Submitted by: saxfiend
Big Lost Cove Cliffs are closed to climbing due to the local falcon population
DescriptionYou could probably make a strong case for North Carolina as the home of the best rock climbing in the south. No other southern state has the variety or sheer volume hosted here. From the multi-pitch quartzite of Linville Gorge, to the eyebrows and hard aid of Looking Glass, to the exposed granite scarefests of Cashiers Valley, North Carolina has it all.
In addition to great rock and lots of destinations, North Carolina has a reputation for tradition that is not to be trifled with. Most routes in the state were established with ground-up techniques using whatever protection the rock affords, placing bolts only on lead and only when absolutely necessary. Anyone unwise enough to rap-bolt a route will usually come back to find their work erased by the locals.
What this means, at least in anything above an easy-to-moderate grade, is that you need a good lead head if you’re going to climb in North Carolina. Long runouts between pro or bolts are taken for granted here, and even moderate and/or well-protected routes can be stout for the grade.
For beginners and new trad leaders, Table Rock is a great destination. Fun leads in the “easy” range (5.3-5.5) abound, and there’s good opportunities for toproping at the nearby Chimneys. More experienced leaders will enjoy the airy multi-pitch moderates at the neighboring Amphitheater in Linville Gorge, or the granite crack climbs of Rumbling Bald.
If you’re ready to raise the stakes, take a trip to Stone Mountain, a huge granite dome with great friction climbing and wild runouts. And for the ultimate in NC climbing, head for Whiteside Mountain or Laurel Knob; only the seriously adventurous need apply.
There are also numerous bouldering areas in North Carolina. Hound Ears , near Boone, is one of the hosts for the celebrated Triple Crown bouldering competition (unfortunately, that’s the only time it’s open to climbing).
Getting ThereThe climbing in North Carolina is spread across the state and divided into several distinct regions. From the tobacco fields of the Piedmont to the dramatic gorges in the High Country to the granite walls of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains; if you are west of Raleigh you are probably close to amazing climbing. See individual areas for directions.
Access IssuesThe USFS temporarily closes many areas in North Carolina for Peregrine Falcon nesting. The Carolina Climbers Coalition does a great job of keeping their site up to date regarding closures.
Also, it seems that the CCC is always working on opening access to new climbing areas around the state. They have been invaluable in opening areas like Asheboro, Rumbling Bald, and Laurel Knob, just to mention a few. If you climb in North Carolina, think about donating time or money to the cause and/or joining the CCC.
Hawksbill Mountain, Linville Gorge
KK Gregory pulling hard on the perfect sandstone at Lost Cove, Boone, NC.
Lee on Zen face at the Gold Coast Cliffs in Linville Gorge.
Tim leading the classic crack five ten 'eh at Ghost Town. Currently closed but the CCC is working with Chimney Rock to gain access to this stellar crag.
Big Green 09/08
Big Green 09/08
FA at secret crag early 1990's
Did somebody say granite? NC.
somewhere in Pisgah Forest
Nature is beautiful in Pisgah
James Ruth on FA of Illusion of Careless Flight - some secret NC place
rest day activity
bountiful backcountry crags
Tim climbing a sweet roof crack at Gost Town in Hickory Nut Gorge.
Near the top of Grandmother Mountain, Boone area
Close up from wolf/cedar rocks
A nice view of the south face with several climbing parties making ascents. The Great Arch is prominent on the left.
Josh Bittner taking the new way up p2 of Hindu Kush at Ship Rock. Dubbed "Senseless Appearance". Hawks Bill and Table Rock in the distance.
Wiseman's View, Linville Gorge NC
FA on the Hebron Rock Colony Line!
Slack Liner: Mike Holley
Photographer: Wren Bruton
FA of Hebron Rock Colony Line
Slack Liner: Mike Holley
Photographer: Tommy Penick
Hwy. 64 Whitesides Overlook in October
Doc Bayne on one of His Serious Adventures First Ascents with myself on Cool Carolina Granite!
Rare route 300' right of Starshine
Marvin pulling the crux of Tunnel of Love (Sams Knob).
Pic of Pilot mtn (in pisgah) from BRP.
Another shot from the BRP near devils courthouse.
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