Mountain Project Map - Harpers Ferry

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Maryland Limestone

I've posted here before on limestone climbing in Maryland near Shepherdstown, WV [ HERE and HERE ] and wanted to revisit the topic after a recent excursion to these cliffs.
See below for a topo/beta photo

My experience with limestone has always included
loose holds and the need to clean routes before climbing on them. It seems to be standard to the limestone realm.  These cliffs are no exception to that general rule.  There is much more rock here than I have time to clean and climb so you'll notice the topo photo only shows lines in the area of the cliff with the best stone. That also means there is room for development of new routes.
The rock isn't bad because it is soft and porous. It's rather hard and may even be dolomite rather than limestone but I'm not certain. The "choss" that I encounter in the section shown in the topo photo consists of hard rock that is highly fractured. You have to pull the fractured pieces from the cliff until the hold stabilizes but in the end some really great routes have emerged.  I've created a page on Mountain Project for this area and so far I've only had time to add the information for one of the climbs, "Two Mules for Sister Sara". I'll try to update the page as I get more time.

I encourage you to visit this area and to sample the various coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, etc.. that Shepherdstown, WV holds. It could make for a great combination activity type day. Please take a helmet just to be safe.
Here is the topo photo. Two Mules is the yellow line.


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