scrambling in mid-atlantic

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rootpi

 
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scrambling in mid-atlantic

by rootpi » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:50 pm

I'm interested in good 3rd/4th class scrambling within reasonable driving distance of Washington DC -- I found an earlier thread on scrambling in the east, but it was (perhaps not surprisingly) focused on NH, ME, etc. Is there anything in VA or PA or elsewhere that folks can recommend?

thanks in advance,
julian

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nartreb

 
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Re: scrambling in mid-atlantic

by nartreb » Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:04 pm

A couple of climbing areas spring to mind, there should be some short less-than-5th-class routes along the margins: Seneca Rocks, Great Falls.

Here's a few more areas that might be worth investigating:
https://www.summitpost.org/object_list. ... ype_1=DESC

https://www.summitpost.org/object_list. ... ype_1=DESC

You're dealing with low latitude and low elevation, so much of what you'll find will be as much of a bushwhack as it is a scramble, if you're staying off the truly vertical stuff.

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rootpi

 
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Re: scrambling in mid-atlantic

by rootpi » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:21 am

Thanks! Yes I suppose I should at least start with Great Falls to see what I can find, preferably more than the Billy Goat Trail. Will hopefully check out some of the others as well...

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larvitar

 
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Re: scrambling in mid-atlantic

by larvitar » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:39 am

I second the recommendation for Great Falls and note that the rocky terrain continues pretty far south of the visitor center. Hike down the riverfront trail for a mile or two, and you'll find plenty to do.

A couple more areas to check out are:

- Old Rag Mountain, SNP, VA: is covered in huge, smooth boulders and veers into Class 3 territory even along the main trail over the peak. The one drawback is that it's notoriously crowded in summer; even on an overcast weekday, there'll be lots of people around to gawk at you.

- Annapolis Rocks, MD: a beautiful outcropping fifty feet high and several hundred feet long with all kinds of scrambling potential. Well worth the Beltway crossing, but also fairly crowded in summer, I've heard.

- If you're not keen on long approaches, there are lots of stray outcroppings along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Humpback Rocks and Raven's Roost just south of Afton come to mind. And Skyline Drive (the Parkway's northern extension) will get you most of the way up to the various rock-studded summits of Shenandoah National Park... for a (park-entry) fee, of course.

- Alternately, if you're interested in a longer but easier (more like Class 2) ascent, the Devil's Marbleyard down near Natural Bridge has a pretty long boulder slope to climb. The "summit block" on Duncan's Knob in the Massanuttens is similar--the rocks are smaller and the slope is shorter, but it's only half as far from DC.

Thanks for asking this question (I say as a lifelong Virginian who's been asking myself the same thing for years). Good luck, and scramble safely!

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rootpi

 
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Re: scrambling in mid-atlantic

by rootpi » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:02 am

Sorry I thought I had replied to this already (thanks! - super useful) but I guess I decided to wait until I got out there, which of course took longer than I had hoped. But I went for a few hours this morning to Great Falls (VA) and it was basically perfect. I got in a bunch of 3rd and 4th class, even low 5th I think, on the peripheries of the climbing walls as well as traversing between them. Great fun to explore routes and go where I wanted (albeit limited by technical difficulty) without being tied to a rope -- metaphorically or literally. May try one of the other suggestions next...


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