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Chasin' the Wind

5.11b, Trad, 90 ft (27 m), 2 pitches,  Avg: 4 from 26 votes
FA: Mike Artz, Cal Swoager 1985
W Virginia > New River Gorge > New River Gorge… > Beauty Mountain > 6) Middle Beauty


One of the best cracks of its grade at the NRG. It's best to pitch this thing out to reach the 30ft-high starting ledge. Most people climb up the boulders/gully feature from the left; it's not too bad but you'll still want to place a few pieces. There's also a sandbagged 12c NRG sport start on the Naz Naz, or a worthy single-bolted, PG-13 12a start up the center of the ledge feature, if you want to up the ante a little.

Once at the base of the obvious crack, pick your jaw up off the ledge and enjoy bomber NRG fingerlock/mini-jugs, with the cruxes being longer reaches between good locks. Take a nice selection of medium to large nuts, as well as small and medium-sized cams; gear is very straightforward. There are bolted anchors at a stance about ten feet below the clifftop. As I remember, you cannot rappel to the ground with a 70m rope, but it's easy for multiple people to toprope from the ledge.


Locate a large ledge about 20 ft off the ground, just before a large overhang if you are heading upstream.


The main crack protects primarily with small nuts. A few of the larger sized BD micronuts are helpful. Some small cams (aliens) are also helpful. Bolted anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Onsighting Chasin' the Wind-late fall 2011
[Hide Photo] Onsighting Chasin' the Wind-late fall 2011
Photo: Jay Young
[Hide Photo] Photo: Jay Young

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Jeff McLeod
[Hide Comment] I can't think of many pitches anywhere that exceed this one in terms of all-around quality -- spectacular position (view of the entire gorge), amazing movement, flawless stone.

The 5.9 approach pitch is PG13 and 5.9++++++

Rack: a good selection of small to medium cams, and micronuts are a must. I would also recommend bringing a #1 (and maybe 0.75?) and #3 camalot; the #3 is very nice to put in after the first crux to build peace of mind.

There are three distinct cruxes, the first might be hard 5.10 but the other two are 5.11. This climb definitely didn't feel like "mostly 5.10." The gear is excellent if you can keep your shit together to get it in. Did I mention micronuts? Jul 3, 2016
Mike Rowley
[Hide Comment] This thing is phenomenal. Great gear, bomber NRG rock, and a killer position make this a must do if you're in the area. Pretty continuous climbing for the first 40ft or so, then it backs off a little. Super classic. Nov 30, 2020