|GPS:||39.935, -76.385 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||348,365 total · 3,619/month|
|Shared By:||Justin Johnsen on Nov 17, 2011|
Justin Johnsen, Kyle Stapp, SCPC
History (Admin Only): Kyle Stapp edited "Description" Feb 20, 2019
comeback after being completely wiped out in eastern North America by DDT in
decades past. There are only 46 nesting pairs of peregrines in the entire
state, and only 9 of them nest on cliffs; the remainder nest on man-made
structures. Further, only 3 of the nest cliffs are used by climbers, so those
are the only cliffs that need to be closed, and only for the nesting season,
February 15 to July 31. Once the young have fledged, the cliff can be opened
to climbing again. During the nesting season, peregrines are very sensitive to
disturbance: human disturbance during this time leads to nest failure or
abandonment. Additionally, peregrines fiercely defend their nest sites from
intruders, and can be quite dangerous to anyone disturbing them. Cliff nesting
is crucially important to the recovery of peregrines; when they nest nest in
unnatural, man-made locations (bridges and buildings), many of the young
falcons die by falling into the river and drowning, getting hit by cars,
flying into glass, and other hazards of the urban environment. We ask your
cooperation in allowing these magnificent birds, the fastest animals on earth,
to nest at this cliff. This is a collaborative effort between climbers,
wildlife biologists and conservationists to protect our outdoors and the
wildlife we share it with. For more information and updates email:
Safe Harbor, approached through the village of the same name, is a sport crag that was closed for most of the last 15 years. Though originally established as a runout (R and X) trad crag, it is now one of Pennsylvania's best sport climbing destinations. Most rock here is low angle with good friction, with a few steeper lines mixed in; like the classic steep arete Wonderama (5.12b) in Safe Harbor South. The walls of Safe Harbor all face west-southwest, giving it plenty of daylight - very inviting in cool weather. After dark, I've seen groups climbing by headlamp.
Safe Harbor North is seeing a boom in development and now offers a wide variety of high quality routes. If you haven't checked the North out lately, maybe it's time for a revisit.
Conestoga township now owns the land that Safe Harbor is on, and access is free and open as of November 2011. Driving out of the crag on a Saturday evening, the Conestoga Wagon Restaurant looked pretty hopping, but as a "family" restaurant I don't think they serve "adult" beverages. Driving ten miles north to Lancaster will give you many choices.
There is no camping allowed at the crag. The nearest campground is Pequea Creek right down the road. Unfortunately, they are currently only open from April to October. Tucquan Park a few miles to the south might be open in the cool season.
Eric Hörst's Safe Harbor Climbing Facebook group is the best place to network with other SH climbers.
Driving from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, take New Danville Pike south to Conestoga (5 miles from Central Park, Lancaster). Turn right on Main Street (3 1/2 miles). Main Street ends in a T-intersection with River Road.
You'll turn left on River Road to climb the south, or right to climb the north.
Classic Climbing Routes at Safe Harbor
Days w Precip