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New River Gorge - Is toprope without lead climbing possible?

Original Post
ChSenger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0


I have a question to people that are familiar with the area near the New River Gorge. (Bridge Buttress, Junkyard area)
Some of the routes are marked as toprope, but looking on the pictures and reading the comments it seems like you first have to lead climb to get to the anchor and then toprope.
In the areas in Europe that I climbed before a route marked as toprope means that the anchor is always accessible from the top and you don't have to lead to get to it. That doesn't seem to be the case here.
My partner will be climbing outside for the first time hence I would prefer to start with pure toproping.

I wasnt't able to find a clear answer on the question.
So I am hoping for somebody to help me out.

Thank you!

NateC · · Utah · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 0

In the Bridge Buttress and Junkyard areas, a lot of the climbs can be top roped by setting the rope up from the top. Not all of them, but a bunch.

Brett Kitchen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 10

It's exactly as you're imagining. There are trails that run above the crag where you can reach the anchors. Or set up a rappel to the anchors and readjust for a top rope.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,475

Yes, those two areas are top-rope friendly. A few things to keep in mind:

- If you have a large group and a pair of climbers wants to quickly lead and clean, it's polite. You don't have to let them (first come, first served), but if you're monopolizing a route for quite a while letting people take top rope rides up it continuously, it's good form to let people in.

- It's a good idea to send one person to the bottom and one to the top to get bearings on what route you want, and see if there's already someone on it.

- There's a lot of scree and pebbles at the top. Be mindful and light-footed so you don't rain down terror on anyone.

- Not all anchors are accessible simply by leaning over the edge, and some that are, also require precarious positions to do so. It's a good idea to tether in to something if you happen to be setting up on one of those. Use good judgement.

ChSenger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Thank you all for your replies!
Appreciate it and I will be happy to follow your advises.


Matt Thomas · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 325

Please remember to look and yell before dropping your rope, especially at those crags.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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