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Elevation: 1,000 ft
GPS: 38.06919, -81.08119
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Wild and Wonderful: The Mountain State Suggest change

Nestled within the Appalachian region, West Virginia boasts a topography characterized by its formidable landscapes. The state's epithet, the Mountain State, is a testament to its undulating mountains, hills, and picturesque valleys. Renowned for its diverse outdoor pursuits, West Virginia offers a playground for adventure enthusiasts, with activities ranging from invigorating hikes and exhilarating mountain biking to thrilling skiing and pulse-pounding whitewater rafting experiences. The natural beauty and varied terrain make West Virginia a haven for those seeking an array of outdoor escapades amidst its rugged charm.

Description Suggest change

West Virginia is full of great climbing destinations, from the amazing forests and gritsone boulders of Coopers Rock State Forest to the towering heights of Seneca Rocks to The New River Gorge Region with 3000+ routes. Excellent sport climbing, bouldering, single and multi-pitch trad climbing can be found in West Virginia  

The rock most interesting to climb on is comprised of limestone, quartzite, bullet-hard sandstone and gritstone. 

Ultra-Uber-Classic climbs in the state range in grade from Gunsight to South Peak (Seneca, 5.4) to Proper Soul (NRG, 5.14) and Spiderwoman Problem (Coopers Rock, V-easy) to Octagon Control (New River Gorge, V10). There is something for every climber in West Virginia.

The best times to visit are Spring(March-May), and Fall (September-November)

Getting There

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As far as getting to West Virginia...It shouldn't be hard to find. It is West of Virginia.

It is a state, there are only 50, learn them, know them...and don't confuse West Virginia with Virginia, it irks me...

Guidebooks for West Virginia

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Mike Willams's Second Edition New River Gorge Guidebooks

A complete resource for routes in the New River, Meadow River and Summersville/Gauley areas.

Tim Toula's Rock and Road;s=books&qid=1180104188&sr=1-1

Provides comphrensive directions to get you pretty close to most all of the climbing areas in the state. Most of his advice for classics and locaions to visit is still true even though this book is badly outdated.


Rick Thompson's New River Rock;s=books&qid=1180104289&sr=1-1

Most of the Information is good, and most climbers that have been clibing here for a while use this guidebook, althought it does not have the most current information, and doesn't include al the areas that Steve Cater's newest guidebook does. The upside to RT's book is that his route descriptions are better and he includes FAs and route history.

Steve Cater's New River Gorge, Meadow River and Summersville Lake Rock Climbers' Guidebook;s=books&qid=1180104427&sr=1-1

This is the most up-to-date climber's guide out there for the NRG, Summersville, and Meadow River areas. Cater doesn't always know how to count bolts(I know he doesn't personally do it) and he doens't include much(if any) history or FAs. He does include more than RT's book, and the directions to get places are better. The maps and topos are awesome!!


Eric Horst's Rock Climbing Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland

Is better than nothing and if you are familar with this style of book, then you should know what to expect. Some areas are included, some maps, some directions, but not all you want. Better for WV than the Rock and Road but not as good as others.



O'Brien and Weinmann's Seneca:The Climber's Guide, 4th Edition;keywords=seneca+rocks+climbing+guide+book&qid=1684528419&sprefix=seneca+r%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-3

Newest and most comprehensive guidebook for Seneca (published 2021).


FR Robinson's Seneca Rocks: A Climber's Guide

An older guidebook, most of the projects described have been done, but most of the classsics are listed within.

Franklin Guidebook.

Doesn't exist outside of Eric Horst's book, his descriptions, and topos are less than acurate. Try the above listed online guidebook.


Mike Gray's Reed's Creek Guidebook

Complete guide with maps and route photos. A physical copy of Gray's guide to climbing in Smokehole Canyon is hard to come by, but it's quick and easy to find and use on Rakkup.

Gray and Johnson's Long Branch and Guide Walls Guidebook

Complete guide with maps and route photos. This second of two books on Smokehole Canyon climbing is hard to find in print but easily available on Rakkup.


Cheat Canyon Rock by Andrew Leich https://cheatcanyonrock.com/

A very comprehensive guide to Coopers Rock and the Cheat Canyon Region of Northern West Virginia. The new bouldering guidebook by Andrew Leich for the region is in the works!

Remember to never underestimate the importance of having a local along with you if you come to visit. A local might be able to save you many hours of wasted approach time/climbing bad-routes time. Don't be scared by the locals, ask one to come with ya' for a day, it'll help you get the most bang for your time.

5,338 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at West Virginia

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 327
Gunsight to South Peak
Trad 2 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 217
Gunsight to South Peak Direct
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 380
Ecstasy
Trad 3 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 356
Four Sheets to the Wind
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 422
Decameron, The
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 446
Legacy
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 211
Masuko
Sport
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c
 319
Coffindaffer's Dream
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 430
Satisfaction Guaranteed
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 268
Aesthetica
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 265
Scenic Adult
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 278
Under the Milky Way
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 335
Narcissus
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 206
Psycho Wrangler
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 292
Lost Souls
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gunsight to South Peak Seneca Rocks > S Peak - W Face > S Peak W Face (Main A…
 327
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 2 pitches
Gunsight to South Peak Direct Seneca Rocks > S Peak - W Face > S Peak W Face (Main A…
 217
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 2 pitches
Ecstasy Seneca Rocks > S End
 380
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Four Sheets to the Wind New River Gorge… > … > Junkyard Area > Junkyard Wall
 356
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Decameron, The New River Gorge… > … > Bubba City > 01. Sandstonia
 422
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Legacy New River Gorge… > … > Endless Wall > J) Snake Buttress
 446
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Masuko New River Gorge… > Summersville (G… > Whippoorwill
 211
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Coffindaffer's Dream New River Gorge… > … > Upper Meadow > 4. Third Buttress
 319
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c Sport
Satisfaction Guaranteed New River Gorge… > … > Summersville La… > Satisfaction Wall
 430
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Aesthetica New River Gorge… > … > Endless Wall > M) Fantasy Area
 268
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Scenic Adult New River Gorge… > … > Kaymoor > 7. Seven Eleven Wall
 265
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Under the Milky Way New River Gorge… > … > Summersville La… > Long Wall
 278
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Narcissus New River Gorge… > … > Summersville La… > Narcissus Cave
 335
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Psycho Wrangler New River Gorge… > … > Cotton Hill > Cotton Top
 206
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Lost Souls New River Gorge… > … > Kaymoor > 6. Butcher's Branch
 292
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
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