Dear Safe Harbor climbers,

Thanks for all the feedback and kind words regarding the re-opening of Safe Harbor. This winter has served up an above-average number of great climbing days, and I’m psyched to hear that so many people are getting out on the rock! Post your favorite photos to the FaceBook page, and if you get a great shot please email it to me for possible use in the guidebook.

Here’s an update on things. Attorney/climber Chris Soper has helped us form the non-profit organization, Safe Harbor Climbers’ Coalition, that we needed for fund raising and to apply for an Access Fund grant. Laura Boniello Miller is working on the Access Fund grant application, which will hopefully come to fruition this Summer. Larry Fenton and myself continue to make progress on replacing old/questionable bolts. And with a little luck our fundraising and AF grant will produce the funds needed to install an information kiosk, improve parking, complete our anchor replacement project, and come up with some solution for human waste. Stay tuned for more info on ways you can help out.

In the meanwhile, here’s a PayPal button to begin our fundraising. Please pass this link around! The more we can raise, the more we hope the Access Fund will contribute towards our projects! –Eric

Written on February 3rd, 2012 , Uncategorized

Okay folks, here’s a link to my new Safe Harbor South “mini-guide.” I hope you like it! This replaced my very out-dated Rock & Ice mini-guide from many years ago. Feel free to send me your feedback, comments, photos, or anything else you’d like to contribute towards the comprehensive printed guidebook due out sometime next year. Be safe, and have fun out there!

1 Comment, Written on November 22nd, 2011 , Uncategorized

Of the 130+ routes at Safe Harbor North and South, nearly half have been upgraded to stainless hardware. I re-equipped about a dozen routes myself, and another 40+ routes   were upgraded  in recent years by a few energetic locals. Give them your thanks if you see them! But we’ve got a long way to go to have 100% stainless hardware at SH. (FYI, if you see double bolt placements on some routes–new bolt next to old bolt–you obviously want to clip the new bolt…and feel free to remove the old bolt, if you have a wrench or crow bar. Some of the climbs are a work in progress.)

Leave A Comment, Written on November 19th, 2011 , Uncategorized

After more than a decade in limbo, the crags at Safe Harbor have been partially re-opened to climbing. With the recent relocation of the high-tension power lines, both Amtrak and Conestoga Township have agreed to allow climbing to resume along the rail trail in Conestoga Township. The cliffs along this section of the old low-grade railway comprise what climbers refer to as Safe Harbor “South”. The cliffs upstream of the dam (Safe Harbor “North”) remain closed, pending Manor Township’s acquisition of their portion of the abandon low-grade line.

Eric Hörst on the classic Wonderama (12b) in 1991.

There are a few important matters that all climbers must be aware of in coming to Safe Harbor:

  • ACCESS – There is no access via Brenner Hollow Road–do not park here! Instead, climbers must park near the tunnel on Green Hill Road (see maps on the Access page) and follow a trail from the east entrance of the tunnel up to the rail trail–from here it’s a 15- to 20-minute hike to where most of the climbs are located.
  • PARKING – There is very limited parking near the tunnel on Green Hill Road. Please car pool! Climbing groups can meet at Safe Harbor Park (on River Road)–leave cars there and squeeze into the smallest number of vehicles possible to drive the final two miles to the parking. Green Hill Road is a rocky one-lane road, so drive slowly and be sure not to block the road when you park.
  • FIXED ANCHORS – As always, climb at your own risk! Many of the bolts and top anchors at Safe Harbor are more than 20 years old. While the majority of them are likely trustworthy, you must still be vigilant in using these rusty anchors. Some of the old rusty bolts have been replaced over the past ten years–either by “bandit climbers” (people who broke the climbing ban), during the brief re-opening in 2006, or since the recent re-opening this fall. Looking ahead, it’s a top priority that we replace all fixed anchors with stainless steel. Of the 130+ routes at Safe Harbor (North & South crags), approximately 50 routes are currently upgraded to stainless, but many more routes need upgraded. That’s a lot of bolts, so please donate to the cause!
  • OVERGROWN/DIRTY ROUTES – While some of the most popular climbs are in relatively good condition, many climbs are dirty and to some degree overgrown with grass, weeds, or vines. We are asking all climbers to careful clean routes you get on (use a wire brush to clean the rock face and a nut tool to clean dirt from cracks and pockets). Watch for loose rock–there’s a lot of this at Safe Harbor–and clean what you can (safely); but be careful not to pry off important handholds or flakes (which can be re-enforced with epoxy).
  • FUNDRAISING - In addition to fixed anchor replacement, we need to install a bulletin board or information kiosk, as well as develop a improved parking. An Access Fund “matching grant” looks likely for next Spring, and so we (the local community) must raise as much $$ as we can this winter. I will soon install a PayPal “donate button” on this site, and I hope we can schedule fund-raising events at the local rock gyms this winter. Please contribute!
  • SWEAT EQUITY – Obviously, we also have a great need for climbers to donate their time and effort. Please join the Safe Harbor Climbing Facebook group to get involved. Also, I’d appreciate hearing from you via email so that I can develop an email list.
  • WALKING OUR TALK  - We all know that climbers are generally positive, proactive, kind individuals and as a national community climbers are held in high regard by land managers. I have no doubt that the land managers (and local residents) of Safe Harbor will similarly recognize our values and virtues as recreational users. To this end, here are a few things to keep in mind: Leave the crags and trail cleaner than you find it; Be friendly to passing hikers and share your  passion for climbing; Obey the dawn-to-dusk guidelines (no camping!); Drive slowly and park in a way that will not effect traffic flow.
7 Comments, Written on November 13th, 2011 , Uncategorized

Details coming soon…. Check back shortly.

2 Comments, Written on November 1st, 2011 , Uncategorized

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