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Rock Climbing


Pendleton County and many others offer spectacular climbing. See the list of climbing schools below. (Photo courtesy Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides)


Photo courtesy WV Department of Commerce

“Most climbers don’t ever consider West Virginia much of a climbing destination,” a post on the national Mountain Project site began, “but West Virginia has some of the best climbing on the east coast and is definitely worth a visit, if not a stay.

“West Virginia is full of great climbing destinations, from local crags to Seneca Rocks to the New River Gorge with 1700+ routes. Excellent sport climbing, bouldering, single and multi-pitch trad climbing can be found in The Mountain State.

So why don’t most people know this?  And why is climbing just now catching on among West Virginians as a challenging, affordable physical activity?


Photo courtesy Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides

The manager of the West Virginia page on the Web site,, urged people not to tell how good the climbing is in West Virginia: “This is one of the last bastions of adventure on the east coast,” he wrote, “a place where the forest reclaims anything not repeatedly trampled by hundreds of feet and pawed at by thousands of hands, where the same remote crags are ‘discovered’ again and again, by passing generations of enthusiastic newcomers, where little exists in the way of recorded data concerning the incredible number of routes and hard climbers that have been created here.”

Worth considering for the home folks.  Rock-climbing is challenging exercise.  See the list of climbing schools below.

“The rock ranges from bullet-hard sandstone, to quartzite, to gritstone, to kitty-litter cliffs,” the Mountain Project post read. “If you are a granite junky, don’t come to West Virginia for granite, but come to cut your teeth on some awesome sandstone in the New River Gorge. The sandstone is as hard as granite but has many more interesting features than your average granite cliff will afford.”


How can you get people climbing rocks in your area? 



Photo courtesy WV Dept. of Commerce

Get familiar with climbing in other parts of the stat:

Map out climbing routes for your area. Here’s how people in other areas have done it. Get your climbs onto climbing Web sites:


Chicks with Nuts is a women-only climbing series by Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides.


See if you can recruit somebody to start climbing lessons and trips in your area. 

Advertise your area’s climbing possibilities, not just to tourists but to locals too. Some examples:

Here’s a climbing advocacy group and resources:


Photo courtesy Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides

Start a climbing club or organization.

Have something to add? Write it in “comments” below, with your contact info, in case we have questions.


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