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Talking Headwall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Angry Muppets T 
Big Balls S 
Discontinuance (Continuance post-rockfall) S 
Fat Bastard S 
Foops T 
Fortis S 
I Love Big Jugs S 
I Want a Big Truck T 
Leading Should Feel This Way S 
Little Balls T 
McMurray must be Castrated T 
Ne Plus Ultra S 
Pure Energy S 
Send Town S 
unknown, 5.10 S 
VROS Arête T 

Talking Headwall Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 38.9466, -78.3022 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 30,613
Administrators: Aaron Parlier, Shawn Heath, Jake Jones, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Keegan Dimmick on Apr 30, 2008  with updates from Erik Lund
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: first bolt of Continuance. No one was hurt but be ...


A small, very secluded crag right next to the road. The cliff sees all of its sun in the early to late afternoon. You will see shade the rest of the day. The close vicinity to Passage Creek will offer you some chilly evenings, so this is a great summer crag. Routes range from 5.7-5.10, and the quality ranges from "classic" to "don't waste your time". Although this crag doesn't seem to get a lot of traffic it is often used for scout days and adventure camps. When this happens you might as well begin the hike to Buzzard Rocks. There are not enough climbs here to share with large parties.

All of these routes are also top-ropeable. If you follow the crag all the way to the end on the right, you will find a path that leads to the top. There are ample trees and rocks to set anchors. Use good judgment.

Getting There 

From the East-
Take I-66 West to Route 55 West towards Front Royal. Stay on 55 West until the town of Waterlick. Turn left onto Powells Fort Road (Route 678). Drive about 1.2 miles on 678 until you come to where Mountain Road (Route 619) intersects with 678. Don't turn here. Continue on 678 for about a 1/4 mile. At this point the road is choked on the right by a rock wall and on the left by the stream. After passing this, park in the first available lot on the right side of the road. Walk back along the road in the direction you just came from for about 200 yards. Look to your left (the stream is on your right) and you will see the climbing area. It's very easy to miss while driving because the trees and a slight rise conceal it.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.9 miles from here

16 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Talking Headwall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Talking Headwall:
I Love Big Jugs   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Fortis   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Pure Energy   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
unknown, 5.10   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   
Big Balls   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Foops   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Leading Should Feel This Way   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Send Town   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Talking Headwall

Featured Route For Talking Headwall
Rock Climbing Photo: josh pulling through the second roof

Leading Should Feel This Way 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  Virginia : Shenandoah & NW VA Region : ... : Talking Headwall
This route climbs the large roof to the right side of the crag. Start at a very high first bolt (consider stick clipping, placing a small cam, or getting some balls). Clip the second bolt below the large roof (decking possibilities). Pull the roof using the small rail and some heel hooks. Clip the next bolt and shake out. Begin to follow the bolts slightly to the right and then left toward the anchors. Fight the pump through this section and find good rests for the run to the anchors. Thi...[more]   Browse More Classics in Virginia

Photos of Talking Headwall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: climber on route in far right corner where the pat...
climber on route in far right corner where the pat...
Rock Climbing Photo: path along the top of the crag.
path along the top of the crag.
Rock Climbing Photo: Really cool center section
Really cool center section
Rock Climbing Photo: great rock
great rock

Comments on Talking Headwall Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 28, 2017
By Vicki Schwantes
From: Sacramento, CA
Oct 31, 2010
Suggested edit for the directions. From the East, take I-66 West to exit 6, take a left on South 340/522, and shortly after a right on 55 West (Strasburg Road) until the town of Waterlick.

Otherwise you might end up getting off of 66 way earlier than necessary.

Also, Route 678 is actually "Fort Valley Road".

By Aaron Parlier
From: Boone, NC
Nov 21, 2010
If anyone out there knows the name/grade/location of the routes please add them. Seems like an awesome area, and Im sure everyone else would like to know more about the place (I know I would).
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Jun 27, 2013
This crag has definitely gotten more popular over the last few years. It is now used by a lot of people, including local groups for teaching purposes. Near the upper area (up the trail on the right) there is a 2-bolt ring anchor set up, which I assume was put there for teaching purposes for those new to outdoor sport climbing.

In April 2013, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), PATC-Mountaineering Section (PATC-MS) and Mid-Atlantic Climbers (MAC) hosted the first (of hopefully many) adopt-a-crag at Talking Headwall. Please help us maintain this area by staying on the obvious designated trails and picking up after yourselves (trash, tape, band-aids, etc). Do a little good thing and pick up some broken glass and carry it out with you. This little crag needs all the TLC it can get!
By Jake Jones
From: Richmond, VA
Aug 7, 2013
This place could use some TLC. I usually take a bag with me and pick up trash and large chunks of glass when I see them. Specifically though, there are very loose spinners on the anchors of Fat Bastard and Pure Energy (two of the most popular, and probably most climbed routes here). I would imagine there are more culprits as well. Idk my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to bolting, but I'm more than willing to contribute some hardware and some elbow grease and gear if anyone's interested.
By Legalto
Apr 30, 2014
How are the bolts looking? I haven't been here in a while, but figured I'd ask given Jake's concerns.
By Edwin B
Apr 30, 2014
Overall, the bolt conditions are good. No obvious signs of rust or corrosion. Those spinners have been spinners for... I'm not even sure how long. Quite some time. We should probably put them on them on the to-do list, but they seem to be holding pretty well. Everyone is responsible for their own personal safety, but I don't consider them unsafe.
By Fan Zhang
From: Washington, DC
May 15, 2014
On Leading Should Feel This Way, the second bolt (under the roof) was spinning as of Feb 23, 2014 and has been for a long time now.
By Nikita Alexeivich
Oct 11, 2015
Found out today that Furnass (5.12a), to the right of Leading Should Feel This Way, is missing the second bolt which was right above the roof. Was pumped after the roof and didn't feel like looking around if there was a replacement. Next bolt looks like 10' to 15' up.
By Sleyer
Nov 24, 2015
Has anyone been recently? Is there still a wasp condition at Talking Headwall? Much thanks.
By TaylorP
Apr 12, 2017
No wasps! and for parking, a lot of people tend to parallel park on the pullout, which only leaves space for maybe 5-6 cars. You can pull in slanted and leave a lot more room for everyone, it can get a bit busy on weekends.
By Francisco Fuentes
From: Manassas, Va
Apr 28, 2017
Hello all, I just wanted to say the new rakkup guide is now available. All beta is downloaded to the in phone app. Access all the routes, topos, trails & waypoint navigation off your phone. Once downloaded no service is required, so you can have the beta while out of cell service range.

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