The climbing located in the Wissahickon Valley Park, including Livezey Rock and the surrounding boulders, is some of the oldest Philadelphia area climbing. The first climbers discovered it in the 1950's. Livezey Rock is a top rope and bouldering area formed by blasting which exposed a wall of Wissahickon Schist. The main wall has eliminate boulder problems and 5 sets of bolted anchors for top roping. There are a few other boulders throughout the Wissahickon Valley Park with established boulder problems. Wissahickon is the best place to go if you want to climb on real rock, but don’t have enough time for a full day trip to one of the further away climbing areas.
What Makes It Great
The best part about climbing at Wissahickon is the short distance from the city. It is the home crag for many Philadelphia climbers. If you want to top rope routes, checkout Livezey Rock in the center of the park, on the east side of the Wissahickon Creek. The recommended routes are El Diretto aka The Seven (5.7) and The Nine (5.9). Although, there are only about 12 routes, so you may as well just climb them all! At the top of Main Rock, there are 5 sets of anchors to choose from. Use whichever set of anchors is closest to the route you want to climb.
Boulderers can find problems below Main Rock, and throughout the rest of the 1,800 acre park. Some of the most concentrated bouldering is located along the bike trail between Ridge Avenue and the Forbidden Drive parking area. some boulders to seek out include: Torque (V7), The Slab (V0), Mayday (V6), Rich’s Arete (V4), and Unemployment Line (V9).
Who is Going to Love It
Wissahickon Valley Park has a lot of climbing for beginner and intermediate climbers. Expert climbers can use the park as training grounds by doing bouldering circuits and creating hard eliminate climbs. The top rope routes at Livezey are about 30ft tall and range from 5.4 to 5.11. The bouldering is mostly below V6, but there are boulder problems up to V11. Some of the harder problems are eliminates and variations. Wissahickon Valley Park is a great place for any climber that lives nearby and anyone who is climbing outdoors for the first time.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Wissahickon Valley Park has many parking areas and trails throughout that can get you to the climbing areas.
To get there from downtown, take 76 West for about 5 miles and get off exit 340A, Lincoln Drive. Follow Lincoln Drive for about 2 miles and take a left on West Cliveden Street. Take your next right onto Wissahickon Ave and continue 1 mile. The parking along West Allens Lane will be on your right and Livezey Lane, the road leading to the climbing, will be on your left. Park, walk down Livezey Lane, and look for a trail that follows a large pipe on your left. This will bring you to the Main Rock.
For the bouldering, the most convenient parking is where the Wissahickon Bike Trail meets Ridge Ave. Many boulder problems are located along this bike trail. The place most top-rope climbers park is along Wayne Avenue between, Allens Lane and Mount Airy Avenue.