WEST VIRGINIA The New River region is one of America s best and biggest rock climbing areas. The variety of routes is unparalleled with everything from traditionally protected splitter cracks and technical face climbs to overhanging sport routes. This color book documents more than 2400 routes and for the first time in print includes a comprehensive guide to the Meadow River, Gauley River, and Summersville Lake areas. Entertaining route descriptions, lots of action photos, detailed history, and up-to-date beta are all found in the best New River guidebook ever.
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Mike Williams started climbing at gym class in middle school but quickly lost interest to pursue partying and other unhealthy activities. That brief but seminal chapter landed him in a ten month wilderness-based therapeutic program, which rekindled his interest in the outdoors. He graduated college with a degree in Experiential Education and worked as a therapeutic survival skills instructor with at-risk youth: Hoods in the Woods. His job involved two week shifts in the field followed by two weeks off to travel and climb. In 2004 he took a break from climbing to hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. Four and a half months later he weighed 112 pounds and could barely crank a pull-up. He returned to his job with a renewed spark, only to realize that he would never break through to the next level with a two week on, two week off schedule and needed to climb full time. He moved to The New and for the next four years he worked as a climbing guide during the summer. He lived in a van and saved enough money to take six month winter road trips and dramatically improve his climbing. Williams says: The one thing I would like my about the author to convey is how much I appreciate the diversity this area offers. I don t scoff at bolts and only climb trad routes or just chase numbers and climb hard sport routes. I appreciate every route here for what it is. A typical day at the crag might include warming up on a scary Endless Wall slab, projecting a hard sport route, going for an onsight, then cooling down on a classic 5.5 trad route. Where else can you do that! Mike Williams has settled down in the New, acquiring a house and a dog. He and his girlfriend Elissa have just gotten engaged.
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