Donation Rocks Rock Climbing
|GPS:||40.573, -77.944 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||30,425 total · 1,277/month|
|Shared By:||Ken Hull on Nov 5, 2019|
|Admins:||SCPC, SWPACC, EPAC, Justin Johnsen|
Parking at Donation Rocks is at the two pull-offs only (see the poster on the main page photos). NO PARKING is permitted anywhere else along the road.
Donation Rocks is a wonderful small crag area on the backside of the Village of Donation in the heart of Huntingdon County, PA. The property is owned by a summer camp but is open to the public year-round. All that is required is a signed waiver that must be carried with you (waiver link above). Access is super easy - you can practically open your car door, step out, and you’re ready to send!
It’s mostly top rope here with solid bolted anchors easily accessible atop all the primary routes. Many trad opportunities do exist, and there are now six bolted sport lines with two offering multiple route options. More sport will be coming in the future but with due care to not over-bolt. Circuit bouldering is also possible along the bottoms of most walls. Also, Donation has much more to offer than what's been established. With some work to clear staging areas, cleaning rock, and installing top anchors, many more routes could exist. The possibilities here are great.
Because this place has been climbed for at least 50 years, route names vary. I will do my best to give each route it’s historic name if known, and if not, what the local consensus is. What I’ve thought to be “First Ascents” by me, turn out to have been climbed way before my time. But, if said ascent has no known name, it’s all mine (or yours)! :) Grades as we all know vary too and are subjective. I will also do my best, where I can, to give routes grades that can flex a little either way. Please feel free to comment on a route with your opinion.
Note: Donation Rocks climbing area is ONLY on the right side of the road as you head uphill. Do Not Climb the rocks on the other side. They are on private land and not open to the public. Please Respect.
When I took on this project in the fall of 2019, I was just trying to get things organized and up to date. What happened was a fascination (kind of an obsession) with the history. I knew climbers have been coming to Donation Rocks since the ‘60s, but what I didn’t know was the Who’s Who of climbing legends that have come here!
Henry Barber, One of the first pro climbers. FA Barber’s Roof, Main Wall, Jam Crack Wall, 5.11 b/c
From the “Golden Age of Yosemite Climbing”:
Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Black Diamond and Patagonia. Chouinard’s Roof, private property rocks, grade unknown
Warren Harding, FA The Nose, El Capitan. Routes at Donation, unknown
Royal Robbins, FA A Royal Delight, private property rocks, grade unknown
More recent famous people are pro climber and North Face Athlete Mark Synnott. Mark climbed here with me a few years ago while on a nation book tour. He onsighted Barber’s Roof! Pro climber, author and trainer Eric Hörst has also “tickled” the rock at Donation. Quite some history for a little crag in central PA!
I'd like to thank Henry Barber, Geoff Brugler, Ken Decker, Dave Dunklebarger, Kyle Horst, and Andy Kennedy for all their help in this history fact finding adventure!
What You Should Know:
Access to this area is made possible by Donation Rocks in cooperation with Access Fund. The property deserves respect, responsibility, proper ethics, and good stewardship.
- Please park at the two pull-offs only. Do not park along the road.
- Minimize erosion. Keep yourself and gear close to the wall and on durable surfaces. Stay on designated trails.
- Only feet on the other side of the top trail is private property. Please respect.
- This is sandstone. Sandstone weakens when wet. Please avoid climbing on wet rock.
- Dogs are not permitted at Donation Rocks.
- Honor wildlife. Keep your distance and respect their home.
- Dispose of human waste properly.
- Minimize noise and keep music at a low volume.
- Keep group size to a minimum. Only rope the routes you are using.
- Camping & Campfires Are Not Permitted.
- No unauthorized placement of fixed hardware.
- Leave No Trace. Leave Donation Rocks as good or better than you found it.
- Consider signing the Climber’s Pact at www.accessfund/pages/the-climbers-pact
Places to Eat, Drink and Buy Stuff:
15 mins away there are a variety of eating and drinking options - especially if you go to the town of Huntingdon but I’ll start closer to the crag first. McMurties Tavern is about 2.5 miles east on Rt. 26. It’s an old time place with sporadic hours but great tavern food and basic beer. Owner Dave Johnson is a good guy and made us 20 subs for our Adopt a Crag Day at Donation! They were deelish and the volunteers loved them! In Huntingdon proper you have Boxer's Cafe. A once drug store with the original soda counter (now bar) and incredible back-bar mirror and woodwork, it's now a cozy pub. The menu is tavern food and varies greatly with vegetarian options. Tony (owner) and Matt (bar manager) take their beer seriously and offer a moderate but fantastic tap selection. Bottled beers from around the world grace the cooler and are available to go. Kelly’s Korner is a great locals place on the far end of town. The feel and food here are more like a restaurant but the atmosphere is homey and nice. My wife and I like to sit at the bar and mix it up with the locals. Some good beers on tap and a nice selection of bottles in the cooler. Standing Stone Coffee Company is my go to for coffee and breakfast before hitting the crag. This is a sweet place with amazing coffee roasted on-site and really good and healthy food offerings. SSCC is just down the street from Juniata College and offers a coin-op laundromat as well! Downtown Huntingdon has Rothrock Outfitters for mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks and other outdoor supplies. Also around town you’ll find accommodations, shopping, gas, lots of other eating options, and many other provisions. Click HERE for the area tourism website.
Other Things to Do in the Area:
Hunter Rock for the serious boulderer.
1,000 Steps for the serious uphill hiker with fabulous views at the top.
Lake Raystown for water sports.
Allegrippis Trails - amazing mountain bike trails.
Thank You for reading and Enjoy Climbing at Donation Rocks!
Show support, stay informed and give feedback at www.facebook.com/groups/Friends of Donation Rocks/
Bat Conservation | How You Can Help
See a Bat on a Route, Give Us a Shout!
Hey climbers, Ken Hull here with South Central PA Climbers and your Ambassador here at Donation Rocks. I’m working with Rob Schorr at Colorado State University to help him spread the word about his bat research. Here’s a message from him about this important work and how, we as climbers, can help.
"Climbers for Bat Conservation is working with climbers to understand bat ecology and why bats choose certain cracks and flakes. We’re a collaboration between climbers, bat biologists, and land managers to understand where bats roost and where large populations may reside. We are interested in finding bats because of a new disease called white-nose syndrome (whitenosesyndrome.org) which has killed millions of bats in North America. This collaboration has identified bat roosts throughout the U.S., and as far away as Norway and Bulgaria. CBC was developed by biologists who climb and they are advocates for climbing access and bat conservation.
So, if you see bats while climbing, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com, or visiting our website to learn more. climbersforbats.colostate.edu."
Zoologist, Colorado Natural Heritage Program (warnercnr.colostate.edu/rschorr/)
Director, Climbers for Bat Conservation
Classic Climbing Routes at Donation Rocks
Days w Precip