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NRG: recommended moderates and trip beta


Original Post
Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

Hi, we're going to be down in the NRG for the first time, hopefully in April if we can get a weather window. We'll be there for just two weekdays. I was hoping to get some advice on what to do on such a short trip:

*Favorite routes in the 5.8-10b range? Mainly thinking of sport, but might be up for a little trad too. 

*Recommended walls to focus on? I was thinking of Bubba City for one of the days, but open to whatever. Whippoorwill looks interesting but maybe the water will be too high? 

*Good budget cabin/hotel? 

I know there are versions of answers to all of these questions on the site, I'd be psyched to have some local wisdom too since we're so short on time. 

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,490

Not local, but I go a lot.  If you go to Tattoo Wall (Bubba), Whippoorwill, or Summersville, get up early.  If not, plan on waiting.  That’s pretty much it for a concentration of what you’re looking for.  If you want a place that still has those same grades, but is a little more sparse and definitely not as much traffic- try the South Side crags at the Meadow.  Zero Buttress at Upper Meadow has some stuff in that range.  

Idk what grade range you climb on gear, but if it’s < 5.10, Moon Wall at Lower Meadow has a bunch of routes that are under 5.10.  Actually other crags at Lower Meadow too but there’s a bunch at Moon Wall.  

The best climbing at the New really starts at 5.10b on gear and about 5.11b/c on bolts IMO.  Others may disagree.  It would be a shame not to throw yourself on at least one of the harder classic bolted lines there.  If you want a good trad day, do Fantasy and Black and Tan @ Endless Wall and throw a burn on Aesthetica.  Guaranteed great day and they’re all next to each other and all 4 star routes.  If the water is down and Whippoorwill is open, take your rack with you.  Crescent Corner and Holy Mackerel are two really good gear moderates.  If the bolted lines are busy- those two are almost guaranteed to be open.

Ray at Ray’s Campground cut me a really good deal on a cabin last winter.  They’re somewhat primitive, heated and electricity but no bathroom or water- but there is a shower house.  Honestly though, if the weather is good, there’s nothing like sleeping outside and enjoying a cool evening by a fire.  All of the campgrounds are comparable in price.  If the AAC would let you have fires at individual sites I’d probably stay there more.  I’m a bit of a pyro and antisocial. :-|

That should be enough beta to mull over and have a good weekend whatever you choose.  

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

Jake Jones wrote:

Not local, but I go a lot.  If you go to Tattoo Wall (Bubba), Whippoorwill, or Summersville, get up early.  If not, plan on waiting.  That’s pretty much it for a concentration of what you’re looking for.  If you want a place that still has those same grades, but is a little more sparse and definitely not as much traffic- try the South Side crags at the Meadow.  Zero Buttress at Upper Meadow has some stuff in that range.  

Idk what grade range you climb on gear, but if it’s < 5.10, Moon Wall at Lower Meadow has a bunch of routes that are under 5.10.  Actually other crags at Lower Meadow too but there’s a bunch at Moon Wall.  

The best climbing at the New really starts at 5.10b on gear and about 5.11b/c on bolts IMO.  Others may disagree.  It would be a shame not to throw yourself on at least one of the harder classic bolted lines there.  If you want a good trad day, do Fantasy and Black and Tan & Endless Wall and throw a burn on Aesthetica.  Guaranteed great day and they’re all next to each other and all 4 star routes.  If the water is down and Whippoorwill is open, take your rack with you.  Crescent Corner and Holy Mackerel are two really good gear moderates.  If the bolted lines are busy- those two are almost guaranteed to be open.

Ray at Ray’s Campground cut me a really good deal on a cabin last winter.  They’re somewhat primitive, heated and electricity but no bathroom or water- but there is a shower house.  Honestly though, if the weather is good, there’s nothing like sleeping outside and enjoying a cool evening by a fire.  All of the campgrounds are comparable in price.  If the AAC would let you have fires at individual sites I’d probably stay there more.  I’m a bit of a pyro and antisocial. :-|

That should be enough beta to mull over and have a good weekend whatever you choose.  

Awesome, thanks Jake! Should have said, we'll be there midweek so hopefully that will cut down on the crowds a bit. 

CDB · · CO · Joined Jun 2005 · Points: 0

Strike a Scowl and Total E-Clips should be right up your alley.  Been awhile since I was there but I think both those routes are on Endless Wall.  

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,490

Optimistic wrote:

Awesome, thanks Jake! Should have said, we'll be there midweek so hopefully that will cut down on the crowds a bit. 

Definitely will.  Hope the weather gets better soon.  Looks like dogshit for a couple weeks.

Nathan Zacharias · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 3

They can get crowded as hell, but geisha girl and Mrs Field's follies at sandstonia (bubba city) are two of the best 5.8 sport routes I've done. 

Brian Payst · · Carrboro,NC · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 10

At Endless, the Kaymoor slab routes and then strike a scowl would be a really nice sport day at those grades. The slab routes are long, which is nice. Glass onion is another one in that general area that is at the higher end of your range. Right next tto it is voyeur variation, bolts protect the lower part then glorious, well protected gear climbing in the corner. 

You will likely be OK mid-week at Sandstonia and the other destination moderate sport crags, although with college spring breaks it could get busy. 

Dylan Veltri · · Bethlehem PA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 30

Chestnut Creek Campground was very reasonable super super helpful friendly. Chestnut Creek-8016805496

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

My edition of the guide ('09/10) says that if you had just one day in the New, it should be at the Endless Wall. Thoughts on that? Brian suggested Kaymoor Slabs above, and there are several 9's and 10's out there that look great, if a little bit spicy! 

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

Brian Payst wrote:

At Endless, the Kaymoor slab routes and then strike a scowl would be a really nice sport day at those grades. The slab routes are long, which is nice. Glass onion is another one in that general area that is at the higher end of your range. Right next tto it is voyeur variation, bolts protect the lower part then glorious, well protected gear climbing in the corner. 

You will likely be OK mid-week at Sandstonia and the other destination moderate sport crags, although with college spring breaks it could get busy. 

Thanks Brian, what's the rack for Voyeur (if that's kosher to ask? I noticed that my guidebook is very sparse on gear recommendations!) 

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 345

All the beta here is great; I'd add that a day at the main Lake Summersville area (Long Wall, Gun Wall, Orange Oswald) would be excellent for what you're looking for.

Definitely keep in mind that it has been so wet this winter that even if you get dry weather, the seepage can be bad.  Aretes, routes that get sun all day, and capped routes like Rico Suave and Exoduster are all great options for immediately after wet weather.  

Have a great trip!

Blake Lehmans · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 15

Optimistic wrote:

My edition of the guide ('09/10) says that if you had just one day in the New, it should be at the Endless Wall. Thoughts on that? Brian suggested Kaymoor Slabs above, and there are several 9's and 10's out there that look great, if a little bit spicy! 

Honestly, I don't think you will enjoy your day at Endless Wall if you are looking for 5.8-10 Sport lines.  if I had 2 days, i would stick with Bubba City, Sandstonia, Summersville Lake, or Whipporwill.


Edit: I've heard the Quality Inn is a good option for a cheap hotel room, but I haven't stayed there.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,490

Blake Lehmans wrote:

Honestly, I don't think you will enjoy your day at Endless Wall if you are looking for 5.8-10 Sport lines.  if I had 2 days, i would stick with Bubba City, Sandstonia, Summersville Lake, or Whipporwill.



I agree with this, unless you're looking to plug gear.  The bolted routes at Endless Wall that are mentioned are good routes, sure, but they're all sort of similar.  Totally Clips (or however you spell/say it) Fool Effect, and the other one or two are all tall slab routes.  So, you could spend the day there, but you'd be better served elsewhere with a few easier routes to warm up on, and more variety at your stated grade range.  Strike a Scowl is a good route, and Exoduster is meh..  but there's some walking in between them and not really much else in your range in that area unless you bring a rack.  And there's no guarantee that they'll be open either.  The areas that Blake mentioned above are your best bet for a concentration of what you're looking for, and variety.  

Matthew Massey · · Beckley, WV · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 5

Everyone else has mentioned all the good moderate crags already, but I just wanted to throw in that it's not usually a good idea to go to Sandstonia on the weekends. Usually it is absolutely packed and you'll have to wait on basically anything. The routes there are good, but in my opinion the Meadows and Whippoorwill's moderates are much better, and have way less crowds. Also (in my opinion) more interesting movement and (mostly) no ledges. 

No matter what, you'll have a blast. Have fun and make sure to soak in the views!

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,490

Matthew Massey wrote:

Everyone else has mentioned all the good moderate crags already, but I just wanted to throw in that it's not usually a good idea to go to Sandstonia on the weekends. 

I think he mentioned upthread that he'll be going mid-week.  Whippoorwill in April will be a gamble because of all the precip that the region has received and it starts filling back up in March.  It's a short walk to find out though- and there's always the option of rapping in and climbing out at the end of the day.  

Ryan McDermott · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 85

There are some really nice AirBnBs in Fayetteville within walking distance of everything. 

Brad Leneis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 38

If I were you, I'd do one day at Summersville and one day at Endless. Summersville has the most high-quality routes in the grades you are looking for and the second-best ambiance of all the crags mentioned (at least when visiting on a weekday!) And Endless has the best ambiance and is worth visiting just to do Strike a Scowl. The fern point slab routes aren't the best that Endless has to offer, but are a fine complement to Strike a Scowl. Make sure you tie a knot in the end of your rope! And stay away from Exoduster unless it is raining, and even then go to Rico Suave instead. If you decide to go to Kaymoor, Rico Suave is the route to do, along with Flight of the Gumbie, which is 5.9 except for the 5.10 parts. The rest of the routes at Butcher's Branch are excellent but are all at the upper end of your grade range. For my money the routes at Sandstonia are overrated.

Brian Payst · · Carrboro,NC · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 10

Optimistic wrote:

Thanks Brian, what's the rack for Voyeur (if that's kosher to ask? I noticed that my guidebook is very sparse on gear recommendations!) 

Cams to #3 Camalot, standard set of nuts should be fine. There's a really good #1 Camalot  below the roof that protects the move into the corner. If I remember right (I suck at remembering beta) most of the gear is mid sized .5, .75, Camalots yellow Mastercam, etc. There are bolted anchors and you can lower off with a 60.

Not sure where you climb, but worth noting that grades at the New are pretty honest, especially with the trad routes. Be sure you're comfortable at the grade you're choosing.

I've stayed in the Quality Inn, it's actually pretty decent.

Douglas Kempthorne · · Cincinnati, OH · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 100

Yet another voice echoing Sandstonia, Orange Oswald or Whippoorwill (The MP page has the water levels link, check before heading there). You can spend all day at any one of these crags and you still might have some routes left undone. For rain I'd say hit up Rico Suave, and post rain the junkyard and the bridge dry fast (mostly trad, but easy to set TR at both) and have short approaches.

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

Brian Payst wrote:

Cams to #3 Camalot, standard set of nuts should be fine. There's a really good #1 Camalot  below the roof that protects the move into the corner. If I remember right (I suck at remembering beta) most of the gear is mid sized .5, .75, Camalots yellow Mastercam, etc. There are bolted anchors and you can lower off with a 60.

Not sure where you climb, but worth noting that grades at the New are pretty honest, especially with the trad routes. Be sure you're comfortable at the grade you're choosing.

I've stayed in the Quality Inn, it's actually pretty decent.

Thanks Brian!  Don't worry, I will be ok because...

mnjsan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 325

Party in my mind made my trip.  High quality route bottom to top with thoughtful moves and at times spaced and finnicky gear.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/106039953/party-in-my-mind

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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