Gemini Gullies, Hidden Amph., Roadside Gully, Lock Haven - 12/30/10

by Dave Seasholtz Thu, December 30 2010 22:35

Tom Mrotek and Jason Erdman were climbing in the Lock Haven area this morning and passed me the following report.

Gemini Gullies: They climbed Left Gemini and topped out on the mixed finish on the left side of the upper amphitheater. Jason noted that conditions were pretty good throughout the entire route. There is more ice on the upper tier than when he was out last week. The upper amphitheater in Right Gemini Gully is slowly growing and may soon be climbable.

Hidden Amphitheater: Still needs some COLD temps to bring it into climbable condition. It doesnt look like it has grown much since last weekend.

Roadside Gully: The upper steep tiers are starting to look good from the road, but the low angle approach gully still has several sections of running water.

The weather report for Friday and Saturday is not good. Highs around 48 degrees and possible showers on Saturday afternoon. The temps are supposed to fall to more seasonable conditions on Sunday. Time will tell how much this warm spell will affect the ice.


Tom Mrotek topping out on Left Gemini Gully - 12/30/10

Shoestring Gully, Hidden Amphitheater, Lock Haven - 12/24/10

by Dave Seasholtz Fri, December 24 2010 23:52

Jason Erdman reports: I ventured up to Lock Haven for a little scouting trip this morning. I soloed up Shoestring Gully on the eastern side of the river, which is in pretty good condition. Most of the ice is pretty thick, but it is not completely formed throughout the entire route. There are a few bare sections in the middle and near the top of the route. This was the first time I climbed Shoestring and it was pretty fun for an easy route. I also checked out Hyner Amphitheater a couple of hundred yards upstream (north) from Shoestring. There is some good ice coming in on the small 15ft. headwalls, but it is still a little thin.

Shoestring Gully from the bottom and midway up - 12/24/10

I also took a walk into Hidden Amphitheater. I had my easiest approach ever into hidden as there is hardly any ice on the rock bed leading up to the amphitheater. I usually end up on my backside at least once a season trying to negotiate the ice rocks. I found that Hidden has made some progress since the last update, but it is still not in great shape. There is a line or two on the right side that could be climbed, but the ice is pretty thin and the top-outs after each tier would be sketchy at best. I would give it a week or two if anyone is considering going to Hidden Amphitheater.

Hyner Amphitheater just upstream (north) of Shoestring Gully.                                       Hidden Amphitheater, 12/24/10

Finally, I drove past Roadside Gully and there is still a lot of water flowing. It does not look like much progress has been made since last week at Roadside. We need one more good cold snap and most of the areas will be in good shape in Lock Haven. Until then, if anyone is climbing there, be careful and tread lightly.

Gemini Gullies, Lock Haven - 12/19/10

by Dave Seasholtz Mon, December 20 2010 16:40

Tom Mrotek reports: Jason Erdman, Jon Lawrence and I went out and climbed the initial part of Left Gemini on Sunday 12/19 but did not climb the upper tier.  For the past couple of years, there has been a fixed pin at the left side of the base of the Left Gemini's upper tier.  I placed this pin to back up the belay anchor, since I've always had either suspect cams or short screws as my other anchor points here in the early season. The pin has kept fairly solid over the years, but due to the rock quality,  I never would trust it entirely.  I noted yesterday that someone had girth hitched a runner and a rap ring through the piton and lowered/rappelled off of the pin, I would imagine to avoid the upper curtain.  Since this is not a good idea, I have removed the pin until I can ensure a good placement there.  I would recommend bringing a #2 and #3 Camalot and perhaps a couple of medium nuts and/or a baby angle for that belay right now as the ice currently isn't good enough for a screw belay.  If you choose not to top out, do as we always do and down climb that middle section to the first belay/rap station.  Also, we replaced that first rap station with new hardware yesterday.

Old 309 Quarry, Dallas (NEPA) - 12/19/10

by Dave Seasholtz Sun, December 19 2010 21:17

Tim Gronski reports: Local spot in the Dallas area in NEPA. More ice is coming in around this pitch. A solid 90 feet. Nice anchors up top to drop a rope down but they are a little sketchy getting to the noticeable stump for a bomb proof anchor. Wear your crampons while going up to the anchor cause the ground is frozen and there isn't much room to walk along the edge. There is a lot of debris from the clear cutting of the trees to put a power line through the area which kinda sucks but you have to deal with it. It's a nice spot to spend a few hours. Coordinates: N 41°17.444' W 075°55.177'

Old 309 Quary, Dallas - 12/19/10

Gemini Gullies, Roadside Gully, Lock Haven - 12/18/10

by Dave Seasholtz Sun, December 19 2010 13:01

Mike Royer reports: I went up to Lock Haven/Bucktail this morning and climbed Gemini with Matt Rinard. We got to the base at about 7:30 and things looked climbable, so we racked up and headed up the left side.  Matt led the first pitch...solid and plastic, though wet.  It took 16cm screws in places but there were also some bare spots. We weren't sure what we'd find on the upper part, but there was enough of the left side that I decided to make a mixed route out of it.  The curtain on the right was touching down, but it didn't look thick enough or well bonded enough in some places, so it seemed like a good idea to let it build a bit more. It could probably be climbed by a motivated party. We topped out and were back at the car by 10. I took a peek at the right side on the way down and it was in similar shape.  It'd probably go.

Left Gemini Gully - 12/18/10 (Mike Royer photo)

We stopped to snap a couple photos of Roadside on the way out.  The bottom is flowing heavy with little ice.  There's a decent amount of ice up top but it didn't look like it was in great shape yet.  No report on Hidden.


Roadside Gully and Upper Roadside Gully- 12/18/10 (Mike Royer photos)                                                          

Thanks for the pics Mike!  From these photos from the road, it appears that the first and second vertical tiers still need some extended COLD temps to bring that heavy flow of water into climbable condition. The route on the right side of the third tier, Glass Menangerie, looks like it may possibly be touching down and climbable. Dave

Roadside Gully, Hidden Amphitheater, Lock Haven - 12/11/10

by Dave Seasholtz Sat, December 11 2010 21:47

Cody Borigo reports: Drove out to the climbs outside Lock Haven today. Roadside was in bad shape. A few large icicles growing in the upper amphitheaters, but the pitches leading up to that were flowing hard. Hiked up into Hidden as well, but it's not quite there yet. Right side of first tier is coming in, but still very wet and fragile at the bottom (looks better in the picture than it did in person). The second tier looked ok as well, but poorly connected, fragile, and not quite to the ground, just like the first tier. Couldnt see the third very well, but from what I remember from last season, if the first two aren't in, the third probably isn't either. We decided to let things keep forming and didn't climb at all unfortunately. 

Hidden Amphitheater - 12-11-10 (Cody Borigo photo)

Didn't get a chance to make it back to Gemini gullies. Hopefully some of what has been building up will survive the warm temps and rain over the weekend.

Southwest PA Early Season Climbing

by Dave Seasholtz Fri, December 10 2010 21:48

It appears Tim Anderson and friends have got the first sticks of the season in SW PA. Please check out their trip reports and photos at Some bold mixed stuff and some nice thin pillars were climbed at Meadow Run at Ohiopyle State Park. Also of interest is how well the the ice is coming in at the Secret Cliffs II. That is a lot of ice for this early in the season.

Central PA needs reconed this weekend to see where we stand. Weather forcast is a dismal 40 degrees and rain changing to snow for Saturday into Sunday, but the temps are supposed to drop into the teens by Monday.


Winter is here!

by Dave Seasholtz Mon, December 06 2010 23:04

We are hopeful for a good season this year. Winter has come early to Central Pennsylvania, but the temps have not been consistantly cold enough to bring things in.

HELP WANTED! Please help keep this site up to date. Please email your Pennsylvania Ice Climbing trip reports and photos to and I will post them to this site.