Livezey Rock has been regularly used for toproping and bouldering since at the least the 1950's, when the Philadelphia Grotto of the National Speleological Society organized regular climbs there. The Mountaineering Section of the Philadelphia Grotto drilled at least some of the bolts still in use today during the late 1960's. One of the most active climbers from this period, Lou Lutz, is commemorated by a plaque here. Livezey today has several pairs of eyebolts, with a handful of short established routes can be climbed on toprope from each.
Livezey Rock is a large chunk of Wissahickon Schist, blown open around the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps crew building the sewer pipe running past it. The climbing walls face generally south. The area is shaded by the surrounding forest in the morning, but gets direct sunlight for much of the day. There are almost always anchors available for use, even on the rare occasion that the crag gets crowded. The locals are usually friendly, and the long-time climbers will give you beta or names of the established routes here.
There are actually three rocks that are climbed here. The upper, or main rock is bouldered and toproped. The middle and lower rocks are only bouldered.
This description is based partly on notes on the history of climbing in Philadelphia on the Philadelphia Grotto's Mountaineering Section page
Livezey Lane is closed to public traffic and parking. Instead, many climbers choose to park near the top of Livezey Lane on Wayne Avenue, between Allens Lane and Mount Airy Avenue.
From this parking area, walk downhill on Livezey Lane to where it turns northwest. Pass a unique white angular house on your right (it looks like it could be an art museum). Pass this house and its entire property, and then watch for a small dirt pullout on your left as you continue downhill (if you reach the river, you've gone too far). The back of the pullout is the start of a level, well-used dirt trail.
Follow the trail into the woods, past a concrete manhole cover on the left (sometimes this is overgrown and not easily seen). The trail becomes a large-diameter pipe with plenty of room to walk securely on top. You will pass a bulletin board on the left, then walk directly under the overhanging main face of Livezey Rock.
The whole approach is around a quarter of a mile from street parking, with about 150 feet of elevation loss that you'll notice more on the return trip.
Those familiar with Wissahickon Valley Park will find many options for parking, walking, hiking, or biking in, by way of many connecting trails.
Livezey Rock's routes are mostly eliminates and variations of a few main lines.
On the main rock, the anchors in these descriptions are numbered 1 to 5 from the climber's left to right. Anchors 1 and 2 are over steep rock; 3, 4 and 5 are mostly vertical. Anchor 5 is over the shortest climbs.
I'll try to collect and preserve some long-established routes and names here. These are beta-specific routes. Your feedback on these is appreciated, I'll make updates based on your comments and messages.
From "UKC Logbook"
There are two lower boulders with more boulder problems including Rich's Cave Problem (Middle boulder, V5), Jamy's Problem (V6), Not a Ten (V8), The Traverse (V4). The lower boulder is short and very steep.
13 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Livezey Rock
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Livezey Rock:
The Seven 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b TR, 1 pitch, 30'
Zig Zag 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b TR, 1 pitch, 30'
The Eight 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c TR, 1 pitch, 30'
The Nine 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a TR, 1 pitch, 30'
Lammie Pie 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a V3 6a TR, Boulder
Featured Route For Livezey Rock
Zig Zag 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b PA
: ... : Livezey Rock
Start with a few moves to get up the roof. "Zig" or traverse to the left and move up to the face. "Zag" right around an arete and up a gradually climbing set of holds well marked with chalk. Move up and "zig" back left to the anchor....[more] Browse More Classics in PA
BETA PHOTO: Short right side of Livezey Rock. 20' routes to bo...
In memory of Ulysses E. "Lou" Lutz who loved this ...
|By Justin Johnsen|
From: Sacramento, CA
Mar 23, 2011
A note on the street parking I described for Livezey Rock. I've used this many times and never had a problem. However, I know of at least one person that had their car broken into while parked here. It is a big city, so use common sense in regards to big city crime. Don't leave anything valuable or visible in your car if you park here. Travel with a friend if it seems prudent. Don't hang out in the park after dark. Keeping that in mind, visit Philly's own crag, and enjoy.
|By Justin Compton|
From: Longmont, CO
Feb 9, 2012
+1 on not taking valuables there. I had my car broken into and a backpack and laptop in a case stolen out of it several years ago. Lucky for me the low-life thugs didn't realize my full trad rack in the back was worth more than everything else they stole!
From: King of Prussia, PA
Aug 4, 2013
Do NOT park down on Livezey Road. Cops and PArk Rangers will ticket you. Park at the top of the road.