Ralph Stover is located in High Rocks State Park along the Tohickon Creek. Ralph Stover has a mixture of trad, sport, top rope and bouldering routes ranging from 5.0 to 5.12d and V0 to V7. The rock is red agrillite with some bands of friable shale throughout. The rock does not have a lot of friction, making smears and slopers feel insecure. Stover is a good winter spot. The cliff faces south, catching winter sun, and the narrow gorge shelters it from the wind. In the summer, Stover can be hot, and have a lot of poison ivy.
What Makes It Great
Ralph Stover is the closest trad climbing area to Philadelphia. In addition to trad climbing, Stover also has sport, bouldering, and top rope routes. The tallest parts of the cliff are about 200 feet tall, but most routes are one or two pitches and 75 to 125 feet tall. The first wall you reach from the descent trail is the Practice Face. This is one of the most popular walls because it is the shortest hike and has easy access to set up top ropes. Triple Overhang (5.7), at Practice Face, is worth beating the crowds to climb on. The Neolithic Wall is the next wall you reach. Neanderthal (5.8) at the Neolithic Wall is a classic climb with an interesting roof section.
Continue along the cliff to reach Tango Wall. Tango (5.8) is one of the classic routes here, and Gorilla (5.11d) is one of the hardest trad routes at Stover. Towards the other ends of the cliff, The Chain Reaction Buttress is another good wall. Beautiful Loser (5.10a R) and Chain Reaction (5.10a X) are classic climbs that can be led or top roped. If you are steep top rope routes, Phone Booth is another good wall at this end of the cliff. Called on Account of Pain (5.11) and Phone Booth (5.10) are the two top rope climbs at the Phone Booth Wall.
Who is Going to Love It
Ralph Stover is a great place for any type of rock climber. About half of the climbs are 5.8 or below. This is great for beginners that know how to set up top rope anchors or experienced climbers who are bringing friends out to try climbing. The gear climbing at Stover has runouts and tricky gear placements that will offer a challenge for traditional climbers. Most of the trad climbing is below 5.10, but some routes has PG-13 and X ratings. If you like to pull hard moves, checkout Man of Science (5.12c/d sport) or Marty Broke it (V7).
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To get to Ralph Stover State Park from Philadelphia, take I-95 North for 30 miles and get off at exit 51. From the exit, turn left onto Taylorsville Road, continue for 5 miles and turn left onto PA-32. Continue on PA-32 for about 13 miles and make a slight left onto Cafferty Road. In 2 miles, take a left onto Tory Road, and the parking lot will be a mile ahead on your right.
To get to the cliff, walk across the street from the parking lot and hike down a descent trail that brings you to the base of the cliff.