

There are also 4 new awesome routes across from the "Touch of Green" boulder. I think that these are all in the 5.9-5.10 range, though I have only climbed 3 of the 4... They are all great additions to an already awesome crag! One of the most memorable ones features a crack at the top of the route, and a difficult-to-decipher sequence at the bottom. I'd give it 3-4 stars at about 5.10b and recommend it to any visiting climbers! Sep 1, 2017

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