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Types of Rock:

The rocks make the routes. Knowing the geology of different areas affects the nature of climbing. 


Formed from the particles of sand, shells, pebbles, and other fragments of materials, collectively called sediment, that become cemented together. Examples: sandstone and limestone

New River Gorge, WV New River Gorge, WV - 

Widely varied, featured with cracks, pockets and many unique holds


Formed under the surface of the earth due to the intense heat and pressure. Examples: quartzite and marble

  Seneca Rocks, WV Seneca Rocks, WV -  Smooth, hard rock featured with inconsistent cracks and edges


Formed when molten rock cools and hardens. The characteristics depend on the mineral composition and the rate at which the rock cools.  Examples: basalt and granite

* There are no distinguished climbing areas in West Virginia that feature igneous rock. 

Rock Cycle

Like energy, the minerals that make up rocks cannot be created or destroyed. Rocks are continually changing from one type to another!

Figure 50: This rock cycle diagram expresses that if the rock melts and cools, it becomes igneous rock. When the rock experiences erosion, deposition, and cementation, it becomes sedimentary rock. When the rock changes temperature and pressure, it becomes metamorphic rock. All three types of rock can change from one type to another and thus the rock cycle occurs.

Rock cycle diagram showing what how different types of rock would transform to another type and vice versa.