Little Stony Man Cliffs

From another thwarted climb here—This spot is about two thirds to three fourths of the way up, and the top is plainly visible from it (though not in this photo). Getting by and up to the next ledge (not visible), though, requires climbing to the left up a short wall (shown here, bottom right) that will have one tilting back over empty space, going straight up to the ledge via a steep, smooth face, or right to a gully that leads to that next ledge. The problem with the left option (or an unroped climber, remember), is the combination of moderately difficult moves and exposure that almost guarantees death if one falls. The middle option has no good holds; you need some seriously sticky hands and feet for it. The right option is the easiest, but reaching that gully requires an awkward stretch to it across a space where the holds are small and the exposure again means likely death if one falls.

Shenandoah National Park, VA


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