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Jimmy Webb Nabs Numerous First Ascents in the New River Gorge

During the New River Boulder Bounty Competition, Webb has already taken down four of the eight total open projects.

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In little over over a week, Jimmy Webb has claimed four first ascents and earned himself $4,000 in the New River Boulder Bounty at the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

“WANTED: First Ascents” is the slogan of the Boulder Bounty organized as a fundraiser by the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC). The competition began on the first of November and will continue until the end of the month. There are eight different boulder projects, each sponsored by multiple companies or businesses. Prizes for the projects vary between $1,000 and $1,200.

“I mean he’s kind of unstoppable so I’m not super surprised by it,” says Micah Klinger, Co-Organizer of the Boulder Bounty. “If he were able to do the rest of the projects I would be—maybe not surprised because he’s totally capable—but I would be really excited that’s for sure.”

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High off the ground and less than half-way up, Jimmy Webb extends to a razor-sharp crimper on the Organic Climbing / ASCEND Pittsburgh project. This crazy tower, estimated to be V11, blends the line between high ball and free solo. “Realistically, this thing needs about three bolts,” said Jay Young from the New River Alliance of Climbers. Photo: Dylan Jones/Highland Outdoors.

After putting up the first ascent of the Butora Climbing Project and renaming it Get Rich or Die Trying (V11), Webb wrote on Instagram, “This one pictured here is definitely a contender for one of the best blocs in the New.”

Webb is the only competitor to bring down any bounties so far, although Daniel Woods recently arrived to compete. A few of the organizers have heard that Nathaniel Coleman might be joining on November 12.

“If [Nathaniel] comes on the 12th, honestly, he could be too late,” says Jay Young, Outreach Committee Chair of NRAC. Young estimated there are about 12 competitors as of now.

Klinger says that Webb is planning to stay until the 20th of November if the weather holds out and Webb wrote on Instagram that he is, “Stoked for the next few weeks!”

Webb has already climbed the following projects:

The Philly Rock Gyms/Pies and Pints Project (V12 was estimated grade—Webb gave it V11).

The Butora Climbing Project (V12 was estimated grade—Webb gave it V11).

The Earth Treks/HippyTree (V13 was estimated grade—Webb gave it V12).

The Trango/Tenaya/eNeRGy Rock Gym Project (V13 was estimated grade—Webb gave it V13).

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Jimmy Webb gets set for the mile-long dyno on the AddidasTERREX project on the New River Dries. At an estimated grade of V13, this rogue has thwarted all bounty hunters but is close to being cashed in on. Photo: Dylan Jones/Highland Outdoors.

“It’s small, it’s super small this year,” Klinger says about the competition. “We got Jimmy [Webb] and Daniel [Woods] excited about it and then I think Nathaniel Coleman is coming on the 12th.”

Klinger says he and the other organizers would love to continue the bounty for more years. “Are there enough projects in the area to keep it going for a few years?” someone asked him. Webb answered for Klinger and said, “I saw enough just today to keep it going for a long time.”

NRGBB2 (1 of 1)
Bounty hunters scope out potential projects along the spectacular setting of the New River Dries. Area developers Zak Roper and Micah Klinger believe the Dries has the potential to become one of the best bouldering destinations in the country. Photo: Dylan Jones/Highland Outdoors.

Although Webb has been on a sending spree, he might not be able to claim them all. While he was at one of the V13 projects—which is described to have a dyno at the top, a right-hand pocket and a bad pinch—Webb said, according to Klinger, that the project was within his ability, but wasn’t sure if he’d be able to do it during the event.

“There’s a couple that might not even go this year,” Klinger says. “We’ll see.”

The other four projects left standing include:

The Rock Candy Holds/Secret Sandwich Society Project (V13)

The Inner Peaks/Evolv Project (V14)

The Organic Climbing/ASCEND Pittsburgh Project (V11)

The AdidasTERREX Project (V13).

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