Cirque Season is Here!

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Written by Mike Williams

That’s right folks, it’s that time again. The hellish humidity and dirty southern heat have finally tapered off and it’s time to get back at it in the Cirque! The Cirque is the most impressive cliff in the New River Region.  It’s a gently arced alcove of overhanging rock carved by an ancient bend in the New River. It’s a wall that is 120’ feet high and longer than two football fields.  It holds the highest concentration of hard routes in the region and its imposing tiger-striped walls make Australia’s Grampians look chossier than a Canadian limestone quarry.

The Cirque gets full sun for most of the day making it the best winter crag around. Last spring the Cirque was bustling with activity.  The sound of NRAC drills was ever-present as old rusty bolts were snapped off and replaced with shiny new 1/2” stainless steel whipper catchers. But alas, all the commotion attracted the rare Peregrine Falcons to the cliff where they displayed “nesting behavior” and the cliff was closed to climbing.  Local climbers’ dreams of sending their projects before the summer were dashed and had to be put on hold until now….

Porter Jarrard recently returned to put down his project, Ride the Lightning (5.13c), proving that even after all these years he’s still the old “dirty” master.  Last spring he also managed to re-engineer the two 5.12d pitches of Superstition so that they can now be linked into one monster pitch producing the ‘easiest’ full length route in the Cirque; Skylore Engine 5.13- which just got linked by Chattanooga hardman Anthony Meeks. Capping off the season opener was local heart-throb Mikey Williams’ 5th ascent of Proper Soul 5.14a.

It’s getting good here at the New so come on out, spray some beta, talk some shit, and take some giant whippers in the Cirque!

Welcome to Water Stone Outdoors
Providing quality gear and friendly advice to rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts in the New River Gorge of West Virginia since 1994. We are here for your needs to make your outdoor experience the best possible!

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