The idea to form a climbing organization that isn't tied to any one business or style of climbing has been around for years in Philly. Local climbers would return from trips around the world and share stories of awesome places and amazing climbing communities, often lamenting that a similar community didn't exist in Philly. Listening to these stories, and telling some ourselves, we kept finding a common thread. The exciting atmosphere was almost always made possible by a passionate community of local climbers who found innovative ways to stay in touch with each other and responsibly interact with their local crags.
So in 2012 we began building events to try and create the sense of community in Philly that we had experienced elsewhere. The ball really got rolling in the summer of 2014 when we joined the AAC as their first official chapter.
The AAC Philadelphia Chapter's mission is to create events and programs that give local climbers the opportunity to meet, learn from, and be inspired by each other. We work to accomplish this mission at a variety of scales, from small group mentorship and instruction, to huge film festivals.
We're always looking for passionate climbers who want to give back to their community. If you would like to help out, or have an idea for an event, please read on, and reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
We hope to meet you soon!
-AAC PHL Leadership Team
Our chapter offers three levels of involvement to volunteers:
The Volunteer List, The Programming & Development Team, and the Executive Board.
Click here for details on joining each group, and expectations of these groups.
LOCAL CLIMBING AREAS
A retired quarry some dedicated locals have bolted for sport climbing. No toprope access, all routes must be lead ground up. Approx. 1 hour West of Philly. The rock can be loose in places so make sure to bring your helmet!
Safe Harbor is a sport climbing area (mostly slab) along the banks of the Susquehanna River. Approx. 1 hour and 45 min. from Philadelphia. The North and South sections of Safe Harbor face southwest, making it a great winter destination.
Governor Dick A.K.A Mt Gretna
A favorite area for bouldering approx 1hr 40min away. Easy access, great trails and great landings make this one of the most popular diabase bouldering areas for the Philly community.
The Governor Stable Boulders are located on private land approx. 2 hrs from Philadelphia. With sensitive access and limited dates for climbing January 15th, 2017 - Aug 31st, 2017 get it while you can! It's worth the wait and the drive. Be respectful and abide by the GS 2017 rules!
Haycock doesn't have a webpage like PA's other finest bouldering areas , but it does share the same quality Diabase and it's the closest to Philadelphia at approx. 1 hour 20 min. Haycock can be tricky to navigate for the uninitiated, but lucky for you we have a link to the new guidebook app authored by local Philly hardman Char Fetterolf.
Here are some other gems of Pennsylvania if you're itching to explore some far away blocs.
Need Partners or a Guide?
We get it, sometimes its hard to find the right partner for the routes you want to climb or to even find a partner at all. Luckily there are plenty of options out there for the partnerless. Whether you're looking for belay buddy at the gym or a professional to teach you big walling and multipitch trad these links have you covered.
Philly can be a bit of a gear desert. We have some REI's and Eastern Mountain Sports for the basics, but if you're looking for a bigger selection of shoes, harnesses, sky hooks, big wall gear or guidebooks to try out you're going to have to travel. While visiting the east coast's finest crags we recommend stopping by these local fixtures. Please do your best to support these shops by buying local. They are important parts of our community!
Rock and Snow The Gunks
The Mountaineer The Adirondaks
Waterstone New River Gorge
Miguels Red River Gorge
IME New Hampshire