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


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

Rocks State Park

Rocks state park is a popular area just north of Bel Air with tall trad and top-rope lines and as it turns out, some pretty decent bouldering!   There’s a video on Dead Point’s Stash of Jason Kehl revisiting the area after spending some years as a professional climber.  But if you’re not up to forking over the money for a look behind DPM’s paywall, here are a few youtube videos for the area:

If the videos peaked your interest, or you’ve been looking for a guide for a while now, here’s the link: Rocks State Park Guide (Printer Friendly Version)

Levitation Version 2!

Some serious work has gone into Levitation since the last guide went out: the three hardest problems are new, and a there’s a party-trick dyno that you’d expect  only at a comp.

Jamie Neilson working through some of the earlier moves on the Fat Man Project

Here are a few of the new problems:

Projects Sends on Levitation Proper

The Dyno

A New Jam Boulder Problem

If you end up climbing, or have climbed any problems at Levitation, drop your 2 cents on the grading page!  It should help get accurate grades established for the area.

Right now, there are 4 projects at Levitation:

  • Fat Man Project on the jam boulder
  • Ro-Fo project just right of the Fat Man
  • The newly listed Eviction Project on Upper Levitation
  • The easiest of all, The Pearls Before Swine project on Levitation Proper

If you tick any of them off, leave a comment with the grade and name; maybe even add a video link!

Click here for the download: Levitation Mini Guide Version 2

Levitation Mini Guide

Mini Guide #1:  Levitation Rock

It’s north of 70 and just off of 32.  There aren’t a ton of lines, but the climbing is all top quality.  If you’re looking for recommendations, drop your pad under The Jam, Sparkly Spots, and/or Mulligan Flash.  Check out these videos from Jon Alexander and Robin Close for an idea of what to expect from the main boulder:


Below: A climber on the Jam Boulder’s Fat Man Project


Below: Upper Levitation in all its steepness

Problems pictured: Sparkly Spots and Snail Trail

ACCESS ISSUES:  You need to hike near the train tracks to get here, and rumor has it that CSX is cracking down on people who are caught on the tracks.  Avoid getting ticketed: Stay well off the tracks.  Also, College Road runs above the boulders; however, the neighbors don’t take kindly to people parking on their road and the only time we did it, we got towed.  In addition to all that, the boulders are within a few hundred feet of “the neighbors” and it’s not clear as to where the boulders are property wise, so it’s probably best to keep it down -unless of course, you’re on the send.

With all that said, parking at the public park and approaching as mentioned in the directions has not turned up any problems as long as you stay off the tracks and don’t get too rowdy at the boulders.  Happy climbing!

Here’s the link to the Levitation Mini Guide!

5/4/12 Update:  We have a wild, new line on Upper Levitation that will be going in the guide in the next week or so: Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow