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Wissahickon Valley Park

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Danger Dam, The 
Forbidden Boulder 
Funky Slab, The 
Livezey Rock 
Mayday 
Precious Boulders, The 
Urination Amphitheate 

Wissahickon Valley Park 


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Location: 40.0485, -75.2134 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 19,820
Administrators: Justin Johnsen, The Stoned Master, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Justin Johnsen on Aug 16, 2010
Forecast:
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82° | 68°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
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BETA PHOTO: Fun Areas. One of the best problems in the park is...

Description 

Wissahickon Valley Park contains most of the outdoor climbing on natural rock within the city limits of Philadelphia. Most of the climbing here is bouldering on Wissahickon Schist along the valley of Wissahickon Creek. There are also a handful of toprope, sport and/or buildering routes. The setting is mostly forested, giving it a scenic, isolated feel despite being so close to a major urban area. This makes it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts; you'll usually see hikers, runners, bikers, swimmers and tourists in decent weather.

The best bouldering is on the Manayunk end of the park along the bike path on Lincoln Drive. There are about 50 problems from V0-V11 (some pure lines, some are eliminates). If you enter from Ridge Ave, there are 5 distinct "areas"/boulders within a half mile (Urination Amphitheater (just off ridge), Main Area (top of the hill), Slab (just past 100 steps), Long Wall, & Torque (directly across from the (old) police station on Lincoln Drive).

The main spot for roped climbing is off Livezey Lane near Chestnut Hill.

Before the advent of indoor climbing gyms in Philadelphia, bolted sport routes under Henry Avenue Bridge were where local climbers practiced when it rained.

Fiends of the Wissahickon are a non-profit group that care for the park, beyond what the city does itself. You can volunteer for a trail maintenance day, learn about the park, or help out in other ways through their website.


Getting There 

There are countless parking areas around Wissahickon Valley Park, and climbing areas can be accessed by a network of trails.


Governance 

Fairmount Park, supported by Friends of the Wissahickon.


19 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',4],['5.8',2],['5.9',3],['5.10',1],['5.11',1],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',3],['V2-3',1],['V4-5',1],['V6-7',2],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Wissahickon Valley Park:
The Seven   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Livezey Rock
Unnnamed   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     TR, 20'   Livezey Rock
Zig Zag   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Livezey Rock
The Eight   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Livezey Rock
Directissima   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Livezey Rock
The Nine   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Livezey Rock
Browse More Classics in Wissahickon Valley Park

Featured Route For Wissahickon Valley Park
Anna starts climbing Zig-Zag on the steep side of Livezey Rock. Or is it Directissima? They both start with the same couple of moves.

Zig Zag 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  PA : Philadelphia : ... : 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

Photos of Wissahickon Valley Park Slideshow Add Photo
The 100 Steps Area has the highest concentration of problems with very easy access.  You will see at the top of the map the cross streets that you can google map in order to get there.  Park at the top and wall down the "100 Step"
The 100 Steps Area has the highest concentration o...
Only a few problems for the effort to get there.  Worth checking out for locals.
Only a few problems for the effort to get there. ...
Great problems but only a few for the effort to get there.  A must do area for locals.
Great problems but only a few for the effort to ge...
High concentration or problems
High concentration or problems
Dave give Anna a pointer - literally - on the 5.8
BETA PHOTO: Dave give Anna a pointer - literally - on the 5.8
Only a few problems for the effort to get there.  But worth doing checking out if you are a local.
Only a few problems for the effort to get there. ...
The Forbidden Boulder, with the Battle of Germantown plaque showing on the right.
BETA PHOTO: The Forbidden Boulder, with the Battle of Germanto...
livezey rock
BETA PHOTO: livezey rock
Comments on Wissahickon Valley Park Add Comment
Show which comments
By sevans
Apr 4, 2011

Unfortunately the city removed all of the anchors and holds from the Henry Avenue Bridge last year when they did some extensive work on the bridge (thank you stimulus).

By matt snyder
Apr 13, 2011

The above refers to the Kelly drive boulder. It's fun if you like V0 traverses in direct sun with a lot of background noise and traffic.

The best bouldering is along the bike path on Lincoln Drive. There are about 50 problems from V0-V11 (some pure lines, some are eliminates).

If you enter from Ridge Ave, there are 5 distinct "areas"/boulders within a half mile (Urination Amphitheater (just off ridge), Main Area (top of the hill), Slab (just past 100 steps), Long Wall, & Torque (directly across from the (old) police station on Lincoln Drive).

Classics include:
Rich's Arete - V4
Easy Arete - V1
Sloper Traverse - V0
Urban Sprawl - V8
Jugs - V1
Simpson's 7 - V6/7
Rocco's Variation - V4
Center Arete (right start) - V7
Full Traverse - V6+
Unemployment Line - V9
The Slab - V0
Torque - V7
Unnamed Arete (just past the torque boulder, on the hillside) - V4

There are more boulders (10 problems?) making a crown on the hillside towards the end of the bike path (2 miles down) as you approach the Forbidden Drive Parking area, however these are on the other side of the creek. These are visible from the parking lot.

By Dan Herscovitch
May 4, 2011

That's too bad, I'd heard many a story about climbing the bridge and always wanted to try it. If I had the equipment and experience to re-drill it, I would absolutely be up for some special ops under the cover of darkness :)

Justin, I remember doing a 5.5ish climb at Livezey rock, but I can't remember what route it follows. I'm sure there is something on there easier than 5.7, anyway.

By Rob Goldberg
Aug 28, 2012

Climbers
Please use your common sense. Imagine the precarious access situation we face with this valuable local resource. There are some areas where word of mouth makes more sense. All it takes is one incident for this area to be closed again.