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 lure 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.
Volume 2 – The Meadow, Gauley, and Summersville Lake
This volume documents the climbing north of the main gorge of the New, over 1400 routes on the crags along the Meadow and Gauley rivers and surrounding Summersville Lake. Many of the crags here are close to fine swimming holes, making them favorites for summer climbing. The Coliseum at the Lake is arguably the most sought-after hardperson’s crag in the entire region, and as of 2021 now boasts the hardest sport climb in the East. Just a short stroll away is Orange Oswald, likely the most popular 5.10 sport crag in the New. And the steep, psychedelic rock of the Meadow must be seen to be believed.
Endless climbing! But of course, you won’t want to miss the fantastic crags of the main gorge — see New River Rock Volume 1.
Meadow South Side
Summersville Lake main area
premium sewn binding
entertaining route descriptions
up-to-date beta on over 1400 routes
camping and apres-climb stuff
inspiring color photos
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. He now runs Bridge Bound Campers, converting cargo vans into luxury road-trip machines. He lives in Fayetteville with his wife Elissa, daughter Hazel, and crag dog Lilah. You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or just stop by Bridge Bound Campers at 131 S Court Street to talk about his two passions — rock climbing and van dwelling.
$1 per book sale goes straight to the local climber’s org, New River Alliance of Climbers.
New River Rock Volume 2, 3rd edition
2021 Wolverine Publishing
By Mike Williams
328 full-color pages