There are no warranties, whether expressed or implied, that this guide is accurate or that the information contained in it is reliable. Your use of this guide indicates your assumption of the risk that it may contain errors and is an acknowledgment of your own sole responsibility for your climbing safety in what is potentially a life threatening sport.

Mr Patapsco's Google Map


More About the Guide

There are just about 260 rock outcrops listed in this guide, although 40% really aren’t worth talking about. I chose to include the 40% so you can decide for yourself if they are worth climbing. Perhaps the vegetation just needs to be cleaned off to uncover something grand. The majority of these crags are bouldering areas.

Click on the balloons in Google Maps to see information and pictures of each crag. All crags will have the height, the direction the rock faces, a clean rating, and the approximate number of routes. The clean rating is on a scale 1 to 5 where Ilchester is a 5 and Friction wall is a 2. Please keep in mind this is a small scale and very subjective. The last rating, approximate number of routes, is based on either having climbed at the crag or a visual inspection of the crag. This rating should give you an idea of how much a crag has to offer. I often get asked if I have climbed on all of the crags listed here and the answer is no, as some are just plain rotten rock or covered in vines.

Top Areas

Top Topropping areas

Ilchester 38'..................intermediate to Pro ............. S. Hilltop rd off Frederick Rd

Alberton 50'..................beginner to intermediate .... Dogwood rd @ Holfield rd

Woodstock 39'..............intermediate to advanced .... Woodstock rd @ Old court rd

Friction Wall 68'...........intermediate to Pro .............. College Ave Ellicott City

Bloede Dam Crag 34'.....beginner to intermediate .... Ilchester rd Ellicott City

Cascade Falls 31' ...........intermediate to advanced ... Landing Rd Elkridge

Marriottsville Gold 29'..beginner to intermediate .....Marriottsville rd2

Morgan Run 34'.............intermediate to advanced ... Klees Mill Rd Westminster

Top Bouldering

Alberton - Frameshift, 40, The Prow... Dogwood rd at Holfield rd

Morgan Run entire area ......... Klees Mill Rd Westminster

Woodstock Rock, Way Back....Woodstock rd at Old court rd

Kelbel’s Karg ...........................Liberty Reservoir

Ivy Mill.....................................Reisterstown Md Ivy Mill rd

Grimhold Boulder ...................Sykesville Buttercup rd.

Gorsuch Switch .......................Sykesville Gorsuch Switch Rd

The Nest, Jam Boulder............Sykesville River Rd

Trolly Line................................Ollea and Old Frederick rd

Route 70 Boulders...................Old Frederick rd and the Railroad

Passage.....................................Granite MD Old Court Rd


Many of the crags listed with in this blog have established routes that are not documented. This being the case, please ask before bolting to make sure a route doesn't already exists. There are several Crags in the area that are desired by many to stay bolt free in order to protect the established routes. The list is, Ilchester, Woodstock, Cascade Falls, Bloede Dam Crag, Alberton, Kelbel’s Karg, Marriottsville Gold-Silver-Bronze, River Rd Half Dome, and The Nest.

Crag Locations Download

The link below has the rock locations for use in Google Earth, without the pictures and information contained within the balloons.
This downloadable file is a kmz format and was last updated on 4-29-2015.
In addition you can turn on the Park Boundaries in Google Earth by selecting “Parks/Recreation Areas”, a green pine tree, found in the “More” folder.
MrPatapsco Locations

Other Climbing Links

Mid-Atlantic Climbers (MAC) is an organization dedicated to ensuring responsible climbing and access in Maryland and Virginia. MAC is involved with Ilchester Rock and the issues at hand including erosion, Graffiti, and trash.

Indy-Adventures covers most of Maryland's climbing areas and contains more detailed information on some of the local areas listed here.

Bouldering and climbing in Central Maryland by Robin Close
with and emphasis on North West Branch.

Pebble Wrestling A Local group documenting there Bouldering trips.

John Kelbel

I grew up on a small farm on the West side of Baltimore and started climbing in the spring of 1988 through CCBC. I began lead climbing the fall of 1988 on nuts and hexes as camming units were not well known about. I’m proud to say that I lead my first two 5.10’s, Castor and Pollux at Seneca, prior to obtaining my first camming unit. I started guiding for Mike Carroll’s CCBC climbing class trips to Seneca in 1989 and it was an honor to guide for him for 17 years. In 1991, I took 2 courses with NC Outward Bound, the Wilderness First Responders and a 10-day Rope Rescue course. After completing these courses, I taught troubled youth to climb at Seneca for 4 summers. The last summer I taught the class, I lived at Seneca and my work-week was only 3 days long! With all this extra time to climb, I began leading 5.11 Seneca trad routes. I have enjoyed the challenge of climbing several routes approx. 1000’ tall, two of which I roped soloed - Moby Grape on Cannon NH, and Left side cracks on Pingora in the Cirque of the towers WY. I have established a route at Seneca “Before the Fall” 5.10b PG with Dan Caston and Maryland’s first grade IV route “Spectacular Spectacle” A3+ 5.8 IV at Maryland Heights with Dominic Albanese.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Map Platform - Welcome to Google Maps

Due to Google’s deprecation of the Earth API I was forced to move the map from Google Earth to Google Maps. Much thanks to Dominic Albanese for all the programming work. I’m very excited to now offer a “Full screen” button at the top right corner of the map! Also that the site is available on mobile devices when "view as web version" is selected.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Spring 2015 update

I covered 95 miles on foot this winter and added 43 more boulders to the site with some near 20 feet tall. Bringing the crag / boulder count to 236. Most of the new boulders added are around Liberty Lake and have some of the longest approaches in this blog. Liberty Lake is Baltimore City watershed property and swimming is prohibited. Climbing is also prohibited but no climbing issues have come to my attention nor have I seen it posted anywhere. It seams the intent of this law was to keep people off the dam and rock that forms the sides of the dam, however that’s just my irrelevant view of it. I advise everyone keep a low profile while on Baltimore watershed property keeping climbing gear in a pack and out of sight. Here’s what’s new from North to South. On the north end of Liberty Lake In-between Rt 140 and Deer Park rd are 21 boulders with a few near 20 feet tall, some of which loom over the water. At the Lake and Rt 32 heading East are 5 boulders in the 12 to 15 foot height range this is the branch of the lake created by Morgan Run. To finish up with Liberty three more boulders were added just south of the Dam, the new JJ Boulder is worth checking out along with the existing KK and CC boulders. John Brunson and Ryan Jones located the “Grimhold Boulder” near Freedom Park Sykesville along the railroad and have established a few lines there. East of Woodstock around Fox Rock Quarry I add 7 boulders and some of them are granite. Near Cascade falls / Bloede Dam area four more outcrops were added, Carpet Rock, Eggbert, Green Monster, and Crusades. In the City at Leakin Park I turned up an unappealing old quarry named Barrier Cliff. Finally to warp up this winter’s rock hunt with a new area containing five mediocre boulders in Hawlings River state park just south of Triadelphia Reservoir. I’m happy to change things if there is reason too, like color of the place markers or even the name of a crags, obviously I’m not the first to come across all these rocks. If you find your group of friends climbing frequently at a crag that’s marked in red or blue let me know so I can update the map for the climbing community, particularly if the crag has been cleaned up and has become more accessible to climbing. I enjoy hearing that people are adventuring out to all these places. John Kelbel

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring 2014 Update

Added a few more outcrops. The most interesting is South Morgan Run “H” and “G” Morgan Run Park is North of Skyesville off Klee Mill Rd.  From here hike south 1.2 miles along the river and left up a small valley with a stream. The rocks are pretty close to London Bridge Rd.  I haven’t checked to see if there is parking on London Bridge.
Added Pictures of Rory Bowman on Dana Tron V6 at Woodstock and also add pictures of him on the neighboring boulder called “West Boulder”.
Added 3 more outcrops in-between Woodstock Rock and Daniels on the south side of the Patapsco River, their names are “Cable Rock”, “Tom Thumb”, and “Rock Slide”
Another Group of 3 outcrops were added on the North side of the river from the old mill at Daniels there names are “Moss Pile”, “Boulder Line”, and “Cornerstone”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Friction Wall Access Issues

Access issues are arising with walking along the train tracks to Friction Wall.  There have been two reports now, one where two climbers were ticketed for trespassing on CSX property.  With little other access to Friction Wall everyone needs to stay out of sight of all trains, workers, and CSX cops.  CSX workers are strictly forbidden to walk down the center of the tracks.  So if you are going to trespass at least walk on the side as far away from the tracks as you can.  I heard once long ago CSX owns 40ft two either side of the tracks but don’t hold me to this.  I also heard just crossing the tracks is not allowed either.  So please try to preserve our access by staying out of sight of all trains, also keep me informed of new issue so as a climbing community we can try to head off potential access issues.

Also keep this in mind for Woodstock Rock and the other rocks along the tracks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Post

I will enjoy your comments and hearing about your climbing adventures on the crags listed in this blog.