A former member
Post #: 1
Hey, I just moved to Baltimore and need some advice about outdoor climbing here. I recently went to Great Falls to climb, but wasn't able to because the anchors we had were NOWHERE near long enough. I'm from Michigan and most of the places I've climbed before have had bolts set into the rock, so the anchors I have are relatively short.

I was wondering if someone could please recommend some basic anchoring gear I should have to be able to toprope climb in the MD/VA area? Also, I've only been in the area for about a month and a half, so could anyone give me an idea of some good places to climb within an hour or so of Baltimore?

Thanks!
Ben
user 3037728
Bethesda, MD
Post #: 12
You need webbing, lots and lots of webbing. You can also use static rope instead of webbing. You will (basically) not have bolts in the rock anywhere closer than Franklin, so if you don't know how to set up natural anchors then you really should learn. No disrespect, but the fact that you are asking this question suggests to me that you need to find someone who knows how to build natural anchors and learn from them. Other places near you are Rock State Park and Annapolis Rocks. Have fun and be safe!
Tim M.
user 5146076
Gaithersburg, MD
Post #: 7
As Ben said, static rope or webbing is required to set up most anchors around here. Two fifty-foot lines will work for just about anywhere.

Keep an eye out for outdoor meetups - I plan on hosting a few more this season. I'd be happy to talk about anchors at any of those events.

See you out there!
A former member
Post #: 2
Cool, thanks for the suggestions! I have tied natural anchors before, I've just had relatively little use for them since I could usually rely on being able to anchor onto bolts. I would usually anchor into 2 bolts on the rock and then tie a third backup anchor on a nearby tree. I have two webbing anchors that are probably about 15 or 20 ft. each, which seem pretty short and useless for this area. I've never had to solely rely on natural anchors before and I just wanted to know how many (and what length) anchors to buy to always be able to climb at places around here.

I will definitely try to make it to one of the meetups before the season is over. How late into the season are you usually able to climb here? From what I understand, this area is considerably warmer than Michigan so I will hopefully get a couple more weekends out of it :)
Ben
user 3037728
Bethesda, MD
Post #: 13
If you are selective and determined you can find days to climb here all year round. The colder it is the more friction.
Ellen
DrEllen
Damascus, MD
Post #: 1
Hi, Rhiannon.

Here is what I would buy: 2 40 foot statics, 2 40 foot webs. climbing rope at least 60 M, 3 20 foot webs

look at Apexx website for awesome prices. REI for in person buying.

with that, you should be able to do anything close. I think Rocks state park is right near you. A little climb or 2 is at Patapsco state park, The Maryland side of carderock can be done with shorter anchors that the Virginia side.
Sugarloaf can have short anchors also. I think you could climb well into Dec 1-2 week. This is a fun area with lots of nice climbers and mountain bike trails and kayak/canoe trails. Welcome!!! I can email you when we go next if you want to meet our group. See my website www.wildmedmd.com most folks are Alumni of the class and fun to climb with!
A former member
Post #: 1
Hey, I just moved to Baltimore and need some advice about outdoor climbing here. I recently went to Great Falls to climb, but wasn't able to because the anchors we had were NOWHERE near long enough. I'm from Michigan and most of the places I've climbed before have had bolts set into the rock, so the anchors I have are relatively short.

I was wondering if someone could please recommend some basic anchoring gear I should have to be able to toprope climb in the MD/VA area? Also, I've only been in the area for about a month and a half, so could anyone give me an idea of some good places to climb within an hour or so of Baltimore?

Thanks!

I'd recommend that you find the crag at Ilchester in Ellicott City. It's a 30-40 foot crag with 5.2 - 5.11 climbs on it. There are many trees at the top for anchoring, and there is a questionable but almost always-used rebar anchor (I think it's still there: haven't been there in awhile.)

It's fairly easy with enough rope to set up a three-way equalized anchor.

To top rope there, you'll need:
1. 60-80 feet of static line.
2. 10 feet of tubular webbing to run the static line through to prevent wear at the edge of the cliff.
3. 4 locking carabiners.
4. Someone who knows how to tie it all together.

You'll also find a lot of folks there who will help you set up a safe anchor. If you're not used to long runs of static line, you should talk to someone who is familiar with the issues. (e.g. don't just tie one figure-8 at the top, use two; don't use 1 locker in each figure-8 loop, use 2 in opposition; tie off to at least 2, but preferably 3 things; etc).

There's also Friction Rock in Ellicott City, but it's not for the faint of heart. You have to do some bushwhacking to reach it.

There are tons of small crags in Patapsco State Park. Rocks State Park is a good spot. Try out Carderock too: it can be crowded sometimes but it's very good climbing in a pleasant setting. If you're feeling brave, try out Wolf Rock in Cunningham Falls State Park. You need a permit to climb there: check their website and take someone who's been before.

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