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Elevation: 3,137 ft
GPS: 36.911, -81.45
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Shared By: Aaron Parlier on Jul 18, 2009
Admins: Shawn Heath, Aaron Parlier

Description Suggest change

Atkins Bouldering: Big Walker Mountain

The Atkins Boulderfield (Nebo) is a high section of ridgeline along Big Walker Mountain located in Atkins Virginia, which is a small mountain community near the towns of Marion and Wytheville Virginia. Atkins possesses a respectable amount of potential and has been slowly developed since 2005 by a small group of climbers from local surrounding areas. The climbing here is on cliff bands and free standing boulders, all of which have bullet hard southern sandstone. There are 4 small areas on the mountain as of now, with more likely lurking just out of sight. The small areas found on the mountain are the Roadside Boulders, The Drop, Hidden Heights, and the Atkins Wall.

While Atkins Bouldering is not a destination-worthy boulderfield, if you happen to live in SWVA it is an excellent local area with a lot to offer.

Roadside Boulders

This cluster of boulders and blocks has the most established lines on the mountain. There are 6 boulders in this area, mostly small boulders and blocks, with 30+ problems to enjoy. This area is composed of quality stone and has many interesting features. The problems here range from (v-0) to (v-7) with a few harder projects that could go.

The Drop

The Drop is interesting in that it is made from a rim of sandstone in a depression/saddle on the mountainside. This is a small cliff band with lots of fun features and problems, mostly from easy going to moderate grades. There are vertical highly featured walls and several horizontal roofs (one of which is fairly large). This area has only seen a small amount of development and with a little work, the number of problems here could easily double. There is still has a ton of exciting lines yet to go for those willing to put in the work.

Hidden Heights

is the least developed area, with some of the most exciting potential. High up on the ridgeline above.

Atkins Wall

A short cliff band leading down to a short, tapered boulder face. Both need some development. The small amount of bouldering here has been done. A few very short routes could be climbed here, but don't bother unless you live extremely close (go to Hidden Valley or explore the Hidden Heights for some short cragging/route development potential).

- Note: DM the Aaron Parlier for some additional boulderfield development info. There is a sector of boulders in-between Roadside and Heights that is exciting and undeveloped just waiting for the motivated boulder scrubber.

Getting There Suggest change

Pull off of the Atkins exit (exit 50) off of interstate 81 and drive toward the close gas station. At the immediate intersection make a left onto the Highway 11). In a mile turn right onto Bear Creek Road”. You will stay on Bear Creek Road the entire way to the boulders. Once you pass "Crawfish Road" you will enter National Forest property.

Drive all the way up the mountain which is full of tight curves and switchbacks. Pay attention once you drive through the hard turn (it completely doubles-back, look for lots of trash that people have dumped off of the right hand side of the curve), and you will be very close to the bouldering areas after this.

After the hard turn be on the lookout for two larger sandstone outcrops on the right side of the road. As soon as you pass these, look for a very easy-to-miss section of ditch you can pull off into. You should also be able to spot the first rectangular boulder (the warm-up boulder) in the distance through the woods to your right. Pull off the road here and walk up the trail on the right side of the road. There are two small worn out trails that are equally easy to miss.

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