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Blood, Sweat and Chalk

5.9+, Sport, 70 ft,  Avg: 3.4 from 94 votes
FA: unknown
W Virginia > Franklin Gorge > Main Wall > Impact Zone


A deservedly popular and possibly slightly sandbagged route. Steep sustained climbing on big holds.


From the first bunch of climbs ascend to the second tier (aka Impact Zone) and this is the first route you see right in front of you ascending an orange streaked face with lots of chalk on it.



Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Chalk and sweat, but no blood
[Hide Photo] Chalk and sweat, but no blood
getting pumpy at the anchors!
[Hide Photo] getting pumpy at the anchors!
At the 2nd to last bolt
[Hide Photo] At the 2nd to last bolt
View from the far left of climbers on blood sweat and chalk
[Hide Photo] View from the far left of climbers on blood sweat and chalk
Blood, Sweat, and Chalk.  Fun stuff.
[Hide Photo] Blood, Sweat, and Chalk. Fun stuff.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Jesse Coburn
Manchester, NH
[Hide Comment] sand bagged.. agreed. pumpy with a good rest before the chains but i'd agree with a 10a rating Jul 24, 2008
[Hide Comment] FA by Angie McGuinness in the early 90's Sep 7, 2011
[Hide Comment] Awesome route! Fun and pumpy with a "big" move super close to the top. The view is breathtaking at the top... tell your belayer to wait before lowering and take a look around! Definitely a must do. May 8, 2013
Alexandria, VA
[Hide Comment] Great route, says 7 bolts but there are actually 9 bolts to the chains, glad we counted before going up or I would have been a few draws short and the top section is definitely harder. Aug 25, 2014
Matt Rhodin
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] I think 5.9+ is fair. That rest right before the crux lets you shake out the pump from the first section. But without it I could agree with a 10a rating. Mar 15, 2015
Chip Loomis
[Hide Comment] I have never cleaned with just clipping into the chains before this climb. Afterwards I did walk around up top and found the chains. To my surprised they were in a dangerous position. I don't know if pulling of the rope from below flung the chains wrong or if cleaning a top rope set up caused the chains to get in a potentially dangerous situation. The triangular shunts that anchor in the chains have a little gap and if the chains are in that gap instead of their proper position, a strong top rope fall could definitely pull the chains through one of them. the other did not seem to have as much of a gap but still... (I di not have my camera on me to get a pic of what I am talking about) Aug 18, 2017
[Hide Comment] Really fun climb! I thought that 5.9+ was also fair. I will say that some of the rock sounded pretty hollow and not super solid midway up the route. Definitely worth doing, but half way up I really wished my belayer had a helmet. If you don't have a helmet, you'll probably be fine, but just wanted to put that out there. Sep 7, 2017
Stuart Jones
[Hide Comment] Love this route. Its definitely harder than 5.9 even compared to the nearby New River Gorge and 5.9+ is a somewhat contrived grade in the first place. Its quite long, pretty pumpy, and the hardest moves are clipping the anchors. Yeah the holds are pretty good but they require fairly athletic moves to get between them. Anyone who can redpoint this route should be able to tackle Aqualung (5.10a) on the other side of the area. In my mind there's no reason to give a local classic like this a nitpicky grade like 5.9+ but those are just my thoughts Feb 11, 2019