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matt_warfield

[TR] Pennsylvania - Manufracture 3/13/2000

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Trip: Pennsylvania - Manufracture

 

Date: 3/13/2000

 

Trip Report:

This is a true story.

 

There is a route in Bellefonte Pennsylvania in a quarry. Since it is a quarry no feds or narcs or local gangsters were involved to quarrel with. When I did it lycra was just in so no weapons were involved as they would be easily ascertained.

 

Some natural lines exist. But one blank wall at about 80 deg. had no handholds. Whatsoever. Blame it on the people who did the demo work. They can sit on their asses in equipment and could not climb 4.2 but that is beside the point.

 

Dude comes in and uses a cutting blade to create a perfect crack. Imagine an artist with a clean slate on a blank wall with a legal cutter. What size? Tips, fingers, small hands, thick hands. Not offwidth or he would be shot.

 

He chose medium fingers. About 100'. 5.9.

 

 

Gear Notes:

Bolts only because of the rock.

 

Approach Notes:

15 minutes hike. Quarry is frequented by locals that dive in instead of climb. Clothing might be optional.

Edited by matt_warfield

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Pics are in your brain:

 

1) Absolutely smooth slate wall with a hand crack manufactured.

 

2) Naked people diving in the water behind you.

 

Your imagination can create a more vivid pic than a camera sometimes.

Edited by matt_warfield

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You are correct Pete. I glossed over the dates. True year was 1985. Time of year was summer. Fires were the best thing since sliced bread. The rest of the story stands including lycra.

 

And I know people who skinny dip and water ski Lake Wshington in January.

Edited by matt_warfield

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We did the line on the big wall at Belefonte quarry many times back in 1970-74. It was maybe 20 feet from the right hand edge, finger and fist width all the way up as I recall. Two of us bivouaced on it once. We also did a grand traverse the entire width of the wall once. Water was too cold for me, but the local high school kids were there often.

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I never thought this TR would have any readers with familiarity of the route. Good to hear your stories. A few notable climbers wandered the quarry during eastern pursuits in the early days including Henry Barber. I am sure Eric Horst also pulled down there.

 

The murder is not surprising as more partiers and swimmers flock to the quarry than climbers.

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I never met Henry but I sure heard his name a lot up at the Gunks. I watched John Stannard climb many times. Never met him though. I knew Warren Harding from a night of partying at Penn State when he gave us a lecture once. He was like me, about 5'6". He was a very quiet type.

 

I did the quarry wall at Bellefonte probably about three times over the 4 years I lived at PSU. I could free climb some of the big crack but we used a lot of aid. My standard at that time was barely 5.9. (I led the crux on Half Mood Crack on Cannon in NH, that is about it.) Once, Tim Beaman and I bivouaced about 50 feet up in the Bellefonte quarry overnight. We never saw much else to do in there, there are just no handholds anywhere. It is sideways limestone! Duh! The big wall was so fun, that is all we wanted to do. We loved the finger wide crack near the right hand edge. It is about 20 feet from the right hand edge of the face and you can see around the corner a bit giving it a nice bit of exposure for an Eastern climb.

 

I once found a frozen solid star nosed mole that had fallen off the top of this cliff and died from the fall.

 

There are many fossils in the limestone. It is Ordovician, about 480 million years ago, mostly crinoids and worms.

Bill Slugg

Albany, GA

Edited by Bill Slugg

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