Conrad chose to focus our tour on the Elk Ridge section, located on the Maryland side of the river, and home to the more well known toprope and trad climbing of Balcony Rock and Balcony Junior. We started off walking around the Balcony Rock Boulders before heading up to the Outlying Area, including the beautiful spot known as The Cove.
Next we went to The Highlands, with the fantastic Starlight boulder sitting atop Balcony Jr. Although I hadn't planned to do any bouldering that day, I couldn't resist taking a couple trips up Big Dipper, a perfect row of jugs traversing across a low roof. After not bouldering for a month, I'm happy to say I did it with no injury! Dan did another five problems on Starlight before we went further uphill to see what else the area had to offer.
From The Highlands, Conrad took us downhill to The Tiers, where he and Dan climbed John Brown's Body on the breathtaking slabby block. Conrad also sent the left arete, calling it Isaac Smith Arete. Although my camera for some reason shut down when Conrad was on it, I did manage to capture Dan's ascent, and included it along with seven other problems in the video below.
We finished up our tour with a visit to the Underground Railroad Overhang, long and steep with good jugs on the right and more delicate crimps on the left. Conrad made quick work of it in his street shoes before leading us back to the cars.
And with that our time was finished, but I'm looking forward to going back for more soon. Thanks to Conrad for showing us around!