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W Virginia > Northern WV > Cheat Canyon
Warning Access Issue: Technically, this area is owned by a coal company DetailsDrop down


Not the sandy chosspile the name suggests, the Sandcrag is one of the taller cliffs around Morgantown, though its Northeast facing slope creates a hanging garden in some places (but that’s nothing a little cleaning can’t fix!). A local route developer always seemed to grade anything 5.10 and up as 5.9+...because everyone knows 5.10 is impossible. But since the days of bolt wars and ethics police have passed, the Yosemite Decimal system has been adjusted...just not here. There was a running joke that a new crag would be found, and every route graded 5.9+. It would be called “sandbags at the Sandcrag.” Well there you have it.

On a more serious note, this area is home to a few short trad routes, and a handful of tall (for the area) and classic sport routes. Reverse the Curse 5.12a is said to be the best sport climb around, and Pariah 5.12d isn’t too shabby either. It should be noted that there are four additional projects here, and some unbolted lines as well.

Getting There

From I-68: get off exit 7, and head down Cheat Road towards Cheat Lake. Take a right on Tyrone-Avery Road, and turn right where it meets up with Tyrone Road. After about 1/4 of a mile, turn left on Snake Hill Road. Drive for about 4 miles, passing Mayfield Road on your right and Cale Road on your left. After passing Cale Road, you will start heading down hill. Take the next left turn. Drive about 1/2 mile until you see a pull off on the left side of the road. Park there. Hike straight into the woods down the logging road (sometimes it’s more of a creek than a logging road). After about 10 minutes, you will arrive at a large beaver pond. Continue past the beaver pond, and you will find an enormous flat of exposed bedrock. At the bedrock, take a right turn to get to Beaver Buttress and the Sandcrag (Outcast Wall and Andrew’s Playhouse), or a left to get to the Monster roof. If you take a right at the bedrock, in about 5 minutes, you will arrive at Beaver Buttress, the first major cliff you will see on your right. There should be a cairn marking it. Walk 10 minutes further down the trail until you see the logging road split off with a right fork heading uphill. At this fork, go straight up hill towards the cliffs, and you should arrive at Andrew’s Playhouse, a bizarre, 6 ft wide, 75 ft tall buttress that looks like a giant refrigerator. The next buttress to the climber’s left is the Outcast Wall.
If you are heading to the Monster roof, head left at the bedrock. After about 5 minutes, you will see an opening in the underbrush, and a clean wall up the hill. Head uphill there, and you should run into a ridiculous cave, home to one of the biggest roof cracks in the world. I hope your a beast...

Hiking Times:
Beaver Buttress: 15 mins
Sandcrag (Outcast Wall and Andrew’s Playhouse): 25 mins
Monster Roof: 15 mins Beaver

Routes from Left to Right

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Troy Silber wiggling some Old Friends in on the FA
[Hide Photo] Troy Silber wiggling some Old Friends in on the FA

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Meg Stevenson
Baltimore, MD
[Hide Comment] Follow the directions, the GPS tag is wrong. Apr 29, 2023