“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?
The manager of the West Virginia page on the Web site, www.rockclimbing.com, 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?
Get familiar with climbing in other parts of the stat:
- West Virginia climbing schools (WV Dept. of Commerce site)
- West Virginia indoor rock climbing classes. Examples:
- Lewisburg: http://www.riverrockclimbing.com/indoor-rock-climbing-near-lewisburg-wv-river-rock
- Charleston: https://www.facebook.com/pages/-eNeRGy-Rock-Gym-/163381347061342
- Chicks with Nuts: a women-only climbing program by Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides.
Map out climbing routes for your area. Here’s how people in other areas have done it. Get your climbs onto climbing Web sites:
- WVU’s rock climbing page is as good as any: http://diyoutdoors.wvu.edu/rock-climbing
- The Mountain Project’s West Virginia page: http://www.mountainproject.com/v/west-virginia/105855459
- Guide to Rock Climbing in West Virginia (book): http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/literature-media/guides/book-rock-climb-wv-va-md.html
See if you can recruit somebody to start climbing lessons and trips in your area.
- Check with existing climbing schools listed at http://www.wvcommerce.org/travel/thingstodo/outdoorrecreation/rockclimbing.aspx
Advertise your area’s climbing possibilities, not just to tourists but to locals too. Some examples:
- Potomac Highlands: http://westvirginiarockclimbing.com/
- New River National Park: http://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/climbing.htm
- Morgantown Outdoors: http://diyoutdoors.wvu.edu/rock-climbing
Here’s a climbing advocacy group and resources:
- This national organization buys good climbing areas: http://www.accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.4861253/k.BDBB/Home.htm West Virginia page: http://www.accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.5052157/k.4F44/Whats_Happening_in_your_Backyard.htm
Start a climbing club or organization.
- For example: New River Alliance of Climbers
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