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Areas in Old Rag

Berry Hollow 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Briar Ledge 4 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Eagle's Gift 4 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Jabba the Hutt 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Lower God's Area 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Lower Ridge Trail Slabs 5 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Middle God's Area - Right 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Middle God's Area-Left 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Reflector Oven 12 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Skyline Wall (PATC Wall) 14 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Summit Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Summit Crags 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Sunset Walls 7 / 7 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Upper God's Area 1 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Wall That Dreams Are Made Of 6 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Whale's Lip 3 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3

Description

Old Rag is the traditional climbing crown of Virginia. For those willing to brave the somewhat lengthy approach with a full rack and rope, gorgeous single pitch, Yosemite-esque granite awaits you. Classic splitters, corners and faces on very old and bomber rock define this area. There are a few routes that go for two pitches, but not many. The same can be said for bolted routes- they are sparse and most require the augmentation of traditional gear.

The climbing at Old Rag offers plenty of opportunity for adventure. Choose wisely, because an injury here requiring a rescue is quite an involved and arduous procedure. Be cautious.

There is a great resource for more informationHERE.

Good non-climbing info at: http://www.hikingupward.com/SNP/OldRag/

Getting There

Directions from Google Maps

From Washington DC metro area, outer loop of beltway:

Take exit 49 to merge onto I-66 W toward Front Royal/Manassas 21.7 mi.
Take exit 43A to merge onto Lee Hwy/US29 S toward Gainesville/Warrenton 11.5 mi
Take the US29 Bus/US211 W exit toward Luray/Warrenton/US-15 Bus 0.2 mi
Merge E Lee Hwy/US-211 W/US-29-BR S Continue on US-211 W/US-29-BR S 1.8 mi
Turn right at Frost Ave/US-211. Continue to follow US-211 27.0 mi
Turn left at Berryville Pike/US-522 0.1 mi
Turn left at Main St/US-522. Continue to follow US-522 0.7 mi
Turn right at Fort Valley Rd/VA-231 7.3 mi
Turn right at Sharp Rock Rd 1.2 mi
Turn right at Nethers Rd 2.2 mi

Large Parking lot will be on left. There are also ~10 parking spots at the trail head.
Parking fees may be required unless you have an annual SNP $20? or NPS/America-the-Beautiful $80 pass.

***THIS PARKING ABOVE IS THE HIKER PARKING. IT ADDS ALMOST AN EXTRA MILE AND A FEW HUNDRED EXTRA FEET OF ELEVATION AND EXTRA 4TH CLASS SCRAMBLING TO YOUR APPROACH- BUT IT IS FUN! IF YOU WANT THE CLIMBER'S APPROACH, SEE BELOW.***

Take route 231 (whether coming from North or South) to route 670 (Old BlueRidge Turnpike). Follow this to the small, one intersection town of Syria, VA. From here, follow Weakley Hollow Road all the way to Berry Hollow Rd (it actually turns into Berry Hollow Road at some point) until you reach the Berry Hollow Parking lot. You will have a small river on your left most of the way. You will also pass White Oak Canyon on your left on your way. When you get to Berry Hollow parking, you won't be able to go any further. Parking is limited. Get there early, don't block anyone in, don't take up two spots, and no fee required. Hike up the fire road and take your first right at the sign. In no time you'll be at Old Rag Shelter, then you'll reach Byrd's Nest Shelter, then it's just a quick jaunt to the summit from there.

102 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Old Rag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Pure Fun
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Dobie Gillis Route
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Rusty Bong
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Chasm Crack
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Strawberry Fields
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Phil's Solo
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Mosaic
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Report to Sickbay
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Bushwhack Crack
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Oh My God Dihedral
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Good Friday
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Sunset Crack
Trad
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Gone Fishing
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a PG13
Don't Pro the Flake Bro
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
The The
Trad
Pure Fun Summit Crags 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
The Dobie Gillis Route Skyline Wall (PATC Wall) 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Rusty Bong Skyline Wall (PATC Wall) 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Chasm Crack Reflector Oven 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Strawberry Fields Reflector Oven 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Phil's Solo Sunset Walls > Lower Sunset Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Mosaic Sunset Walls > Middle Sunset Wall 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Report to Sickbay Reflector Oven 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Bushwhack Crack Wall That Dreams Are Made Of 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Oh My God Dihedral Middle God's Area-Left 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Good Friday Wall That Dreams Are Made Of 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Sunset Crack Sunset Walls > Lower Sunset Wall 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Gone Fishing Sunset Walls > Middle Sunset Wall 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
Don't Pro the Flake Bro Reflector Oven 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a PG13 Trad, Sport 2 pitches
The The Wall That Dreams Are Made Of 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Old Rag »

Weather Averages

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Warrior
Rock City, GA
Warrior   Rock City, GA
Is the upper lot still open to park at? I read somewhere that they closed it to the public... Feb 14, 2016
Rock and Ice #8, May 1985, has a nice Old Rag guide... Oct 26, 2015
Ed Wade
Hermann, MO
Ed Wade   Hermann, MO
When I lived in Virginia I climbed at Old Rag only when the leaves were off the trees and when the days high temp was going to be 45 or above.If you plan on hiking up from Weakly Hollow it is wise to get there before 8am. The parking lot fills up quickly. It is better to hike in from Berry Hollow except if climbing anywhere beyond the approach to the God area (Whales Lip, Ridge Trail routes, etc.). If going to Old Rag for the 1st time try and make your way to the Reflector Oven. It is easy to see from the trail and once you are down there you can get your bearings. You will be able to see the corner and the left side of the Gods Area. The Horst guidebook is adequate so take it up there with you. If you are strictly a sport climber don't even think about making the hike. The real gems are the cracks. Bushwack and the Corner are as good as any climb anywhere. Try to enjoy the hike. It will make a world of difference. Aug 24, 2012
Ross Purnell
Palmyra
Ross Purnell   Palmyra
Why does the overview say "beware of the directions in the Eric Horst book?" I followed those directions exactly and came to the Berry Hollow trailhead with no problems. Apr 9, 2009
ttriche
Altadena, CA
ttriche   Altadena, CA
You know, it's not *THAT* bad in the summer. I've climbed at the PATC wall in August and while it was sweaty work, it's a lot less crowded than Seneca or Great Falls... but if you have the choice, heading to North Carolina or the New would probably be a better idea. I think the Sunset Slabs are manageable in summer as well, if memory serves.

Climbing at the Reflector Oven or God's Area in summer would be a great way to get heat stroke, however. Those and the other gems at Old Rag are certainly best appreciated in winter. One of the more memorable trips I took up there was after an ice storm -- the trees near the summit looked like they were growing lead crystal place settings when the morning sun hit them. Quite likely the best winter climbing area anywhere near Washington, DC, but an adventurous spirit is required. Jul 24, 2007
Old Rag is a jewel in the rough. If you like granite, here's a quiet little piece of Joshua Tree tucked away in the hills of Virginia. This area is hard to beat if you like trad routes on good rock and don't want to drive to the New and fight the crowds from NoVa (Northern Virginia) on the weekends. Fall and Spring are great; summer is something you are better off not finding out for yourself-NEVER COME HERE IN SUMMER! Black flies, Stinging nettle FORESTS taller than you and thicker than the Rhodos in North Carolina, searing heat, hungry bears-the list goes on. Winter can be cold, but on nice days you can get sunny 50 degree days that remind you why it's good to be alive. If you live in Virginia and haven't been here yet, you are missing out. I spent ten weekends climbing here and still haven't touched the potential. Oh My God Dihedral, Banana Crack, Bushwhack Crack, Strawberry Fields, The The, and Mosaic are classics worthy of any amount of hiking. Eric Horst's guidebook is the best resource, although you'll still be bushwhacking and getting lost regardless. Once you've been there a few times it's easy to get where you're going and a fun challenge to find the more obscure walls. A great area with a good balance of moderates and a few testpieces; old school ethics make this a wilderness treat. Jul 17, 2007

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