Friends over things, outside over inside. Will you go out with us? #OptOutside — Join Us Outside
Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Circus Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Clown School S 
Contortionist, The S 
High Wire Act S 
Ly'n and Stealin' S 
Overboard S 
Unnamed, 5.11a S 
Unnamed, 5.11a 2 S 

Circus Wall Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Page Views: 4,037
Administrators: Ladd, Chris Whisenhunt, Jake Jones, Shawn Heath, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jeremy Steck on May 9, 2010
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Know the location? Show us! We need it for cool new features!

Writing in chalk MORE INFO >>>


This is a great area to get away from the summer crowds at the lake. There are number of decent 5.11's along the way to the Circus Wall proper. The Circus Wall is well worth the walk for some very high quality 5.12s. Overall, this area gets afternoon sun, however many of the routes are in areas that are fairly sheltered from both sun and wind. With the leaves on the trees, most routes tend to be shady for the better part of the day.

Getting There 

From the Orange Oswald Wall, continue hiking along the cliff for 10-15 minutes to reach the Circus Wall. Along the way, you'll find several routes, some dirty, some really nice. It's an easy walk.

Climbing Season

For the Summersville Lake area.

Weather station 1.5 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Circus Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Circus Wall:
Clown School   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
The Contortionist   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   
Ly'n and Stealin'   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
High Wire Act   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Circus Wall

Featured Route For Circus Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: pulling the third and final crux of Ly'n and steal...

Ly'n and Stealin' 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  WV : The New River Gorge : ... : Circus Wall
This route climbs impeccable stone, very similar to that of the Travisty wall at Beauty Mountain. The rock is sparsely featured, with some major vertical and horizontal breaks cleaving through the surface. Be prepared to pull some deep lock offs on small crimps and pockets to get from one horizontal ledge to the next. Expect really good rests split by hard technical face climbing. If face climbing is your forte you'll be well prepared for this route, but you'll still have to pull out the gun...[more]   Browse More Classics in WV

Comments on Circus Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By Daniel Paly
From: Seattle, WA
Sep 12, 2016
This was a decent trek to get to. And a little more confusing to route find than I expected. There's a wall with a couple bolted routes ~2/3 the way between Orange Oswald and the actual Circus area that had a boulder leaning against the wall with a slim tunnel you could walk under. I don't know what these are, but they aren't the unnamed 5.11s. Keep going. You'll know you've found the 11s because the boulder is *really* massive and the tunnel you walk under is *really* giant.

And the 12s (Ly'n and Stealin', etc.) are 50+ meters past these on a whole other wall.

But well worth it, amazing area.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!