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The New River Gorge of West Virginia is one of the most dramatic canyons in the East. It’s famous for its whitewater rafting, the BASE-jumping extravaganza of “Bridge Day,” and, of course, its world-class rock climbing. New River Gorge climbing is a unique combination of excellent, historic trad and equally excellent, historic sport. Unlike its main “rival” crag, Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, the New holds equal allure for both trad and sport climbers. No surprise to the tradsters: the Nuttall Sandstone is harder than granite and riddled with excellent cracks of all sizes. Fair enough, say the sportsters, but the bolted climbing is some of the best and most varied anywhere! The specialty of the house is technical climbing that will test your ingenuity, footwork, and finger strength, but there are plenty of massively overhanging sectors for those who just want to grab big holds and pull. There is so much climbing in the New that we’ve had to split it into two volumes, each with a lifetime’s worth of routes to explore.
This volume documents the heart of New River Gorge climbing, the crags of the main gorge. You’ll find all the beta for more than 1900 climbing routes on the immaculate sandstone walls of this beautiful river canyon. Endless climbing! (But while you’re in the area, you won’t want to miss the Meadow and Summersville Lake – the newest edition of Vol 2).
Mike Williams learned to climb on the granite domes of North Carolina, but felt the pull of West Virginia’s Nuttall Sandstone after his first trips to the New in the late ’90s. He then toured around the US in a VW van looking for the best rock climbing before finally realizing it was back where he started, at the New River Gorge. He has since become an active route developer there. Mike has worked as a wilderness instructor, climbing guide, rigger, author, editor for Deadpoint Magazine, and guidebook project manager.
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