Jess Holzman going off the rails on "Crazy Train", one of the best railside problems in the U.S.


The Traxx Bouldering Area


T his area offers some of the cleanest most enticing rock in the Mid Atlantic. Although this spot is very small, all the boulders here are four-star quality and all the problems are classic! About 100 established boulder problems lie within a few hundred feet of I-81 near Scranton. Problems range from V0- to V8. The rock is very similar to the nearby Gunk's. Imagine large Gunk’s-like boulders strewn along a rail bed and many neighboring boulders with clean, flat in the quiet forest nearby. I realize the area is spelled Traxx instead of simply Tracks. This is just a thing that stuck in my head over the years after naming the place this. I think it stemmed from a local restaurant that was in an old train station. I guess I just liked it spelled this way.

History: Most of the problems here were established by Rob Holzman in the early-‘90s. Tom Kneiss, Nick Morell, and Ryan Lukas were also active developing problems around the same time. This area has only seen about a dozen climbers ever visit it. For almost two decades it has been one of the best-kept secrets in PA. Keep a low profile and enjoy this Pennsylvania bouldering gem. Many other excellent bouldering areas lie scattered around the Scranton hillsides.

Warning: The rail road tracks have been abandoned since the 1970s, however; in the past year the tracks appear to be in use again. It is very unlikely you will see a train here but if one is coming, leave the tracks immediately! Make yourself scarce and boulder in the woods.




The Boxcar
Before the main outcrop and down the hill, a long boulder resides with a few good problems.

Millennium Boulder
This boulder was named this because a few climbs were established here on 1-1-2000. Making these perhaps the first, first ascents of the new Millennium.

1. Gandy Dancer V0-/V2
Several sit-start problems have been done on the west wall of the boulder near a small roof.

Rob Holzman on "Whorly Crack"


2. Unnamed V0

Climb just le of the previous problem.

3. Unnamed V0
Next to the previous problem. Other variations can be done.

4. Unnamed V0
Start low and traverse up the boulder.

5. Unnamed V2
Sit start to the previous problem.

6. Crankin Corner V3
Sit start and climb the west downhill arete. A stand start goes at V1.

7. Unnamed V1
Climb up right of the previous problem.

8. Party Like 1999 V3
From a very low start climb up the center of the boulder.

9. Unnamed V1
Climb up right of the previous problem.

10. Mamba V2
Sit start the right corner and traverse up the sloping lip.

11. Millennium High Traverse V2
Start on the steep east face at the downhill corner and traverse up the top lip. Top out in the middle of the face.

12. Millennium V6/V8
SDS at the low downhill corner and traverse a low line all the way up the steep face and top out at the prow at the top right of the boulder near the tracks. The V8 follows an eliminate line. Basically spotting the hardest sections possible and topping out far right.

13. Double Fall-Line V1
Start at the downhill corner and climb up and right to the center of the boulder and top out.

12-14 Unnamed V0+
Climb up right of the downhill corner. Two routes are here.

15. Great Train Robbery V2
Climb up right of the previous problem.

17-20 V4
Several other problems are between the previous problem and the end of the boulder. Two V4’s Casey Jones and Phoebe Snow are on this wall.

Tracks Boulder
This is the boulder with a cave on the face near the tracks. A great crack is located on its downhill side.

21. Unnamed V1
Climb the left, downhill corner.
22. Locomotion V1 Climb the left side of the wall, left of the crack.

23. Worley Crack V1 R
SDS and climb the fantastic, steep crack on the overhanging downhill face of the boulder.

24. Unnamed V2
Sit start and climb out the overhang right of the previous problem.

25. Railroaded V2
The right side of the boulder from a sit start.

26. V0-
Climb out of the center of the cave.

27. Train Robber’s Cave V0-
An eliminate of the previous problem that attempts to make the problem as hard as possible.

Locomotive Boulder
This is the high boulder that looks like a stone locomotive next to the tracks. Some great problems are located here. Downclimb the low side of the boulder as a descent.

28. Locomotive Breath V0 R
Climb the high side near the arete.

29. Crazy Train V0 R
Climb up just right of Locomotive Breath.

30. Steamtown V5/V6
Depending on how you traverse the boulder—weather you take a lower line at the right corner or higher—makes the problem V5 (higher line) or V6 (lower line). Traverse the boulder from the Locomotive Breath problem to the right corner and continue to top out at Diesel Power.

31. Steam Power V2
SDS and climb the step but short right corner. If you start high the problem is V1. A v5 sit starts just to the left and traverses in.

32. Diesel Power V3/V4
SDS and climb the short steep face on the right side of the boulder. An eliminate problem makes the grade V4. Just use the smallest holds and stat as low as possible.

33-34 Unnamed V0
A few eliminates go up near the descent route.

35. Descent
This is the easiest way off the boulder.

36-37 Unnamed V0-
Climb the backside.

38. Streamline V1
Climb the backside of the boulder.

39. Nick’s Problem V4
Use the smallest holds from a sit start and climb the center of the face near the previous problem.

40. Unnamed V1
Climb the face left of Nick’s problem.

41. Unnamed V0
Climb the wall behind the previous problem.

42. Sound of Steam V1 R
Climb the overhang right of the previous problem. Easier variations have been done left and right of the original line.

43. Unnamed V1 R
SDS and climb the face left of the previous problem.

44. Unnamed V3
SDS in the cave at the right side of the boulder and climb the steep face above.

45. Unnamed V1 R/X
Climb the high face just above the tracks.

46. Unnamed V8
SDS on the rounded overhanging bulge perched above the tracks and climb out the bulge.

Other Problems
Numerous problems and eliminates lie on the boulders down the outcrop towards the highway. Below I list a few classics.

47. Gunk’s Roof V0
Climb the gold-colored roof way down the outcrop.

48. Tom’s Problem V0+
SDS and climb the problem next to Gunk’s Roof.

49. Crack V0+
Climb the nice crack at the end of the outcrop near the highway.

50. V1 R
Climb the face next to the crack.

Jess Holzman climbing out of "Bank Rober's Cave"