Champe Rocks

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Champe Rocks
Champe Rocks WV - 1.jpg
Map showing the location of Champe Rocks
Map showing the location of Champe Rocks
Champe Rocks
Location Pendleton County, West Virginia, USA
Nearest city Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
Range Appalachians
Coordinates 38°53′29″N 79°18′42″W / 38.89139°N 79.31167°W / 38.89139; -79.31167Coordinates: 38°53′29″N 79°18′42″W / 38.89139°N 79.31167°W / 38.89139; -79.31167
Climbing Type traditional and sport crag
Height 330 feet[1]
Ratings Mixed leaning towards expert
Grades I and II
Rock type Tuscarora quartzite
Quantity of rock Month's worth
Development Developed
Cliff aspect East and west
Season Spring to fall
Ownership National Forest (but most direct access is through private land)
Camping None
Classic climbs Psychotic Reaction (5.9),
Fintasia (5.11+),
Enchampement (5.11+)
Stars 2/5 stars

Champe Rocks are a pair of large crags in Pendleton County in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, USA. Easily visible from West Virginia Route 28, they are situated within the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. They are — along with the nearby and more celebrated Seneca Rocks — the most imposing examples in eastern West Virginia of several formations of the white/gray Tuscarora quartzite and are a popular challenge for rock climbers.

Champe Knobs, from which the Rocks emerge, are a northern extension of the River Knobs, which contain other similar "razorback" ridges or "fins" such as Judy Rocks at Judy Gap, and Nelson Rocks at Nelson Gap. Champe Rocks are 2,257 feet above sea level.

History[edit]

Champe Rocks marker.

Champe Rocks are named for Sergeant Major John Champe (1752–1798), a Revolutionary War soldier who became a double agent in an attempt to capture the American traitor General Benedict Arnold. Commanded by Major Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee and handpicked by George Washington for the mission, Champe "defected" to the British side and came very close to succeeding, but at the last moment, Arnold changed plans and the whole endeavor had to be called off. Champe, who was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, settled near the Rocks after the War.

Access[edit]

Although Champe Rocks lie within Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area and are clearly visible from West Virginia Route 28, there is no direct access to the formation from the public road without trespassing through private property.[1] The Rocks are therefore only rarely climbed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Toula, Tim (1995). Rock 'n' Road (1st ed.). Falcon. ISBN 978-0934641357.