Haycock Mountain is a wooded hill covered in diabase boulders. Diabase is an igneous rock that forms rounded boulders with high friction texture and minimal features for hand and footholds. Haycock has problems ranging from V0 to V11 and up. The style of climbing is very technical and requires a lot of smearing and balance.
What Makes It Great
Haycock Mountain is a unique place. The diabase rock there only exists in a few areas in the world. Climbing on diabase offers a different climbing style than climbing on granite, sandstone, limestone, or other common rock types. The slab climbing here is excellent!
The high friction rock will grab your shoe rubber and let you waltz up blank faces. Face climbs usually involve little crimps like Ninja Squirrel (V6) or cracks like Hematoma (V2). The lack of features on diabase boulders usually makes climbing steep walls and roofs difficult or impossible. Although, when there are holds on the steep walls, like Under My Thumb (V6) and Little Fluffy Clouds (V5) the climbs are top notch! When the faces of the boulders are too blank, the aretes usually have just enough features for you to squeeze and balance your way to the top. L’Angle (V2), Iron Lion (V7) and Jesus Calls for War (V7) are some of the best aretes in Pennsylvania. If you like to get scared, 3-Star (V1) is a must do, and Yosemite Crack (V10) is another proud line.
Who is Going to Love It
If you like to boulder, you will love Haycock. There are quality boulder problems for the beginner and the expert climber. The rock here will test your technique and route reading abilities. It is a great place for a beginner to learn new skills and for and expert to practice theirs. Haycock offers a wide variety of climbing styles. If you like thin faces, friction slab, balancy aretes, hard top-outs or even steep climbs, Haycock has you covered.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Haycock has two main parking areas. The Top Rock parking is located on Top Rock Rd and the Hanger 18 parking is on Mill Road. Top Rock is the best way to get to most of the bouldering areas. If are heading north on PA route 563, Top Rock Rd will be on your left. Turn here and the parking will be on your left in about a half mile.Top Rock Trail goes up to the boulders from this parking lot.
Hanger 18 parking is closer to the Hanger 18 area and the boulders on the West Caves Trail. To get to Hanger 18 from PA 563 north, turn left onto Harrisburg School Rd, take your first right onto Kinzler Rd, pass a stop sign, and park on your left just after going under a bridge. To get to the trail, walk back under the bridge and follow wide path on your right. Just before reaching a water tower, there is a small path that leads left towards the boulders. Hanger 18’s parking lot is small. If there is no space, there could be more room at Top Rock.
Trails at Haycock may be hard to follow in the talus fields. Look for trail markers in the form of cairns and blazes.
Haycock Mountain is located on PA State Game Lands 157. Wear orange during hunting season for safety and to avoid fines.