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Chickies Rock

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Chickies Rock  

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Location: 40.05453, -76.52424 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Justin Johnsen, The Stoned Master, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ross Purnell on Feb 14, 2008
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BETA PHOTO: Tanya on the final headwall of Sunday Morning.

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Chickies Rock is a traditional climbing crag on cliffs rising over the east bank of the Susquehanna River. It has single- and multi-pitch routes, ranging from 5.0 to 5.10+ or 5.11-, on adequate quality metamorphic rock. It's popular to climb on top rope on the Main Face, with slings and trad protection to build anchors; you'll find no bolts here!

The crag is in the eponymous Chickies Rock Park. The rock itself is Lower Cambrian Chickies Quartzite. Chickies Rock is the largest exposed anticline on the East Coast. According to USGS, the summit of the ridge is 587 feet (179 metres) above sea level. The state park info says the cliff is 200 feet tall--and that might be true by the overlook, but at the south end--on the face where the main crowd climbs--the cliff is about 150 feet. Maybe 75-100 feet up to Riverview Ledge, and then another 50 feet up the Block if you try for a second pitch; very few people do that.

Getting There 

Chickies is just off Highway 441 near Columbia, PA. Use this map as a reference:


The parking area indicated by the "P" on chickies Rock Overlook Trail is NOT where you want to park. This is a longer hike and ends at the top of the overlook. the best place to park is to the north where the Susquehanna Heritage Trail meets 441. It's a pullout beside a grassy area with a few white municipal buildings. Follow the trail to the south along the river and old railway tracks to the far south end of the rock.

Rock Type 

Lower Cambrian Chickies Quartzite : "light-gray to white, hard, massive quartzite and quartz schist with thin interbedded dark slate at top."


Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.5 miles from here

20 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Chickies Rock:
The Exorcist   V5-6 6C+     Boulder, 12'   The Cave
Witches Brew   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   Main Wall
For Madmen Only   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     TR, 1 pitch, 105'   Main Wall
Josh's Hump   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 200'   Main Wall
The Undercling   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Wall
The Lower Undercling   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 120'   Main Wall
Browse More Classics in Chickies Rock

Featured Route For Chickies Rock
Looking up Witches Brew.

Witches Brew 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13  PA : South Central PA : ... : Main Wall
I have seen different descriptions of Witches Brew and Witches Brew Direct. In my opinion, "Direct" is the only version worth considering. Any escape to the left of right does not make the climbing any easier, and you miss the best part of the climb.Due to the length of the climb, the first time I did this I did it in two pitches, setting up a belay on the loose ledges at the base of the chimney. Don't do this. There is tons of loose rock on these ledges, rope management here sends showers of ro...[more]   Browse More Classics in PA

Photos of Chickies Rock Slideshow Add Photo
 main wall at chickies
main wall at chickies
Decent perspective on the problem
Decent perspective on the problem
main wall at Chickies
BETA PHOTO: main wall at Chickies
Ryan following on Main St.
BETA PHOTO: Ryan following on Main St.
Chickies Main Wall topo from Chickies climbing gui...
BETA PHOTO: Chickies Main Wall topo from Chickies climbing gui...

Comments on Chickies Rock Add Comment
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By IClimbThings
From: Southeast Pennsylvania
May 31, 2013
It's listed as a link in one of the images - but check out the site below for detailed guides

By johnva
Sep 15, 2013
two sets of bolts and chains, thank you to the installer.

However the chain at the top is a little short and if you rappel down to main ledge pulling rope very hard/impossible. Adding a couple of links would allow rope to float as opposed to getting stuck on rock due to bend.
By Corey Taormina
From: hellam
Jul 1, 2014
just to let people know, the parking area that is noted in here, you can't park there anymore. There are three no parking signs by the open grassy field. And I did confirm this with the Lancaster County Parks Department as well. They said it the land is owned by a private owner.
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