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  • Writer's pictureDave Seasholtz

Current 2022 - 2023 Pennsylvania Ice Climbing Conditions

Updated: Feb 5


NE Pennsylvania - Nay Aug Park, Scranton PA and Coxton Falls, Pittston PA - February 4, 2023

Mark Matisko gets the "Lucky Dog" award for making the best out of this year's poor ice climbing season. He kept his eye on the conditions, and his party was able to get some sticks this weekend in the Scranton area. Mark reports: "The conditions were pretty good this weekend.. We went to Nay Aaug Park and climbed the train tunnel wall. It was beautiful. It's in shade so it doesn't get much sun until late afternoon, it was really nice this morning. Coxton Falls was gushing.. it was probably manageable on the far right, but I thought I'd still get soaked. It wasnt worth it to me to climb it in this wet condition. It needed a bit more."


Ricketts Glen - Ganoga Falls Amphitheater - February 4, 2023

A client on on the Valley to Summit Ice Hike at Ricketts Glen took this video on Saturday (2/4/23) of the Ganoga Falls Amphitheater and shared it to the Hiking and Backpacking Pennsylvania FaceBook page. Video Credit to Charles N Shure Jr. Two cold nights brought surprising ice growth.


2023 Narrows Closure Info from EPAClimbers

Below is the official DCNR closure announcement for 2023. We know this is always difficult. On a positive note, EPAC and Access Fund were able to submit a formal request to reevaluate the closure. You can read more here: All information regarding this closure can be found at "Beginning February 1, a major portion of the Nockamixon Cliffs area of the park will be closed to all activity, including ice climbing. As in previous years, the closure is in effect for the protection of endangered species. Visitors to the area may still park in the roadside lots and use the towpath as normal. Closed areas are posted with signage.

Public cooperation is much appreciated during this closure, which first began in 2016. Since then, the cliffs have been closed annually between Feb 1 and July 31. As a reminder, the Nockamixon Cliffs are a designated Natural Area. This special designation is an area within a state park of unique scenic, geologic, or ecological value which will be maintained in a natural condition by allowing physical and biological processes to operate usually without direct human intervention. Title 17 Chapter 17, (Conservation and Natural Resources) of the Pennsylvania Code provides some additional information on the designation and administration of these lands."

Ice climbing is allowed when conditions permit, outside of the closure time frame. During the closure, some established climbing routes on either end of the closed area will remain open, including "Dead Deer Gully" and "45 MPH".


Lock Haven Ice - Roadside Gully - December 27, 2022

Near record cold temps over the Christmas holiday brought climbable ice in early this winter season. Unfortuanately a warm spell later this week will put a hurting on the newly formed climbs. To get my first sticks of the season, I grabbed my tools and put in a few solo laps on the low angle first pitch of Roadside Gully located north of Lock Haven.

YouTube Video: Ice Climbing - Roadside Gully (Rope Solo, First Pitch) Sproul State Forest - December 27, 2022

Elsewhere in PA, I have seen ascents put up in NE PA, The Narrows, and at Montgomery. Such a great start to the season, but so short lived...


WELCOME - Coming Soon - 2022 - 2023 Ice Climbing Season

The last two ice climbing seasons in Pennsylvania each allowed us around six weeks of climbing. Hope the upcoming 2022 - 2023 season keeps this positive trend!

Feel free to check our Ice Condition Archive Pages, located below the current conditions page, to see what we can expect if the weather cooperates. Please use this site and the DC, MD, VA, WV and PA Ice Climbing Community Page on Facebook, to assist you in determining where to climb.

HELP WANTED! Please help keep this site up to date. Please Submit PA Ice Climbing Conditions at the bottom of the Main Page, or email your Pennsylvania Ice Climbing trip reports and photos to and I will post them.

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