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Thieves in the Temple

5.12, Sport, 80 ft,  Avg: 3.9 from 13 votes
FA: D. Reed
W Virginia > New River Gorge > New River Gorge… > Fern Buttress > 6) Thieves Area
Access Issue: Writing in chalk Details


Classic three-tiered climbing. Start off on a series of long, bouldery moves through sharp pockets and positive oxide jugs. At the horizontal break, begin a cruxy, slightly overhung traverse up and left. Finish on a devious sequence through the barely less-than vertical face, with a traverse back right to the shuts.
Given 12a in the Thompson guide and 12b in the Williams guide. Realistically, it's probably up there with Chunky Monkey and Jesus & Tequila in terms of "12b-ishness" -- definitely a very proud onsight.


First bolted line around the corner (climbers right) of Emerald Dance. There is often a pile of cheater stones below the starting holds at the lip of a low roof. Rap or lower off of solid-but-aged shuts.


8 bolts plus a 2 bolt anchor. Tightly bolted for the first four bolts and a bit sparser once the angle lessens - scary fall potential going for the fifth or sixth bolt (tree + pendulum).

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Drew Hayes
Charlotte, NC
[Hide Comment] This climb is real. Aside from the one resting jug, the climbing is so sustained. The face climbing up top is perfect rock climbing on beautiful white rock. A tighter than normal belay keeps you out of the possible butthole impaling tree - but even the falling at bolts 5 and 6 I was still a good 8 to 10 feet above the tree. Aug 3, 2015

[Hide Comment] Great route, and definitely deserves a place in the NRG's pantheon of stout and technical 5.12s (like Jesus and Tequila, Gift of Grace, Blood Trail, etc.) that would be sandbags anywhere else. Apr 30, 2018
Chris Whisenhunt
Fayetteville, WV
[Hide Comment] There are new anchors on this. This thing is worthy of bolt pulling and glue ins. Kenny...... Jun 14, 2018