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Your feelings on Ralph Stover. Worth the trip?
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rwaltermyer


Oct 1, 2002, 8:11 PM
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Your feelings on Ralph Stover. Worth the trip?  (North_America: United_States: Pennsylvania: Southeastern_Region: Ralph_Stover_State_Park__aka_High_Rocks_)
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Time and time again I've heard of climbers going to Ralph Stover and coming away dissappointed. But it suprises me; based on all the climbing established there I always have to scratch my head. Nonetheless, I get the feeling that the Philly locals love this place, yet the roadtrippers seem dissappointed.

What's your take on Ralph Stover? Worth the road trip? Suggested climbs? Why do you feel others don't like this place?

[ This Message was edited by: rwaltermyer on 2002-10-01 20:15 ]


x2drich


Oct 1, 2002, 9:14 PM
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Your feelings on Ralph Stover. Worth the trip? [In reply to]
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Having climbed at Stover 2-3 times a week for the past 2 summers I can shed a little light on the the area. First the positives, there are some really good top rope routes. Tango, Obnoxious Partner, Phone Booth come to mind right away. The Practice Face has several moderate routes 5.2-5.9 that all have very easy top rope setups - perfect for beginners. Many of the more popular routes also have bolts at the top to use as anchors for top ropes. For those who want adventure, wonder down to the grey walls. While small, very few of the routes in that area have names or ratings published which adds to the enjoyment.

On the negative side if you are looking to lead (trad) Stover is not a great place to go. The rock is very dirty due to erosion. In addition, the rock tends to break off fairly easily making leading a little more dangerous. Also stover is less then 3 hours drive from the gunks, which in my opinion is a FAR better & safer spot to lead.

As far as why locals like it, I think it comes down to the uniqueness of the rock & closeness to home. Many holds are polished smooth and require precise footwork not to slide off. What I like about it the most is how close it is to home (20 minutes) so I can head there after work climb for an hour, then head home.

On a side note: While I was there today I noticed some spots of the trail under the main cliff are eroding away. At spots the trail is less then 2' wide with a 20-30' drop off. Everytime I'm there it seems like more and more of the trail is disappearing. Does anyone know if a trail work day is planned to fix this situation before the trail completely vanishes?

DJ


[ This Message was edited by: x2drich on 2002-10-01 21:17 ]


climbinganne


Nov 22, 2002, 8:40 AM
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Your feelings on Ralph Stover. Worth the trip? [In reply to]
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i have only been to high rocks once...the weekend weather did not look favorable but i drove the almost 3 hours from my house there. i was with good friends on what ended up being a beautiful day enjoying that slippery as hell rock climbing with them...and they were very familiar with highrocks...we didnt have to wait "in line" for some of the "classic climbs"..but i noticed others did.

i also noticed the erosion of the trail, having two small children, it definatly needs work.

so i guess the question comes down to would i return again, perhaps, i thought the climbing was a lot of fun, but i can only imagine what it is like on a nice day, busy huh...


leaverbiner


Nov 22, 2002, 8:54 AM
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Your feelings on Ralph Stover. Worth the trip? [In reply to]
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Not worth the trip!

If you are local, it is better than nothing, and, if you are trying to show a beginner how things are done, then fine you can set up some top ropes and make a day of it . . . but I woudl say it is certainly not worth any length of drive . . . go to the Gunks, or head to the NRG . . .



kagunkie


Nov 24, 2002, 6:03 AM
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rokshoxbkr19


Oct 26, 2004, 7:13 AM
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Ralph Stover [In reply to]
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is there any difficult trad there? For all of you who will want to jump on me by what I mean by difficult I am referring to 5.10 and up, preferrably above the 5.10 grade. Is any of the rock quality good? Fill me in please, I am thinking about going this weekend


gblauer
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Oct 26, 2004, 7:52 AM
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Re: Ralph Stover [In reply to]
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Eric...the rock is terrible. Do not trad climb at Stover! Stick to the Gunks etc.


kimmyt


Oct 26, 2004, 10:44 AM
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Re: Ralph Stover [In reply to]
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Slippery, polished holds.


But, like others said, better than nothing.


woodthrush


Oct 26, 2004, 1:03 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover [In reply to]
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I've never seen anyone even trying to lead a route at Stover. I go every couple of weeks. The rock is slate - very easliy broken hardened mud, pretty much. There is a lot to toprope, though. I like the Far Face - you gotta go up quick or your fingers start slipping out of the polished, dirty holds! Either you have a flat, vertical face with cracks like Far Face or you have overhanging rock with nice, big holds (look harder than they are) like Phone Booth. Anyway, it's a fun place to toprope - would be very scary to lead. Go climb it before it all erodes away!


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Oct 26, 2004, 1:08 PM
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Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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Ralph Stover sucks, its a choss pile. Soft friable rock that gets polished easy, it's just compacted river sediment that is hardened. Sharp flakes that bust off, and hurt to crimp. Forget climbing there in the summer with the humidity and the lack of rock friction it's like trying to climb a greased pig with sharp ears. No good routes, just a few death trad routes.

Go to water gap or the Gunks etc.


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Oct 26, 2004, 1:12 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover [In reply to]
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[quote:909cc46558="rokshoxbkr19"]is there any difficult trad there? For all of you who will want to jump on me by what I mean by difficult I am referring to 5.10 and up, preferrably above the 5.10 grade. Is any of the rock quality good? Fill me in please, I am thinking about going this weekend[/quote:909cc46558]

Yeah, there all X death routes.


mingus


Oct 26, 2004, 1:20 PM
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Stover Syndrome [In reply to]
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I have led nearly every route at Stover back in the day and led FAs ground up. Even then people said the rock was too poor to lead on; it wasn't true then and it isn't true now. While there are dangerous routes there are plenty of routes with solid rock and good gear.

I'm not trying to flame everyone; just very surprised that everyone thinks it's just a TR crag. It ain't the Gunks but it is a nice little winter crag for locals and certainly worth a few hours drive when you don't have time for a 4hr or more trip to the Gunks. Plus it's a LOT warmer than the Gunks many days.

For harder stuff get on CRC, The Crypt, and Riff Raff Eliminate along with all of the later additions. It's my understanding there are a few good bolt lines, too. Sorry I don't have more explicit info but it's been quite a while and I haven't looked at a guide for almost as long.

BTW the oldest guide I have calls it Brunswick Shale - it's not slate.


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Oct 26, 2004, 1:22 PM
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Re: Stover Syndrome [In reply to]
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[quote:4cc6b39f29="mingus"]I have led nearly every route at Stover back in the day and led FAs ground up. Even then people said the rock was too poor to lead on; it wasn't true then and it isn't true now. While there are dangerous routes there are plenty of routes with solid rock and good gear.

I'm not trying to flame everyone; just very surprised that everyone thinks it's just a TR crag. It ain't the Gunks but it is a nice little winter crag for locals and certainly worth a few hours drive when you don't have time for a 4hr or more trip to the Gunks. Plus it's a LOT warmer than the Gunks many days.

For harder stuff get on CRC, The Crypt, and Riff Raff Eliminate along with all of the later additions. It's my understanding there are a few good bolt lines, too. Sorry I don't have more explicit info but it's been quite a while and I haven't looked at a guide for almost as long.

BTW the oldest guide I have calls it Brunswick Shale - it's not slate.[/quote:4cc6b39f29]

Thats' what every FA says about their area. Of course they want you to go there and bust your ass on their sandbags.

The place reaks of death and disappointment.


bobd1953


Oct 26, 2004, 1:44 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Go to water gap or the Gunks etc.

Why not the Wilkes-Barre area?


mingus


Oct 26, 2004, 1:48 PM
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Re: Stover Syndrome [In reply to]
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Sandbags? I have just a few FAs there; I'm not trying to convince anyone to go there 'cause it's obvious the place doesn't need any more gumbies. One poster has actually never seen anyone leading?! That's a sad state of affairs. Ya don't have to like it, plenty of people don't, but it simply isn't true that it's death defying to lead there.

rwaltermyer get your butt up there and see for yourself. You have all winter to check it out. It's a nice little trad crag. We should go up next time I'm back that way.


dredsovrn


Oct 26, 2004, 2:42 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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I am beginning to think this is locals trying to keep people away. I was there a few weeks ago and did some leading. There was no shortage of climbers there. Not a lot of leaders, but some. There are definitely polished holds on trade routes, but the dirt on some of the routes appeared to be from lack of climbing. The non TR routes don't seem to get a lot of traffic. The rock quality seemed good in most places, and I have placed gear that was a lot worse.

As stated by others, it's not the Gunks, but neither are most places you climb in the east. I think the guide had something like 80 routes. I would bet if people venture beyond the immeadiate vacinity of the pracitce wall, they might find some good routes. Although, they will probably have to lead them. Seemed like fun to me.


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Oct 26, 2004, 3:03 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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[quote:ba1eb41786="dredsovrn"]I am beginning to think this is locals trying to keep people away. I was there a few weeks ago and did some leading. There was no shortage of climbers there. Not a lot of leaders, but some. There are definitely polished holds on trade routes, but the dirt on some of the routes appeared to be from lack of climbing. The non TR routes don't seem to get a lot of traffic. The rock quality seemed good in most places, and I have placed gear that was a lot worse.

As stated by others, it's not the Gunks, but neither are most places you climb in the east. I think the guide had something like 80 routes. I would bet if people venture beyond the immeadiate vacinity of the pracitce wall, they might find some good routes. Although, they will probably have to lead them. Seemed like fun to me.[/quote:ba1eb41786]

hahha no, no ,no come one come all we need to thin the herd of climbers one way or another ahhahaa

:D


dredsovrn


Oct 26, 2004, 5:23 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I am beginning to think this is locals trying to keep people away. I was there a few weeks ago and did some leading. There was no shortage of climbers there. Not a lot of leaders, but some. There are definitely polished holds on trade routes, but the dirt on some of the routes appeared to be from lack of climbing. The non TR routes don't seem to get a lot of traffic. The rock quality seemed good in most places, and I have placed gear that was a lot worse.

As stated by others, it's not the Gunks, but neither are most places you climb in the east. I think the guide had something like 80 routes. I would bet if people venture beyond the immeadiate vacinity of the pracitce wall, they might find some good routes. Although, they will probably have to lead them. Seemed like fun to me.

hahha no, no ,no come one come all we need to thin the herd of climbers one way or another ahhahaa

:D

I am curious then. Where do you lead that, in your opinion, the rock is not deadly for gear? Anywhere besides the gunks?


rokshoxbkr19


Oct 26, 2004, 6:56 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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In addition to Dred's post I would have to say that trad routes a lot of people consider to be R/X rated would in my mind be protected adequately. I am curious not only as to where people lead that they are comparing Stover against, but also to how hard you people lead. I am not saying that harder is better, but simply that more often then not, harder routes are harder to protect and lack the comfortable G rating found on many sub 5.10 routes.


petmac


Nov 3, 2004, 12:11 PM
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ice [In reply to]
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is there any ice there

pete


dingus


Nov 3, 2004, 12:23 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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I don't understand this continuous reference to the Gunks.

The Gunks are a world class trad area with miles of cliffs. Stover is a pebble by comparison.

It's local. That's why its popular. End of story.

Like road trip to Ralph Stover??? LOL! What a complete waste of good gasoline.

I'm sorry, we have little shit rocks round these parts too. Twould be like asking...

Hmmm, Cosumnes Gorge vs Yosemite.

DMT


dredsovrn


Nov 3, 2004, 5:11 PM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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I don't understand this continuous reference to the Gunks.

The Gunks are a world class trad area with miles of cliffs. Stover is a pebble by comparison.

It's local. That's why its popular. End of story.

Like road trip to Ralph Stover??? LOL! What a complete waste of good gasoline.

I'm sorry, we have little s--- rocks round these parts too. Twould be like asking...

Hmmm, Cosumnes Gorge vs Yosemite.

DMT

Maybe if you read the posts you will understand. I don't think Stover is being favorably compared to the Gunks. I don't think there is a mystery as to the popularity of one over the other either.


dredsovrn


Nov 3, 2004, 5:13 PM
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Re: ice [In reply to]
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is there any ice there

pete

I was wondering the same thing. Under the right conditions, I think there might be, but I am not certain.


fishbelly


Nov 4, 2004, 6:55 AM
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Its worth one trip . Then you can decide if its worth a return


dingus


Nov 4, 2004, 7:04 AM
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Re: Ralph Stover is a Choss Pile [In reply to]
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Maybe if you read the posts you will understand. I don't think Stover is being favorably compared to the Gunks. I don't think there is a mystery as to the popularity of one over the other either.

Ahhhhhhh, maybe if I read the posts all will be clear eh?

Ya know, I never thought of THAT. Hmmm. Let me ponder on that for a while.

OK, I thought about it. Mentioning Stover and the Gunks as possible alternative destinations is freaking FUNNY!

Stover is a pile.

DMT

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