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Ilchester Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 200'
Location: 39.2506, -76.7627 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 9,507
Administrators: Frances Fierst, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Dominic Albanese on Jul 26, 2009
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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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.9 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Ilchester

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Ilchester:
Middle Climb   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Blue Rose   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Midnight Lightning   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 25'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Ilchester

Featured Route For Ilchester
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Carothers on Blue Rose

Blue Rose 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Maryland : Patapsco State Park : Ilchester
The classic route at Ilchester and maybe in all of Maryland. Packs three cruxes in 30 feet of climbing.A burly first move over the roof to a decent rest jug, tricky jams lead to a stance under the rood and the final "Blue Rose" move over the hang to finish. When you finish look at the large welt on the back of your right hand to find the Rose.A proud on-site for any Baltimore climber. This climb has been led, free-soloed, done blindfolded, aided, and probably climbed more than the all the...[more]   Browse More Classics in Maryland

Photos of Ilchester Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The boulder at the base of Ilchester. Contains an ...
BETA PHOTO: The boulder at the base of Ilchester. Contains an ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The left side of Ilchester, housing the routes Ren...
BETA PHOTO: The left side of Ilchester, housing the routes Ren...
Rock Climbing Photo: The main wall at Ilchester
BETA PHOTO: The main wall at Ilchester

Comments on Ilchester Add Comment
Show which comments
By Gabe Cisneros
From: Baltimore, md
Jul 15, 2017
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.

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