Pennsylvania Rock Climbing

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Pennsylvania Rock Climbing

Pennsylvania is most noted for its bouldering.  Lots and lots of bouldering.  There are more boulders in PA than combined with virtually all other mid-Atlantic states.  There are well over 300 areas to either climb roped or boulder in PA.  A lot of areas are access sensitive but a great deal are not.  PA climbers are notorious for being tight-lipped about their areas but recently that has started to change as climbing communities evolve and areas increase in popularity.
Toprope, trad, bolted sport; whatever you like, PA has it.  The cliffs are not as high as New Hampshire but there are 200′ high quarries and cliffs to climb on.  Many areas are brittle and choosy but many areas are high quality.  Gunk’s like conglomerate can be found in Northeast Pennsylvania and is similar to the best routes at the Gunk’s.  Some of the most popular bouldering areas lie in a belt of Diabase.  This bouldering type stretches from Gettysburgh into New Jersey near Haycock Mountain; perhaps the most popular bouldeirng area in PA.

Pennsylvania offers some great areas to sport climb.  The Mocanaqua region is a wonderful area to boulder and sport climb with areas like Squirrel Rock, Main Wall, Library, Paradise and more.  Stony Ridge is one of the oldest and best areas to sport climb as well as Birdsboro and Safe Harbor.  Western PA hosts many areas in Ohiopile SP and nearby like Lost Crag and Rob’s Knobs with sport and bouldering possibilities.  Central PA has some old quarries with routes ad some occasional trad lines.  Every part of the state has bouldering.  There are areas to boulder within a hour or less drive of just about any city in Pennsylvania.

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Season and Weather

Every month in PA is climbable but you can encounter problems in every month too.  Summer can be so hot and humid you wont want to climb but other summers it can be perfect.  Winter can be fridgid and other times tolerable to climb in.  Fall is usually the best and spring but you can get heavy rain any month in PA.  For the most part PA is one of the better states seasonwise to climb but it also has its drawbacks.


  1. Mondale Climbing Area
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