Hillbilly Hollow is a nice little sandstone bluff hidden behind a wayside along highway 39/51 in central Wisconsin. It has also gone by the following names Pasamead (Psamead?) Hollow, Area 51 and Liberty Rocks. It is a quiet getaway sporting about a day's worth of climbing.
At "The Hollow" one will find both traditional and sport routes ranging in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.13a. Two ultra-classic routes, Zig-zag Crack (5.10a Trad/TR) and Swiss Cheese (5.8 Sport/TR) make Hillbilly Hollow worth a stop if you are in the area.
Please be quiet and respectful when climbing here.
To find the Wayside start out southbound on Highway 39/51 from the Highway 21 interchange or further north. (Note: if approaching from the south one has to drive 5 min. past the wayside exit at Highway 21 and return southbound -- or poach the turnaround immediately north of the wayside "for emergency vehicles only") The wayside is located at about mile marker 120 (approx. 7 miles north of Westfield exit 113). Once in the wayside locate the shelter/bathrooms. Walk around the shelter on the left (east) side and locate a trail into the woods approx. 50 ft southeast of the shelter. Follow this trail through the woods, and slightly uphill. Upon reaching the shoulder of the ridgeline (this will all be apparent at the time), continue left to follow the trail into the canyon and the base of the climbs - or go right to access the top of the routes.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Hillbilly Hollow:
Start with matching hands and good feet. Move your left hand up to the start of the next sloper and slap left across until you reach a good edge. Move your hands up through crimpers and another sloper before reaching far right for a decent edge. Set your feet and top out on the top right corner....[more]Browse More Classics in WI
By JJ Schlick Administrator From: Flagstaff, AZ Sep 26, 2006
This area was discovered by Dave Groth due to an off chance comment by a hillbilly at DL. "I seen rocks like this before..." or some such thing. Dave and Bechler lead all the gear lines and then added the hard lines on the left in the mid 80s. If you have not been here before, the rock quality is mostly excellent and on par with that of the New Sandstone area at DL. A very cool little canyon that could use some modernizing.
Regarding the name of the easy bolted route-- I don't know who set it, but the person that introduced me to climbing called it "Swiss Cheese"....Might not be commonly used though.....I Always had a certain affinity for it....Besides a couple trips to a gym, it was my first climb and then lead. Great site!
Wasn't or isn't this area also referred to as "Pasamead Hollow" by a lot of climbers Wisconsin? Just thought I would throw that little tidbit in there. Also, I love the ole bit of Sconny climber lore associated with this place--- permanent residence for Tommy Duechtler (sp?) for quite some time if I remember right???
I have been climbing at the Hollow for many years now and have even put together a climbing guide to the area and many other areas, but stopped because I did not want to see some of my favorite climbing areas overrun. Many of these climbing areas in Wisconsin have unique ecological niches and some are even off limits due to endangered plant species. Also, many of these climbing areas are not suited for large amounts or even a minor increase in visitors to the area. When providing information on climbing areas please keep in mind the overall impact of providing the information.
AS far as the rock quality goes I had a question about the lower faces on waht i think would be the north west face of the ridge (opposite end that the trail comes in with a fence near the rocks) is any of this good for bouldering?? most of it looked rather brittle and never cleaned. Is any of it solid???
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Plymouth, NH Apr 13, 2009
The long discussion about bolting at Hillbilly Hollow has been moved to the forum. You can find it here: Hillbilly Forum
If you have anything to add on this issue, please post it to the forum, not to this page.
If you're really concerned about access issues go to a public library somewhere in Marquette County and check out the Plat Maps in the reference section. They'll let you know without a doubt who owns that land. But also I'm with Nick Rhoads on this one. It's so close to the highway it almost has to be DOT land.
I am looking for partners to go to WI climbing and other locations(Jackson Falls, DL, The Red, Grand Dads, etc) with.
I have an Airplane and can fly us there. Please send me a PM if you want more details and the cost of sharing the flight expenses. Hope to meet a few of you soon. I can fit up to 4 climbers with me in the Cherokee 6(with room for gear). I also have lodging available in a log cabin in the area :)
By Josh Olson From: madison, wisconsin Jun 11, 2011
So I have been hunting down new lines in the hollow in the last month, and tomorrow I plan on sending these bad oscars. While looking through the photos on mp for this area, I see that people have at least looked at these lines. Am I missing the local ethic of not posting these routes, or have others not been as inclined to post up?
Josh, I probably took alot of the pics you are looking at and I haven't posted them cause I didn't climb them. Generally speaking don't post a route until you've climbed it. Exceptions being well established routes that just haven't been posted yet for whatever reason.
By Josh Olson From: madison, wisconsin Jun 12, 2011
Sounds good Nick. I don't plan on throwing routes up I haven't climbed, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Looking for a partner to climb with here on July 28th or around there. Will be in the area. Not sure how busy this place gets. Just looking to get some good climbing in while I travel for work. I will return the favor if you are ever in VT/NH/NY or ME. ropegun.r # gmail.com