Mountain Project Map - Harpers Ferry

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bouldering - Elk Ridge - The Cove and Balcony Rock

With the improving weather it's time to get out and climb on some real stone. Steve E has provided some images of bouldering at The Cove in the Outlying Area on Elk Ridge, MD and also a couple shots from Balcony Rock. As a matter of perspective the climber in these shots is over 6 feet tall. Keep that in mind when you are gauging the size of the rocks.

Steve on The Portal at the Outlying Area. The Cove Arete and Covert Op are visible
in the background.

Steve on The Portal at the Outlying Area. To his right is the problem called Crash Quartz in Crimping.

Steve in a different dimension after climbing through The Portal at the Outlying Area,

Balcony Rock Boulders, Steve climbing Fruitcake

Balcony Rock Boulders, Steve about to top out on Fruitcake, V4ish.
He's throwing for the final sloper off of a fun, gritty, sloper pinch in the left hand.
Thansk to Steve E. for the photographs.


Jonathan said...

Question for you...on Indy's online guide, he suggests following the trail to the top of Balcony, then continueing straight up the hill to the power line cut before going left toward Balcony Jr. In your maps you show cutting left off the main trail before you even get to Balcony. I was up there this weekend and couldn't really find a 'trail' so to speak but noticed the ground is very soft and will erode quickly if we just walk all over the place to get higher up the hill. In your experience, which path is the most efficient to get toward Balcony Jr?

Conrad said...

Glad to hear you are climbing up at Balcony Jr. It's a great cliff.
You are correct that there is not a distinct trail and the ground can be soft along the "trail" shown in the guide. That trail use to be more distinct but has eroded over the years.
Hiking up around the left side of Balcony rock and then up to the power line is much steeper and has erosion issues of its own. However, there is a more distinct trail along the left edge of Balcony rock and once you get to the power line clearing you can hike along the hill directly to Balcony Jr. The ground in the power line clearing is much more firm and there tend to be small game trails to follow. So I would suggest you hike stright up to the power line clearing and then over to Balcony Jr. Harder on the legs, easier on the mountain. Thanks for asking. Shoot me an email at if you have any more questions.

Also, I wouldn't mind hearing about your Balcony Jr. adventures if you have a second to write them down.