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Central PA Top roping

Original Post
Chris Borg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 0

I recently moved to Pittsburgh while my girlfriend lives in NYC. We are trying to find somewhere in the middle where we can meet up and climb. I do not own a car so right now I am looking at areas around Harrisburgh and State college which I can take mega bus too. Looking at the South Central PA area page it seems to have a lot of routes. We do not know how to lead and my girlfriend doesn't like bouldering so we are only top roping now. Anyone familiar with the area have any hand on reccomendations?

Mikey Anderson · · Hershey, PA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 15

Hey so theres a couple places to set up easy top rope. The most obvious one I use is not the best quality rock but don't let it deter you, it is worth a couple trips until you climb everything. Anyways, I'm talking about Boxcar rocks. It has very easily accessable bolted anchors. Some of them are trickier and hairier to get to but I have been able to get to every single one of them. I caution you to be safe as it is maybe 3-4ft wide at the top. The Boxcars are a cobblestone conglomerate so it's not like anything else. Most people are so sure it's man made but it is not.

If you have gear to setup your own anchors you can check out the places on the AT, like white rocks acres and pond bank. Again very easy top access but you'll have to build anchors with gear rope or slings. Then there's the ever popular Chickies. Maybe someone else can give you beta there, I haven't made it out there myself yet. I do know there are bolts most of the way up that are accessible via trail, also near by is a very frequently slung tree; you might not want to use that. Also, if you have gear I imagine more anchors can be built as you see fit. It's regularly a top-rope/trad crag. The bolts are on a fat ledge from what I'm told so if you go that route try to extend your anchor greatly to the edge.

I'm also goin to throw Safe Harbor in the mix. It's mostly a sport crag, but it was bolted from the top down; so provided you are oriented and (again) safe you can set up top rope anchors on most climbs via hiking around the back. I've seen one other party do i and I did it for the first time the other day on the classic Hydroman route. I felt safe approaching the anchors, but I girth hitched a tree and clipped into my harness just in case. In reference to the party I witnessed they did not bother using the bolted anchors but set up with something on top, over the edge.

Hopefully I'll come up with more. I will also offer to come and help you out personally if you need it. Any excuse to climb.

njmagill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Chickies has a few (prob like 3) climbs you can set up top rope from bolted anchors on the main wall and prob another 5-6 on the nw buttress that you'll have to sling boulders and such (prob need 3-30ft slings)

PTR · · NEPA · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 10

If your girlfriend can pick you up in Harrisburg (no clue about where the bus can take you), the places already mentioned are pretty close. Chickies is a nice spot that overlooks the river. I'll also add the Hermitage -- a secluded crag near the AT with several good top-ropes. And you are close to a few more places: whiskey springs, pole steeple, white rock acres, etc. If the bus can drop you in Carlisle, so much the better. There is a hostel in Pine Grove Furnace SP (and camping) near the traditional halfway point on the AT that would make a good base for all 4 of these areas.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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