Only 10 minutes outside of the beltway, with great routes Ilchester is the center of the universe for Baltimore climbers.

There are a few leads, but most climbs are set up via the concrete infused pole on top of the cliff. While exceedingly strong this can get crowded on busy days so some long static rope or webbing is a good idea just in case. Even if you use the pole you need twenty feet or so to put the TR over the edge.

The rock is generally sharp, and the well-used holds can be slippery, but often intricate sequences make for great climbing.

This is a well used/abused urban crag both by climbers as well as the community so every attempt should be made to keep relations with rangers and locals friendly.

Getting There

Take exit 13 off of 695 for Frederick Road on the southwest side of Baltimore. Go west for 2 miles or so through the town of Catonsville. Just after the light for North Rolling Road (By the Candlight Inn) the next left will put you on Hilltop. Take this through the neighborhood (watch out for new traffic calming installations as well as cops) After a half-mile the road enters the park, park at the lot just as the road takes a sharp right.

Take the trail 1/4 mile to the top of the cliff, staying right at the fork. The trail leads to the top of the cliff. Currently the last bit of trail to the top has become extremely eroded and is even starting to effect the TR anchor. It is highly suggested to go around (it takes 10 seconds longer) to preserve both the trail and anchor.

From the top of the cliff, take a right and go around and down (past Renaissance and Midnight Lightning) to the base of the cliff.

GPS coordinates are for parking.

9 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ilchester

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Middle Climb
Trad, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Blue Rose
Trad, TR
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Midnight Lightning
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Middle Climb
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Blue Rose
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Midnight Lightning
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b TR
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Gabe Cisneros
Baltimore, md
Gabe Cisneros   Baltimore, md
I climbed here for the first time today. This crag is in distress. The trash situation is out of control.

Probably not a climber caused issue because I can see how it's location and ease of access can make it great for parties. This is not good because it actually offers some nice climbing at moderate grades, with an easy approach.

Today I packed out two grocery bags of trash and that really didn't make a dent. It could use a few large trash bags to really get it looking better. There is not much to do about the huge amount of broken glass except to carefully grab the larger pieces. I will be coming back here wednesdays for the next month, for climbing and cleaning and I hope that others can help me out by carrying out a grocery bag of trash when they visit. Jul 15, 2017
Christina Rambo
Glen Arm, MD
Christina Rambo   Glen Arm, MD
Climbed blue rose today. A lot of erosion present on the steps down the right side to the base of the rocks. Picked up some trash. Some broken bottles/glass found. Area at the top of the rocks and by the anchor pole looks pretty clean now! Dec 29, 2018 · Temporary Report