The Lego Block Area, named for a feature called the Lego Block, is near the middle of Little Stony Man and offers three nice leads in the moderate range. Each route is about 100'. Chimney in a Chimney (5.6) is definitely worth doing, with some good pro and some interesting moves.
The Lego Block
Most climbing at Little Stony Man is trad, but toproping is possible. However, it's a hassle because it can be hard to locate the tops of the climbs from above and you will have to build a gear anchor (see Gear section).
The Little Stony Man parking area is in the park’s Central District at MP 39 on Skyline Drive. If entering the park at the Front Royal or Thornton Gap entrance, drive south. If entering at Rockfish Gap or Swift Run Gap, drive north. Note that there is an entrance fee for Skyline Drive. In 2015, it was either $15 or $20.
To get directly to the base of the cliffs, hike on the AT to the junction with the Passamaquoddy Trail, which leads to a ledge offering a great view of the cliffs and then turns left to run directly beneath the cliffs.
Note-- Some boulders and outcrops near the northern end offer interesting bouldering and scrambling, and I have, in fact, done some bouldering there, but current management plans have made for the closure of this area to human activity.
One can also hike to the top of the cliffs and then follow The Chute down to the base, but it is much faster and easier to use the Passamaquoddy Trail. The Chute begins south of the open clifftop area.
There are three established trad routes here. From left to right:
- Chimney in a Chimney (5.6)-- Easy to locate. Look for a huge chimney with a narrower one within it. Climb or scramble up into the chimney (you might not feel the need to place any pro until you get into the chimney) and then work up to a roof. The guide says that the exit move for the roof is "not immediately apparent," but I don't remember any uncertainty at all. Regardless, whether you see the move right away or it takes you a little time to figure it out, the roof is pretty easy to pull once you spot the move. After that, easy climbing gets you to the top. The only real climbing on this route is in the chimney, but it's fun.
- Lego Block (5.5+)-- The guide authors say this route is 5.4 if you're tall. Start a few yards right of Chimney in a Chimney and climb up a pillar below a large, detached block called the Lego Block. This block is huge and seems weighted against the cliff, so it seems secure as a hold, though after whacking the rock and hearing a hideously hollow sound, I made this part harder by touching the block as little as possible. I definitely would not place pro against the block. Above the block, head up a face which is supposed to be the crux and then take easier terrain to the finish. A 5.7 finish is possible if you climb the crack to the left of the finishing moves.
- The Bong Move (5.7)-- This one starts at the right end of the area and climbs a face to a roof. Below the roof, traverse right and then climb an off-width crack to an overhang. Traverse right again to finish. The authors say pulling the overhang would make it 5.8+. The information here is from the guide; I did not climb this one because I did not have large-enough gear to protect the off-width. The authors recommend a #3 Big Bro.
A standard set of stoppers, hexes, and cams got me up Chimney and Lego Block. A #3 Big Bro is recommended if you do Bong Move.
You will need to build a gear anchor up top for the belay. There is a trail running across the clifftop, but it is against park regulations (and common sense) to have rope across the trail, so forget any notions of slinging some of the big trees across the trail with static line.
An Expensive Mistake