Deep water soloing

Becky’s wall

Sometimes you visit a place that feels magical – like it was pulled from your dreams. This spot on the Susquehanna River is one of those places for me. Big, beautiful cliffs protrude from the river that beg to be climbed, especially the tall ones.

YMCA wall

The YMCA wall is loaded with fun climbs.

Probably the most impressive cliff is the 45-foot tall Becky’s wall. As you climb up the slightly overhanging face, the world as you know it fades away. The only thing on your mind is the climbing and you almost forget how high up you are. It’s when the fatigue sets in that you realize where you are.

You reach for the next hold but you don’t quite make it. In slow motion your body peels away from the wall and you begin your decent, which seems to last just a little too long. Splash! You hit the water. As you resurface you hear your friends cheering. You just fell 40-feet and you’re alive, uninjured and psyched!

This is the sport known as deep water soloing.

deep water soloing the cove

A climber deep water soloing the cove, a super classic must-do climb.

Establishing new climbs

This area on the Susquehanna River is home to dozens of established deep water solo routes. But there is so much more potential.

Smaller, more difficult boulder problems line the river banks like ripe fruit that’s ready to be picked. Perhaps forbidden fruit because the water is too shallow to climb them safely.

schoolhouse rock

A group of climbers gather in the shade of the newly established Schoolhouse Rock Boulder.

A group of visionary climbers scrounged together enough money to buy an inflatable pad and the flood gates have opened. Every weekend they establish amazing new boulder problems and refine their new sport known as ‘dock bouldering’.