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Chickies Rock

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Block, The 
Cave, The 
Main Wall 
Northwest Buttress 
Trail Valley 

Chickies Rock Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 268'
Location: 40.05453, -76.52424 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 25,963
Administrators: Justin Johnsen, Kyle Stapp, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ross Purnell on Feb 14, 2008
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BETA PHOTO: Tanya on the final headwall of Sunday Morning.


Chickies Rock is a traditional climbing crag on cliffs rising over the east bank of the Susquehanna River. It has single- and multi-pitch routes, ranging from 5.0 to 5.10+ or 5.11-, on adequate quality metamorphic rock. It's popular to climb on top rope on the Main Face, with slings and trad protection to build anchors; you'll find no bolts here!

The crag is in the eponymous Chickies Rock Park. The rock itself is Lower Cambrian Chickies Quartzite. Chickies Rock is the largest exposed anticline on the East Coast. According to USGS, the summit of the ridge is 587 feet (179 metres) above sea level. The state park info says the cliff is 200 feet tall--and that might be true by the overlook, but at the south end--on the face where the main crowd climbs--the cliff is about 150 feet. Maybe 75-100 feet up to Riverview Ledge, and then another 50 feet up The Block if you try for a second pitch; very few people do that. The climb straight up the center of The Block is an excellent 5.8 called Ape Call that is rarely climbed.

This is a traditional trad area. If you set up top ropes on Riverview ledge, allow ground-up leaders to climb through, and share the lines with other parties. It's generally a friendly group of people eager to share the Chickies Rock experience.

Getting There 

Park at the new Furnace Road parking area for Northwest Lancaster County River Trail (NLCRT). There are signs on Route 441 in Marietta to guide you. If you are in doubt, the county has provided this map:
Follow the NLCRT east and south (downriver) until you get to the cliff. The first area you encounter is the Northwest Buttress. The Main Wall is the open sunny face at the far end (on the way to Columbia).

Rock Type 

Lower Cambrian Chickies Quartzite : "light-gray to white, hard, massive quartzite and quartz schist with thin interbedded dark slate at top."


Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.5 miles from here

29 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',17],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Chickies Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Chickies Rock:
The Exorcist   V5-6 6C+     Boulder, 12'   The Cave
Witches Brew   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   Main Wall
The Library   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
Snowflake   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Wall
Ivy league   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 65'   Northwest Buttress
Hit and Run   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 65'   Northwest Buttress
Hollywood   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 2 pitches, 160'   Main Wall
Josh's Hump   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 200'   Main Wall
The Undercling   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
For Madmen Only   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     TR, 1 pitch, 105'   Main Wall
Lester the Molester   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Wall
The Lower Undercling   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 120'   Main Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Chickies Rock

Featured Route For Chickies Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Main street runs right up the center of the photo....

Main Street 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13  Pennsylvania : South Central PA : ... : Main Wall
The Main Street Crack is the most obvious crack system just to the right of Witches Brew, and left of the face climbs Lester the Molester and Madmen Only. It's a great climbing crack system but does not extend all the way to the ground. If you are leading, the crux moves are just off the ground. You'll get your first piece a .75" Camalot while standing on a prominent light-colored ledge/notch 12 feet directly above the start. The best part of the climb is an obvious diagonal finger ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Pennsylvania

Photos of Chickies Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Decent perspective on the problem
Decent perspective on the problem
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan following on Main St.
BETA PHOTO: Ryan following on Main St.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bird's eye view of Chickies Rock.
BETA PHOTO: Bird's eye view of Chickies Rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Street and Library
BETA PHOTO: Main Street and Library
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of Main Street
BETA PHOTO: Top of Main Street
Rock Climbing Photo: Chickies Main Wall topo from Chickies climbing gui...
BETA PHOTO: Chickies Main Wall topo from Chickies climbing gui...
Rock Climbing Photo:  main wall at chickies
main wall at chickies
Rock Climbing Photo: main wall at Chickies
BETA PHOTO: main wall at Chickies

Comments on Chickies Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Paul H
From: Pennsylvania
May 31, 2013
It's listed as a link in one of the images - but check out the site below for detailed guides
By johnva
Sep 15, 2013
two sets of bolts and chains, thank you to the installer.

However the chain at the top is a little short and if you rappel down to main ledge pulling rope very hard/impossible. Adding a couple of links would allow rope to float as opposed to getting stuck on rock due to bend.
By Corey Taormina
From: Sandy, Utah
Jul 1, 2014
just to let people know, the parking area that is noted in here, you can't park there anymore. There are three no parking signs by the open grassy field. And I did confirm this with the Lancaster County Parks Department as well. They said it the land is owned by a private owner.
By Kevin A. Brenneman
May 27, 2015
The pull-off parking just down the hill north of the main overlook trail parking area remains off-limits. To get to the bottom of the wall, either walk in from the south using the parking area at the end of Breezyview Drive, or walk in from the north using the parking area on Furnace Road.
By Hyo Byun
Feb 19, 2017
Drive slightly past the parking area suggested here and park at "Chickies Rock County Park Northwest River Trail Parking Lot" (Google Maps). After enjoying the luxurious porta potty at the lot, just go down furnace road & continue on to the river trail. It is a easy 1/2 mile walk, all paved. It will bring you to the bottom of all of the cliffs. But seriously, check out the porta potty, it is huge.

Be prepared for a huge crowd to be staring at you while you climb. Also, At the tops of climbs, we encountered kids, kilts, dogs, and teenagers smoking blunts next to our anchors.
By Ross Purnell
From: Palmyra
Aug 30, 2017
The bolts and chains have been removed from Riverview Ledge.
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Oct 3, 2017
Surprisingly better quality rock and climbing than I was expecting. Offset nuts/brass are helpful here as there are some odd flaring cracks where those will fit nicely. A good range of small cams (e.g. purple C3 size) will really help too.

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