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Areas in Great Falls

Aid Box 5 / 0 / 13 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 14
Bird's Nest 7 / 0 / 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Canal Cut 5 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Cigar Box 6 / 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Cornice 13 / 0 / 13 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
Cow's Hoof 11 / 0 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 11
Degree 101 10 / 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Dihedrals 11 / 0 / 22 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 22
Dike Creek Area, The 9 / 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Downstream Climbs 9 / 0 / 16 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Dr. Needlepoint 2 / 0 / 15 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Echo Rock 4 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Flat Iron 8 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Gorky Park 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Juliet's Balcony 11 / 0 / 19 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Microdome 7 / 0 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
River Bend Wall 5 / 0 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Romeo's Ladder 13 / 0 / 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Sandbox 6 / 0 / 9 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Seclusion 10 / 0 / 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Elevation: 100 ft
GPS: 38.992, -77.249 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 97,914 total, 841/month
Shared By: franciscov on May 15, 2008 with updates
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Jake Jones, Shawn Heath

Description

A beautiful area in the Potomac River Gorge. The cliffs are about 60 feet high and made of hard, solid rock. The area is sunny and has lots of climbers and hikers. This is a major top rope climbing area with trees being the anchor norm.

If you want a guidebook for great falls check out the PATC website and pick up a copy of A Climber's Guide to the Great Falls of the Potomac. If all else fails the VA/WV/MD Climbers guide by Horst is also a great guidebook for the area.

A number of climbers that know this area well have mentioned that the rock is very suspect in some places. Others swear that it is completely bomber. There have been a number of incidents here regarding broken holds and gear pulling. This is a reminder that it is up to each individual climber to assess the quality of rock and to accept a level of risk that is appropriate for the person, and for the place.

Getting There

It's about 20 minutes up stream, and west of Washington DC in Great Falls National Park.

237 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Great Falls

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Sand Box Corner
TR
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Romeo's Ladder
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Splinters
TR
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Cornice
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Armbuster
TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Dr. Needlepoint
TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Diagonal
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Two-Lane Highway
TR
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Strong Finish
TR
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Lost Arrow
Trad, TR
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Crank Up
Trad, TR
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Mantlepiece
TR
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Entropy
Trad, TR
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Middle of the Road
TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
P.V.O (Potomac Valley Overhang)
TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Sand Box Corner Sandbox 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c TR
Romeo's Ladder Romeo's Ladder 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Splinters Aid Box 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b TR
Cornice Cornice 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Armbuster Bird's Nest 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
Dr. Needlepoint Dr. Needlepoint 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
Diagonal Aid Box 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Two-Lane Highway Bird's Nest 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
Strong Finish Seclusion 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
Lost Arrow Aid Box 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Crank Up Cornice 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Mantlepiece Juliet's Balcony > Juliet's Balcony: Upstream 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b TR
Entropy Romeo's Ladder 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, TR
Middle of the Road Bird's Nest 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a TR
P.V.O (Potomac Valley Overh… Aid Box 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a TR
More Classic Climbs in Great Falls »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Brian Malone
Olney, Maryland
Brian Malone   Olney, Maryland
The entrance fee is $10 but is good for 3 days. Mar 26, 2017
Mike Kehough and Jack Beatty are two of the most important climbers in Great Falls, hard route, retro-modern history. Almost all the hardest routes were opened by them. It would be nice to see their names under routes like the Strain, the Oyster, Tipparillo, and The Demon... (1977-1983) Nov 7, 2016
Sean TM  
Anyone know why this area is no longer available on the app? It simply doesn't show up, along with several other VA areas. Aug 7, 2015
Jonathan Steitzer
West Lebanon, NH
Jonathan Steitzer   West Lebanon, NH  
A lot of these area descriptions blow. "TBC?" Lets get this updated, this is a nice area, it would be nice if MP could be a little more helpful. Oct 20, 2014
Edwin B  
Some people say yes, others say no. This discussion from last year might be helpful in deciding: mountainproject.com/v/leadi… Jun 20, 2014
Hey do you guys recommend placing gear here and leading? Jun 20, 2014
There are some good boulders laying around in great falls. some have sketchy landings but you might be able to make it work. I might be heading over there today so I'll take a second look for you. There's also a good chunk of granite hidden in springfield off hooes rd. Has problems from V0 up to about V10. Apr 14, 2014
JamieRe
Providence, RI
JamieRe   Providence, RI
Hey all,
I am planning a trip to the area and am looking to do some bouldering. Are there any developed problems in the area? Anybody have any beta on existing climbs or areas nearby?

Thanks! Apr 11, 2014
Does anyone know any local guide services around the DC metro area? Apr 30, 2013
H2O
H2O  
Good photo of the guy watching the climbing. All the more reason to wear a helmet here as I've experienced hikers up top kicking off gravel to get a photo, sometimes of the climbers. Aug 29, 2012
BJ Sbarra
Carbondale, CO
BJ Sbarra   Carbondale, CO
Just a heads up to visitors to the area, there are some very inconsistent grades here, and some serious sandbags. Fun climbing though in a top notch setting. Quite greasy on humid days. May 15, 2010
Isaac T.
Yokosuka, Japan
Isaac T.   Yokosuka, Japan
Got any more photos? Oct 31, 2008

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