Roadside Gully, Lock Haven - 2/13/2011

by Dave Seasholtz Sun, February 13 2011 23:55

Jason Erdman reports: Tom Mrotek and I climbed at Roadside Gully today.  We soloed up the first section to the head wall.  The ice was pretty good, but it was a little thin at the top of some of the bulges.  I led Mixed Madness and it was in great condition and really fun.  Almost all of the other sections of the second tier looked climbable with the exception of Thriller Pillar.  The third tier was in pretty good condition.  Motorhead is just about touching down and could probably be climbed by someone with a little more skill than Tom and I.  Tom led Glass Menagerie, which was in pretty solid condition.  The bottom was a little hollow but it improved with every swing.  We put new cord on the rap anchors for the second and third tiers.  The first tier rap anchor looked to still be in pretty good condition.  With the warm weather forecast for next week, this may have been the last day to get on Roadside, unless we get a severe cold snap at the end of February.


Low angle approach to Roadside Gully and Tom Mrotek leading Glass Menagerie on the third tier - 2/13/11

Closeup of the steep upper tiers in Roadside Gully - 2/13/11

Ganoga Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park - 2/5/2011

by Dave Seasholtz Mon, February 07 2011 22:25

Randy Edelman reports: Ben (from D.C.) and I climbed at Ricketts Glen on Saturday 2/5. The Left Wall was in fine shape with the second tier forming steep. We also climbed two fun lines on the far right side of the Right Wall (Cradleboard). Dutch Eagle and War Bonnet were also in with a party running a toprope on the latter. Ganoga Falls was thin and crashing down as we were there. All in all the climbing was good and the driving was by far the most dangerous part of the day.

Hiden Amphitheater, Lock Haven - 1/30/2011

by Dave Seasholtz Tue, February 01 2011 22:32

Randy Edelman passed me this conditions report: Met up with Bob and Earl from Middletown to climb Hidden. Bob led the first pitch which was thin in spots but fun just the same. I led the second pitch which was in fine shape (good stuff). I got on the third pitch only to realize that the curtain was fractured all the way across at the bottom, maybe a foot thick of brittle ice, and also not well bonded at the top. I backed off and went up far left to set up a toprope. Even the toprope was somewhat unnerving. Beware! Bob and Earl then went to roadside. Maybe they can follow up this report with pics and more info.

Gemini Gullies, Lock Haven - 1/29/2011

by Dave Seasholtz Sun, January 30 2011 01:00

Mike Hasse reports: We climbed Gemini Left today (1/29).  It was in decent shape I'd say; the first and third pitches (we climb it as three with the first belay at the tree near the gully split and the second at the base of the headwall) were solid, but the second had a bit of rotten ice on it.  The lower angle sections had accumulated about 6 inches of snow, and there was a layer of rotten ice about an inch thick before getting to solid ice underneath.  The pillar that forms the right half of the third pitch was not fully formed, and the ice on the top half of the third pitch looked rotten enough to be concerning.  We ended up climbing halfway up the third pitch and then rapping from a large tree off to the left that we accessed before climbing the right heading "ramp".  


Pitch one, Right Gemini Gully and the Upper Amphitheater of Right Gemini - 1/29/11


Final Pitch, Right Gemini Gully - 1/29/11

Hidden Amphitheater, Roadside Gully, Lock Haven - 1/23/2011

by Dave Seasholtz Mon, January 24 2011 15:13

Report from Jason Erdman: It looks as though all of the climbs in the Lock Haven area in.  Ryan Mullins and I climbed in Hidden Amphitheater today and it was in pretty good condition.  The easier left side of the amphitheater was a little thin and wet, but the rest was in the best condition I have seen in the last couple of seasons.

Hidden Amphitheater - 1/23/2011 and Second Tier, Hidden Amphitheater - 1/23/2011

We stopped to check out Roadside Gully and it looks like the lower portion is completely solid and  the upper tiers should be in as well.  I also heard from Andy Hildebrand that he climbed Gemini Right Gully this past Tuesday.  The weather forecast for the next couple of weeks looks pretty good, so it should only get better from here.  

Roadside Gully - 1/23/2011

Roadside Gully, Gemini Gullies, Lock Haven - 1/9/2011

by Dave Seasholtz Mon, January 10 2011 19:11

From Cody Borigo: We went to Lock Haven area yesterday and got some good climbing in.  Roadside looked like it was in pretty good shape from the road.  Lower portions aren't fully in yet, but by no means was it the running stream like it has been.  Upper tiers looked sparse, but there are definitely some climbable lines.

Roadside Gully and the Upper Tiers of Roadside Gully - 1/9/11

We didn't climb up to Hidden but saw two climbers at the guardrail preparing to head up there. 

We did drive over to Gemini and it looked like we were the only ones there recently, as there were no tracks and the ice was pristine.  Both gullies are fat on the lower portions and I was able to get a 22cm screw in at each belay.  We ended up doing Gemini Left, for which the top pitch is in good shape, but the curtain on the right side (of Gemini Left gully) was still a little thin for my liking, so we climbed the ramp on the left half.  Ice on this pitch got progressively wetter and thinner as we climbed and a few mixed moves were involved, but it is looking really good overall.  I would recommend taking some rock pro for this upper portion as my last good screw was probably 20 feet below the topout, thanks to thin slushy ice.  We didn't get a chance to check out the right gully, but I would imagine it is in pretty good shape as well.  As a side note, thanks goes out to Tom Mrotek and the others, as we used their newly-replaced rap anchors. 

Gemini Gullies and Upper Left Gemini Gully - 1/9/11

The two climbs to the right of Gemini (Bastard Child and Loner Gully, as named in Griz's PA Ice Guide) are in decent shape.  Bastard Child is thin, but Loner is fat. 

Bastard Child and Loaner Gully just to the right (south) of the Gemini Gullies - 1/9/11 

I have some friends heading to climb Roadside tomorrow and if I don't get to join them, I'll ask them to send in some pics and info on the condition of the upper tiers.

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.