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Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 1,466'
Location: 40.0323, -79.5407 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 25,660
Administrators: Justin Johnsen, The Stoned Master, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: truello on Nov 26, 2007
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Breakneck is a SWPA gem that has both sport climbi...

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  • Description 

    Breakneck is a small bolted cliff south east of Pittsburgh in the small area known as Breakneck. It can get slightly crowded on weekends, so consider one of the other several crags in the area as a backup plan.

    The cliff faces the north east and will receive morning sun. However due to the shade that exists for the majority of the day, snow can remain on this hillside for days after it melts elsewhere. It can be a good crag following a day of rain, thanks to the morning sun and great quality rock. The rock is sandstone and in great condition, as are the bolts and anchors.

    A few trad lines exist, but if you want to climb some cracks this definitely is not the area. The route to the far left is listed as a trad route on Tim's page, but is now bolted. This was to increase traffic on the route in hopes of keeping the dirt/moss from returning, and it can still be led with gear.

    Eclipse is the most obvious route on the main wall and goes at 5.6. It is where a lot of SW PA climbers led their first route. Another classic is Mosquito on the left part of the wall. The faint of heart can avoid the 10a bulge by escaping right on a separate 5.8 line of bolts. This is great for those in groups with varying skill levels.

    Getting There 

    Breakneck earns some of its popularity due to its easy 10 minute approach.

    Parking can be found at the following coordinates:

    Google Maps Directions

    Park and walk up the road towards the east a short way until you see a wooded trail that crosses a stream on your right. This trail is just after a red house on your right (note: Tonsef adds that this house has been painted a different color, probably whitish blue?). Follow this logging path up the hill (past a few interesting but dirty boulders) and look for a stone cairn on your right. This marks the beginning of the trail straight up to the rocks.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 3.2 miles from here

    43 Total Routes

    ['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',18],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Breakneck:
    (9) Eclipse   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 35'   Main Wall
    (3) Mosquito Variation   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Wall
    (10) Grab Your Balls   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Main Wall
    Revisited   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 45'   Main Wall
    (2) Mosquito   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Wall
    (5) Bowling Ball   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 55'   Main Wall
    (6) Transfusion   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 55'   Main Wall
    (7) Burning Balls   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Wall
    Crimp Fest   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 50'   Main Wall
    Browse More Classics in Breakneck

    Featured Route For Breakneck
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    15. The Golden Bough V11 8A  PA : Southwestern Highlands : ... : Bouldering
    Could be the best line in SWPA. Start low down in the pit matched on a large left-facing flake. Climb up the gently overhung face on perfect coral-esque crimps. Unlock the right sequence and you'll get to the heady but easy topout....[more]   Browse More Classics in PA

    Photos of Breakneck Slideshow Add Photo
    Right Wall Right
    BETA PHOTO: Right Wall Right
    Main Wall Middle II
    BETA PHOTO: Main Wall Middle II
    A fall overview from the top of Mosquito at Breakn...
    A fall overview from the top of Mosquito at Breakn...
    Breakneck overview.
    BETA PHOTO: Breakneck overview.
    The classic arete boulder problem at the base of t...
    The classic arete boulder problem at the base of t...
    Laura Hahn starting up Mosquito at Breakneck Rocks...
    Laura Hahn starting up Mosquito at Breakneck Rocks...
    This photo shows the top portion of the climb.  Th...
    BETA PHOTO: This photo shows the top portion of the climb. Th...
    Lower Slab
    BETA PHOTO: Lower Slab
    Laura transitioning the stem to the lay-back.
    Laura transitioning the stem to the lay-back.
    Main Wall Middle
    BETA PHOTO: Main Wall Middle
    Right Wall Left
    BETA PHOTO: Right Wall Left
    Main Wall Right
    BETA PHOTO: Main Wall Right
    Breakneck is known for its sport climbing, but als...
    Breakneck is known for its sport climbing, but als...
    Right Wall Middle
    BETA PHOTO: Right Wall Middle
    Main Wall Left
    BETA PHOTO: Main Wall Left
    Right Wall Furthest Right
    BETA PHOTO: Right Wall Furthest Right
    Main Wall Left II
    BETA PHOTO: Main Wall Left II
    Tee Pee Block
    BETA PHOTO: Tee Pee Block

    Comments on Breakneck Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By MicktheeMick
    Jul 23, 2012
    Just finished a better topo and updated route listing.
    Info gathered on site via climbers and old printout.
    Credit given where known on FA, etc...
    email or send me msg to get a copy.
    By Tim Anderson
    From: Acme, PA
    Sep 6, 2012
    As of 8/2012 All hardware has been upgraded and improved.
    By Andrew Garman
    Nov 22, 2012
    This crag is packed with classic bouldering problems.

    Main bloc:
    1. The arÍte is a classic V3.
    2. From the arÍte finishing in middle of the overhung face is V10+ project.
    3. Start on good hold at bottom right of bloc, climb face using 2 small pockets is V7.

    There are another 8 good boulders in the woods. Established problems range from V0 to V7. There were several undone projects.
    By Kevin Martin
    May 30, 2013
    First time at breakneck in a while. The new hardware is AMAZING, thanks for all the upgrades!!
    By Zi Brown
    Apr 1, 2014
    Hi all, I just uploaded some route pictures to go along with Tim Anderson's Breakneck Guide. They should match pretty close (with respect to route numbering and grading) to what his guide states.
    By Justin Johnsen
    From: Sacramento, CA
    Apr 2, 2014
    Zi, love the topos, thanks!
    By Pete Baertsch
    From: Connellsville, PA
    Jan 29, 2015
    In case everyone doesn't know, this is the new parking situation at Breakneck. A few months ago there was a complaint about parking at the usual pull off by the stream. The SWPACC asked some of the land owners and decided these new spots would be better for now. The areas in green on this picture are the new spots (this image is old and shows a trailer and cars in this lot, but it's clear now), and obviously red is the old spots. It only adds another 2 minutes of walking up the road.
    New parking info for Breakneck!
    New parking info for Breakneck!
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