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Reed's Creek Mostly sport climbing

33 routes in crag

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Small sport climbing area located between Franklin and Petersburg with limestone cliffs very similar to Franklin Gorge, but with more moderate climbs. South facing wall with all day sun. Many routes from 5.7 to 5.11 and potential for more climbs between already established ones.

Access issues

Minimal parking, with a short road hike, and a good High Speed Trail system. Located on public lands, in the National Forest. Generations of locals have hunted game here, so apprise yourself of hunting seasons & regulations, and be respectful of other user groups. Please note that the plateau above the routes is PRIVATE LAND, and the land owner does not permit encroachment of any sort.


Turn on Reeds's Creek Road from Rt 220 near Upper Track, WV. There will be two small pull-outs on the left: first about 100 ft from the 220 intersection and second about 500 feet by the stream crossing. Both can take 2-3 cars. The trail-head is about half way between 2 pull-outs in the right. The trail is easy to spot because of steep rock steps leading from the road.

A typical Potomac Highlands approach, short & steep. Staying on the trail is imperative, as even a slight mis-step causes a good bit of negative impact. Always remember that a hillside trail is much stronger on the uphill edge, and much weaker on the downhill edge.

Where to stay

  1. Franklin, WV is 15 min. away with stores and motels.

  2. Thorn Springs Campground near Franklin is 20 min. away. Privately owned.

  3. Big Bend campground in Smoke Hole Canyon near Ketterman is 30 min. away. This USDA Forest Service campground is one of the the most scenic and secluded in the area. Great destination on it's own.


Leave No Trace, stay on trails, you-damage-trail-you-fix-it-NOW, no trundling onto road, no Quick-Links, no tick marks, clean up your chalk, clean up your tape, no chipping, no theft, no defacement, use camouflaged hardware, inspect & replace worn carabiners, respect red tags, walk on the left side of the road, respect hunters & hunting seasons, no top-roping through fixed gear, etc., etc.


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Grade Route
5.9 Shaved Sport 50ft, 5

At the lower wall above the road, this is the route on the right. Five bolts to a two bolt anchor. NOTE: There is an old fixed stopper on the upper section, a small clue as to a possible long history of climbing on Reed's Creek Road.

FA: Michael Gray, 2011

5.8 UNKNOWN #3 Sport 50ft, 5

At the lower wall above the road, this is the route on the left. 5 bolts to a set of ring anchors. If anyone has info on this route, please log an ascent, and post up in the route comments section.

FFA: Michael Gray, 2011

PROJECT / Chi Like Fire Sport Project 90ft

FA: M. Fisher, 2012

5.9 Stop The Press Sport 72ft, 9

Located in a lower part of the cliff band, within plain sight of Reed's Creek Road. Begin on a steep face, with a dihedral to your right. Climb past 2 bolts, to a good stance below a slight bulge/overhang. Pull past the bulge at the third bolt, onto a face with good holds. Continue past several more bolts, traversing slightly to the right, then onto the sharp arete above, finishing at a set of ring anchors.

FFA: R. Eubank / M. Fisher, 2011

5.5 R Mama Said Trad 40ft

Climb past the blocks in the large corner, finishing at a tree above the left face.

FFA: Pat Frank, 2011

5.9 Rain Sport 52ft, 5

Scramble up under big roof, clipping the first bolt near the lip. Pull straight through the roof, and continue to the top on more moderate terrain. Finish at a set of ring anchors.

FFA: Michal Stewart, 2011

Still Laughing Sport 59ft

FFA: M. Gray

5.10 *** Reaching Conclusions Sport 62ft, 6

Climb a short & steep face with good holds, to the first clip. Pull through the overhang on smaller holds, to a welcome stance at the second clip. Continue up the steep face, to finish at a two bolt anchor. An excellent route, this was the first addition after the "rediscovery". Very worthwhile.

FFA: Michael Gray, 2009

5.10a Golden Horseshoe Sport 62ft, 7

Scramble up the short face, to a sizable roof with good holds, to the first clip. Pull the roof here, and continue up the steep face above. Finish at a set of rings.

FFA: Ryan Eubank, 2009

5.10+ ** Hunter's Moon Sport 63ft, 7

Stepping up onto a short pedestal, climb the obvious line past five bolts, to a lay-down rest under the roof. Pull the roof at the sixth clip, continuing up the headwall past one more bolt, finishing at a set of chains. An excellent route, with strenuous & sustained climbing on the lower two thirds.

FFA: Michael Fisher, 2010

5.6 Second Sport 69ft, 9
Super Natural Trad 68ft

FFA: M. Gray

5.8 ** Theives In The Temple Sport 70ft, 7

Climb up a mini-buttress to the first bolt, continuing up the face past four more bolts, and onto a sizable ledge. A brief run-out to the sixth bolt, then continue past one more bolt, finishing at set of ring anchors. A very fine & popular route.

FFA: Michael Gray, 2009

5.10a Apophis Sport 68ft, 8

Climb past five bolts to a good no-hands rest. Continue past one more bolt, accessing the headwall on the right side of the roof. Pass two more bolts, finishing at a set of welded cold shuts. A wild ride, for sure. Cleaning the draws on top-rope is advisable.

FFA: M. Fisher / C. Clarke, 2010

5.9 L Sport 56ft, 6
5.7 * Roll The Dice Sport 54ft, 5

Five bolts to a set of chain draws. Starting below the rock pile, climb straight up the steep rock past two bolts, to a ledge. A #10 Hexcentric (or #3 Camalot) protects the run-out to the third bolt. Continue past two more bolts, pulling a small overhang, to finish at a set of chain draws.

FFA: Ryan Eubank, 2010

5.11b Disorientation 101 Sport 52ft, 7

From the ground directly below the anchors of 'Internal Dialogue', climb straight up to the big roof, to clip a bolt. Pull the roof, to another clip, then climb past one more bolt, and finish at the anchors of Internal Dialogue.

FFA: Ryan Eubank, 2010

5.8 Internal Dialogue Sport 52ft, 7

Good sustained climbing past four bolts, leading a good rest on a small ledge with a bolt. Climb past the bolt to another good rest. From the last rest, trend right, surmounting the lip, then the slightest traverse sneaks past the final roof, to a wonderfully exposed finish. Seven bolts, to a two bolt anchor with links. Cleaning the draws on top-rope is advisable.

FFA: Michael Gray, 2009

5.11+ Black Label Sport 54ft, 7

Thin climbing past four bolts, easing slightly at the fifth, then up to a good rest on a ledge. A brief run-out above the ledge, then two more bolts, finishing at a set of chain draws hanging out of the left side of the very large triangle-shaped roof above.

FFA: Ryan Eubank, 2011

5.10a ** Block Magic Sport 59ft, 7

Steep & sustained, climbing out of a small maw and onto the face above, passing a small roof on your right, then up through a slightly larger roof to gain the upper arete. Seven bolts, to a set of chain draws. Fun, pumpy, and engaging.

FFA: Ryan Eubank, 2010

5.11b to 5.11c Shaolin Mantis Sport 69ft

FFA: Michael Fisher, 2010

5.10- Dangerous Freedoms Sport 61ft, 6

Climb up a slab with a crack on the left. A #3 Camalot can protect the run-out to the first bolt. Climb up to a good rest at the third bolt, then continue up the steep face, easing off to finish at a set of chains. A very good route with a nice sequential crux.

FFA: Michael Gray, 2010

5.10a ** Bridge Burner Sport 55ft, 6

Climb steep rock past three bolts, to a good rest at the forth clip. Continue up the beautiful face on smaller holds, finishing at a set of chains. Very high quality.

FFA: Michael Gray, 2010

5.10c UNKNOWN #2 Sport 62ft, 7

Another early route, that is both devious & sequential. Seven bolts, to a now two bolt anchor.

FFA: Justin Day et. al.

5.8 ** Winter Harvest Sport 62ft, 8

Begin in a large open book on the right side of wall, just right of Grapevine Massacre and it's large roof with a chain draw. Climb shallow chimney on the right side of the open book past 2 bolts, to a third one at the base of the headwall on the left side of the open book. Continue face climbing up past five more bolts, with a good rest in between, finishing at a set of ring anchors. Very worthwhile.

FFA: Michael Gray, 2010

5.11c ** Grapevine Massacre Sport 69ft, 10

Beginning in the maw of a large cave, just left of Winter Harvest with a large horizontal roof about 20 ft from the ground with a chain draw. Climb up past a bolt to the roof. Continue past 4 bolts under the roof, then onto a beautiful head wall. Continue past five more bolts, finishing at a set of chain draws. Very impressive, and quite burly.

FFA: Ryan Eubank, 2009

5.10 *** Angelfire Sport 6

FFA: M. Fisher / M. Gray, 2010

5.7 ** Doctor Taco Sport 45ft, 4

The rightmost route at The Boneyard, 4 bolts, to a two bolt anchor. Very fun.

FFA: Michal Stewart, 2010

5.7 ** UNKNOWN Sport 47ft, 4
5.11a * Catfish Stanglehold Sport 53ft, 5

At the "Boneyard" just right of Sea of Tranquility. This is known to be one of the first sport routes at Reed's Creek. Follow the shiny hangers up to a BIG roof with good holds. Pull the roof, and continue up to a set of bolts with chains & links. A very good line, with a bouldery crux. This route is believed to have been established by a Seneca guide by the name of Justin Day. If anyone has any other info, please post up in the comments.

FFA: Justin Day

5.10- *** Sea of Tranquility Sport 51ft, 5

At "The Boneyard" just left of Catfish Stanglehold. Scramble up to a large ledge. A # 8 Hexcentric can provide additional safety to reach the first bolt. Continued moderate climbing leads to the first roof, and the third bolt. Sustained steep climbing passing two more bolts and one more roof. There might be several ways off climbing past the second roof, traversing to the left or to the right to easier terrain. Finish at a set of chains.

Due to the high angle, it is advisable to have a second remove the draws, and make their descent via rappel. There are some loose rocks at the roof and large loose blocks further to the left of the roof but possibly within the reach, so belayer and other members of the party should not stand underneath.

FFA: Michael Fisher, 2009

5.10b ** A Grain of Sand Sport 54ft, 5

5 bolts, to a set of shuts. Scramble up a short dihedral off the ground, to a good stance at the first bolt. Continue past two more bolts, and through a small overhang, to a good rest on a narrow ledge. Continue up to another bolt at a small bulge, climbing straight up the face above, to a large roof with the last bolt at the lip. Pull the roof there, and finish at a pair of welded cold shuts. With varied & strenuous climbing, this is an excellent, and engaging, route.

FFA: Michael Fisher, 2010

5.6 * Superman Sport 51ft, 4

Currently, this is the furthest established route "upstream", or on the left when viewed from Reed's Creek Road. Begin at some large, slanting boulders. West facing, morning shade, and evening sun. 4 bolts, to a set of welded cold shuts. Follow the easiest line up through big holds above 2nd bolt. 3rd bolt cannot be seen from the ground. Traverse right to the arete after the 4th bolt and enjoy.

FFA: Michal Stewart, 2010

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