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5.13a, Sport, 100 ft,  Avg: 3.3 from 6 votes
FA: Mark Stevenson (1997)
W Virginia > New River Gorge > Meadow River Gorge > Upper Meadow > 4. Third Buttress
Access Issue: PARKING ALONG HIGHWAY 19 Details
Access Issue: Writing in chalk Details


Bittersweet is a fun climb that is marred by a manufactured hold between the second and third bolts. Without the addition of this glued on rock the climb would probably be a really nasty 14- or it might not even be possible. Even with the addition of the stone this is still the location of the crux.

Start with 15 feet of roof climbing on sculpted slopers. Clip the second bolt and then blitz the crux swing dyno. Take a really good rest at the third bolt before taking on a second easier crux. The second crux involves some small crimps and a long lock off at near vertical angle. Climb through several more bolts of bizarre rock, some of which is purple. One more hard move awaits you as you clear the final roof. It is kind of bewildering hanging the draw at the roof so stay focused. Fifteen more feet of steep jug hauling takes you to the top of the cliff. Lots of variety on this one. Surprisingly rope drag is not an issue even if you use all short draws.


Far right end of the third buttress. Its the steepest route in the cave.


11 bolts + anchor

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Alex moving into the steep jugs after crushing the initial boulder problem.
[Hide Photo] Alex moving into the steep jugs after crushing the initial boulder problem.
Two seconds away from punting.
[Hide Photo] Two seconds away from punting.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] 2nd bolt was loose on 5/28/2018. I tried to tighten it up with a nut tool but it could probably use a proper tightening with a wrench. This bolt is critical and protects crux moves. May 29, 2018
Jake Jones
Richmond, VA
[Hide Comment] When you say loose bolt, do you mean the hanger was loose, or was the entire bolt loose in the hole? Those Metolius nut tools don't work very well. You get about a 16th of a turn and that's only if the surrounding rock even allows that. If it's just a hanger, I carry a wrench with me and I'll tighten it up the next time I'm out there. I've started keeping track of loose hanger reports by area and try to get to as many as I can. All that being said, as long as the bolt is solid, a spinning hanger isn't that big of a deal and isn't likely to fail, but thanks for saying something. May 30, 2018