Re: Pond Bank, Pa update (re: access and parking issues)

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Marty Comiskey

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May 30, 2022, 10:38:44 AMMay 30
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On Monday, May 30, 2022, 10:24 AM, Marty Comiskey <martyc...@yahoo.com> wrote:
All,

I climbed Saturday at Pond Bank, PA. This is not a real trip report, but rather an update on the parking and access issues for the crag.

I haven’t climbed at Pond Bank for at least two years, primarily because of covid issues and the above mentioned access and parking concerns.

Pond Bank crag is located in a PA state forest but is bordered on by private residences, commercial development, a large rock quarry, and a municipal water tower utility company. Parking has always been limited and quasi legal (in the past we usually parked on the shoulder of the road near the water tower access road).

The last couple of years, the authorities have clamped down. Large boulders have been placed along the shoulder of the road preventing parking; numerous “No Trespassing” signs have been nailed to trees along the road. We used to hike to the crag along the water tower access road and skirted the perimeter fence; but that is now clearly marked “No Trespassing”.  

Recently, work has been done to alleviate these problems. Just in case we ran into any problems, I brought my bike attached to my car. For those who haven’t been to Pond Bank, it is a single pitch crag with numerous moderate trad routes. It is approx. 85 miles from Carderock, Md (our meeting up point for the day) located a few miles north of Waynesboro, PA.

As usual, I parked at the water tower. I dropped my climbing party and all our gear. I drove back down the road to the village of Pond Bank (more of an intersection than a real village) and parked my car at the local church parking lot. The ride down to the village and the 1.1 mile slightly uphill bike ride back to the water tower took a total of 10 minutes - this is a good fall back plan if no parking is available. At the end of the day, it took less than 5 minutes as the bike portion is all down hill (I actually coasted all the way; no pedaling).

From the water tower we hiked further up the road looking for the newly constructed (and legal) access trail. It is less than 200 yards from the water tower (actually it was 225 paces).

There is a clearly marked sign indicating the trail (photos mailed separately; file size too large) and I was pleasantly surprised to see what appears to be a fairly large and legal parking lot directly across from the trail head (room for 8-10 cars). However, the bike gives you a “Plan B” option in the event the parking lot is full.

It was a good day and worth the drive; we did about 6 trad pitches. One caveat, bring some bug spray, the mosquitos were annoying.

 Marty
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