Played out

This blog was spun up to spread some better beta for the tiny areas in central MD. It’s built up a better collection of free Maryland guides than you’re likely to find elsewhere, but… there hasn’t been a new guide posted since April 2013.   woof.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the west coast, Mountain Project’s less helpful here than it is there, and no matter where you are,’s a better forum site than climbing resource. The work required to put out good beta on those two is why this site is here. Turns out the joke’s on me; mini-guides aren’t easier.

New Site:


CliffCloud‘s been in the works for a while, but it’s finally at a point where it can handle some use. Here’s the gist:

  • It’s built so that climbing developers can put out good beta fast. Everyone benefits.
  • Contributing is (somewhat) limited
    • If you’re itching to contribute, email and you’ll get set up as an area developer. Eventually it’ll be open to anyone.
  • Make a profile!
    • Log in with Google; CliffCloud only gets the info a visitor would see on your Google+ profile, nothing sensitive.
    • You’ll be able to start building climb collections right away
      • tick lists, sent routes, area classics, rainy day routes  — anything
    • If you’ve got videos, add their links to the climbs. Nobody wants to read beta; videos are the best medium for beta.
  • The site’s mobile friendly!
    • With a charged phone, you’ll have a guide at the crag. For free!

MDGuides will still be here, just inactive (barring user submitted guides). Put your new stuff on CliffCloud!

Check out some other MD climbing blogs too: Blue Ridge Climbing, Robin’s Blog, Harper’s Ferry Climbing, Indy’s Underground Guide, and Patapsco Rock.


A couple updates


So far just one new problem in the last couple months: it’s a link-up from the start of the Ro-Fo Project, through The Jam, to The Guillotine, which itself is a direct finish of Welcome to Jamrock. Or just overlay the boulder with this and follow the red line.

Once the author's back from the future, he can explain it

In all seriousness though, the line looks really nice, and who says links ups are no good?

The Sykesville Monster V8:

Keeping tabs on the place, looks like there are still 3 4 lines waiting to be done

  • Ro-Fo project
  • Pearls Before Swine project
  • Eviction project
  • Fat Man SDS

The Acre

There’s been some cool stuff here too.

and other videos at Robin’s YouTube page.

Site Stuff

The video section of the site’s gonna go soon. Google will get you a lot more than what would probably be a forever-incomplete compilation here.

If you’ve got a local area that you’ve enjoyed and want to open up to other people, rough sketches and suggestions are plenty to get the word out.

High Ridge Bouldering

high ridge 3Here’s a new guide featuring a little-known bouldering area!  High Ridge is in Laurel with a short approach (5ish minutes).  As you’ll see, the guide gives it a nice breakdown and describes it as a “once a season” destination with just under 20 listed problems.  You can find most stuff a Maryland boulderer would be looking for: there are great approach instructions, V0 to V5 boulder problems are listed and described, and a couple open projects mentioned if you’re looking for a challenge!

All credit for the guide goes out to Shawn Seifert, a local climber you might recognize from some of his videos that have made their way around DPM and ClimbingNarc:

And some Not-So-Maryland videos also by Shawn:

Thanks for reading! Here’s the guide:

High Ridge Bouldering

Balcony Junior

The Balcony Junior guide is up!  But, before you download it and run out, take a second to read the access issues; there isn’t much.

Parking can be difficult here.  As the guide touches on, there is a parking lot that serves as a school bus turnaround on the week days.  There is only a small area to park here,  once you find it (at the end of the small town of Sandy Hook) just remember the picture below.

balcony parking directions

Parking anywhere else could get you towed on weekdays or ticketed on weekends. Also, there’s not restricted or limited access right now, but where resources are scarce, in this case parking, is where access issues come from. Be smart and climb safe!

And now for the download link: Balcony Junior MDGuide

If you’re interested, the Harpers Ferry section of mountain project lists a couple other parking areas that could be useful to know in case the spots are taken at the turnaround.

Routes are coming!


Update 11/15/13: The guide’s out and posted here!

The title sums it up: the first routes mini-guide is coming.  So far, this blog has been catering to the crash pad denizens, but it’s time to expand!

If you’ve tapped out Carderock, Rocks State Park, and Annapolis Rocks, Balcony Jr should give you some new terrain!  Here it is:

It’s (kind of) divided into two sections: one, with sport routes on very featured rock, and the other, mostly trad routes with gear gobbling horizontals.

One thing to point out is that there are sport routes here, which, if you’ve tried to find bolts to clip in maryland, you probably know that sport routes are few and far between.

The guide’s about finished and should be posted within the week; keep your eyes peeled!

And don’t forget to look back once you clip the anchors!

Eden Brook Grades

Pitch in for consensus grading!

Here‘s the original post.

The Eden Brook Boulder

For anyone making use of Murray Hill as an after-work bouldering spot, you can add the Eden Brook boulder to your local tour!  It may only be a single boulder but as Robin (the author of the guide) says, “[Its] decent variety of problems means there’s a little something for everybody.” So why not stop by?

As you’d expect with a small area, there are a few contrived problems, including a traverse that wraps the entire boulder, but don’t let that discourage you.  Some of these eliminates look pretty good!  If you’re not one to blindly believe it, maybe this video will help convince you:

And for some first hand beta:

On Tuesday I warmed up on two of the awesome arete problems, Original 19 and Hop Head, both fun but very different in terms of holds and movement.  The first uses crimps and sidepulls on a slightly slabby surface, while the second follows crystally slopers up to an enjoyable compression finish.  I also did Choriqueso, still on the easy side, though a little more intimidating due to the slab under your chin as you’re making the final move on smeary feet.  Moving back to the left side of the boulder I climbed the slightly more challenging Shotgun Boh, a line up the right arete that I had managed to send last week.  My plan at that point was to put in a couple hours of work on my project, a line that I had realized a few days beforehand was possible, starting seated and climbing up the two seams without using the right arete.  It’s only about four moves long before the topout, but they’re four sustained moves requiring a great deal of core tension.

If you decide to stop by and check it out, drop a line in the comment box to encourage other climbers to get out, let people know about new variations, or maybe even other boulders nearby!

The Eden Brook MDGuide