Welcome! Please respect and preserve the wildness of the climbing areas you are about to visit! Thanks!
Virginia & West Virginia
Traditional – Top Rope – Bouldering
Loudon Heights doesn’t see a lot of climber traffic. The cliffs still have loose rocks sitting around on ledges, etc. The cliffs are uphill of the highway. Loose rocks can roll downhill onto the highway. Do not trundle rocks. If you discover a loose rock/block please mark it with a X using climber chalk so that followers will know to avoid it. The rock itself is of very good quality. The issue is the loose debris sitting Cliffside.
A G D C E B A
A=Short Virginia Cliffs; B=The Frontier bouldering area; C=Paw Paw overhang; D=The Wide Spot cliffs; E=The Main Cliff; F=Ridge Top boulder; G=River boulders
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall ASPECT: North facing, stays wet after rain events. Cold in winter!
The top photo was taken from Balcony Jr. on Elk Ridge and looks to the South. Notice the 18 wheeler on 340 for scale. The bottom two photos were taken from the top of Loudon Heights. The left photo looks down the ridgeline of the tallest cliff in the top photo (yellow star) while the lower right photo views the long continuous slab directly above the 18 wheeler (red star). There are cars visible on the road in both the left and right photo if you look closely.
Loudon Heights = ADVENTURE CLIMBING = This area is for those who love the mountains! Loudon Heights is the wildest and least frequented climbing area at Harpers Ferry. The rock is the same type as on the Maryland side but the climate and vegetation are distinctly different. Loudon Heights faces north and consequently gets very little sun exposure. During the winters it is cold and wet. During the summer it is cooler and tends to be more vegetated because moisture lingers. The multiple geographic orientations of the ridge-ends in this gorge lead to different microclimates perfect for different seasons.
There are classic climbs on Loudon Heights but they take some exploration to find. The Frontier bouldering area was named so because this area felt like the last unexplored/developed climbing in Harpers Ferry and was the last bouldering area to be discovered. The terrain of Loudon Heights is steep, the rock has lichen, there are loose blocks on ledges, and you have to bushwhack more. Climbable rock extends along 340 (towards Charlestown) in the gorge. There is a climbable pillar on this side of the river very much like the pillar on the Maryland side. There are many little roadside crags that hold great potential for new climbs.
+Ridge Top boulder (F)
+River boulders (see photos below) (G)
+Paw Paw overhang (C)
+The Main cliff (E)
+ The Wide Spot cliffs (D)
+The WV Pillar
+The In Between
Views of the River boulders
MORE PHOTOS (compliments of John Kelbel)