Nelson Rocks

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Nelson Rocks
Nelson Rock - two fins.jpg
Map showing the location of Nelson Rocks
Map showing the location of Nelson Rocks
Location Pendleton County, West Virginia
Nearest city Circleville, West Virginia
Range Allegheny Mountains
Coordinates 38°41′46.92″N 79°27′52.41″W / 38.6963667°N 79.4645583°W / 38.6963667; -79.4645583Coordinates: 38°41′46.92″N 79°27′52.41″W / 38.6963667°N 79.4645583°W / 38.6963667; -79.4645583
Climbing Type Traditional and Sport Climbing crag
Height 800 feet above stream level
Pitches Single and Multi-pitch (The Millennium Route is 9 pitches)[1]
Ratings 5.2-5.12+
Grades 1-2
Rock type Tuscarora quartzite
Quantity of rock Over 200 routes[2]
Development Mostly developed
Cliff aspect East and West facing
Season Spring through Fall
Elevation 3120
Ownership Private
Access Guided climbing by reservation[3]
Camping Camping by reservation[3]
Classic climbs

Crescendo (5.10a)
Easy Wider (5.6)
Stone Gallows (5.10)
Millennium (5.7)
Merlin (5.11a)
The Laeger Route (5.8)
Excalibur (5.12a)
Sorry Howard (5.9)
Written in Stone (5.11+)

Porcelain Pumphouse (5.11c)

Nelson Rocks is a large privately owned rock formation located in the North Fork Valley of Pendleton County, West Virginia. The area is operated under the name of NROCKS Outdoor Adventures, and was previously known as Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center (NROC).[4]

Description[edit]

Nelson Rocks is at the southern end of the River Knobs, which contain several other similar "razorback" ridges or "fins" including Seneca Rocks, Champe Rocks, and Judy Rocks, all on the western flank of North Fork Mountain. Nelson Rocks, like all of the river knobs, is bordered by the North Fork Valley on one side and the Germany Valley on the other. Located less than five miles from the highest point in West Virginia, and surrounded on three sides by the Monongahela National Forest, the mountainous site features two parallel rock fins made of tuscarora sandstone that rise from the mountain overlooking Nelson Gap. A hanging footbridge 150 feet in length and 200 feet in height spans the corridor between the rock fins.[5] Visitors can participate in various adventure activities including rock climbing, Via Ferrata climbing, hiking and a canopy tour consisting of 12 zip-lines and other elements.[3] Lodging at Nelson Rocks is available in the form of hotel-style guest rooms, rustic cabins, or tent camping.[3]

History[edit]

Rock climbing at Nelson Rocks dates back about as far as at nearby Seneca Rocks; however, for most of that time, this privately owned area was not officially open to the public. In 1943 and '44, as part of the West Virginia Maneuver Area, the 10th Mountain Division of the United States Army used Seneca, Nelson and Champe Rocks to train mountain troops in assault climbing in preparation for action in the Apennines of Italy. One guidebook author estimates that they left behind approximately 75,000 soft iron pitons, some of which can still be found on the rocks.[1]

In 1997 the area was purchased by Stuart Hammett who operated it under the name Nelson Rocks Preserve until 2009, after which time it was purchased by Camp Horizons and reopened as the Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center.[4] After creation of the Nelson Rocks Preserve, the area was officially open to rock climbing, and route development flourished. During the late 1990s and early 2000s the number of routes rapidly expanded, leading to Nelson Rocks being included in Rock Climbing: Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland, a regional guidebook by Eric J. Horst.[1] In 2011, construction was completed on the North Fork Valley Canopy Tour.[6] The area is closed to unguided climbing, but guided climbing can be reserved through the property owner.[3]

Guidebooks[edit]

  • Hörst, Eric J. (2001). Rock climbing Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland (1st ed. ed.). Guilford, Conn.: FalconGuides. ISBN 1560448121. 

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hörst, Eric J. (2001). Rock climbing Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland (1st ed. ed.). Guilford, Conn.: FalconGuides. ISBN 1560448121. 
  2. ^ http://wvexplorer.com/recreation/rock-climbing/nelson-rocks-climbing-area/
  3. ^ a b c d e http://www.nrocks.com
  4. ^ a b http://www.nrocks.com/history/
  5. ^ Mozier, Jeanne (2010). West Virginia Beauty: Familiar and Rare. Quarrier Press. p. 79. ISBN 1-891852-66-3. 
  6. ^ "Zip Lines Open North Fork Vistas". The Pendleton Times (West Virginia). May 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Nelson Rocks at Wikimedia Commons