American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, West Virginia, Baker Rock

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1949

Baker Rock, West Virginia. On the slopes of Elkhorn Ridge, a few miles E. of Petersburg, W. Va., erosion has exposed a remarkable formation of cliffs and pinnacles, locally known as Baker Rock. This quartzite expanse for many years excited the curiosity of Washington climbers on their way to Seneca Rock, Nelson Rock and Hellhole, but these other objectives always received prior consideration. Then, on 17 May 1946, Don Hubbard and Sam Moore made the first serious investigation of Baker Rock. They climbed three of the lower spires and the S. peak. On 6 September 1948 these rocks received some further attention. Jane Showacre, Mary Neilan and Arnold Wexler attempted a route up the S. chimney, but were turned back by the difficulties of the upper section. On 13 November 1948 Don Hubbard and Dick Goldman traversed the ridge N. of the main gap. On the next day the two pioneered an elegant route up the main face just below the highest point. It took four pitons, and 40 vertical ft., for them to reach the first satisfactory belaying point. During the same afternoon Arthur Lembeck, Harold Drewes and Arnold Wexler returned to the S. chimney. Back-and-knee technique took the party up 125 ft. to a point where the walls of the chimney opened wide into two isolated peaks. Choosing the southern pinnacle, the party traversed to the sheer front face and then ascended to the summit, some 200 ft. above the base. On top there was hardly room for two people.

Baker Rock has great possibilities and certainly ranks in the class with Seneca Rock, Nelson Rock and Champe Rock.

A. W.

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