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Linville Gorge

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Amphitheater 
Camel, The 
Gold Coast Cliffs 
Hawksbill Mtn 
Henson Creek Canyon 
Linville River Crag 
North Carolina Wall 
Shortoff Mountain 
Sitting Bear 
Table Rock 
Wisemas View 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Old Mitchell Toll Road
Historic doubletrack with some singletrack and amazing views of the mountains. Near Black Mountain, NC
Kitsuma Trail
A challenging climb, followed by an incredibly fun and fast descent. Near Black Mountain, NC
Kitsuma
A couple of tough climbs before earning a grin-inducing, fast descent through Pisgah National Forest Near Black Mountain, NC
Heartbreak Ridge
This is the one you've heard about. Near Old Fort, NC
Hella Climbing aka Gotta Love Rocks
A great endurance ride with lots of climbing. An alternate climb to the top of Heartbreak Ridge. Near Black Mountain, NC
HHT Trail
A 3 mile loop at Buffalo Creek Park with lots of climbing and fast, flowing descents. Near Lake Lure, NC
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Linville Gorge  


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Location: 35.8868, -81.8851 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 739,983
Administrators: saxfiend, Edward Medina, Ryan Williams, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: saxfiend on Oct 14, 2006
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Seasonal Falcon Closure MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Linville Gorge is a premier climbing destination in the SE. Routes range from easy multipitch to hardman sandbags. Table Rock and the Amphitheatre are very popular with those seeking more moderate outings while areas like Hawksbill and Shortoff attract a more hardcore crowd.

The rock is quartzite, and typically low angle. There aren't many parallel sided cracks here, and routes can wander so route finding can be an issue. Of course, this make Linville an ideal place for beginning multi-pitch leaders to cut their teeth. The plethora of easier routes combined with some foreseeable challenges create an atmosphere of learning.

Having said that, it is also important to note that despite the easy grade of many of the routes at Table and Linville, they are still rock routes and are affected by the same factors as any other rock climbing route. It is advisable to wear a helmet at all times. Don't count on belay stations to be fixed. Know your route.

Linville is a fantastically beautiful place, with great exposure and lots of fun routes.

Getting There 

From Asheville, take I-40 east toward Marion, exiting at US 70 just west of Marion. Continue on 70 to exit on US 221 and head north to the small town of Linville Falls. At Linville Falls, turn right (east) on NC 183 and drive about four miles to NC 181; turn right again (south). After about 2.5 miles, make another right off 181 onto Gingercake Road (SR 1264) for a short distance, then take the left fork onto Table Rock Road (SR 1261); this changes to forest road 210 and becomes a gravel road. Continue for several miles to the Table Rock parking lot. From here, there is camping and trails leading to Table Rock and to various sections of Linville Gorge.

Climbing Season



Weather station 8.8 miles from here

200 Total Routes

['4 Stars',28],['3 Stars',113],['2 Stars',48],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',14],['5.7',13],['5.8',10],['5.9',15],['5.10',52],['5.11',64],['5.12',28],['5.13',3],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Linville Gorge:
Jim Dandy   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Table Rock
The Prow   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Amphitheater
North Ridge   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Table Rock
The Mummy   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Amphitheater
Peek-a-Boo   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Table Rock
My Route   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Table Rock
The Daddy   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Amphitheater
Maginot Line   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 300'   Shortoff Mountain
White Lightning   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Table Rock
Paradise Alley   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 450'   Shortoff Mountain
Dopey Duck   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Shortoff Mountain
Construction Job   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Shortoff Mountain
Built to Tilt   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Shortoff Mountain
Straight and Narrow   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 340'   Shortoff Mountain
Lost in Space   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 170'   Hawksbill Mtn : Main Wall
The Fat Lady   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   Hawksbill Mtn : Lower Hawksbill
Golden Rule   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   Shortoff Mountain
Encore   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 100'   Hawksbill Mtn : Lower Hawksbill
Supercrack    5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Shortoff Mountain
The Dark Angel   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport   Gold Coast Cliffs : The Underworld
Browse More Classics in Linville Gorge

Featured Route For Linville Gorge
The holds are never sharp, just "extremely po...

Line of Fire 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  NC : Linville Gorge : ... : Middle Hawksbill
Crimpy climbing on perfect rock, with some big moves thrown in for good measure. One of the more popular sport routes in the high country. A few " extemely positive" holds....[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

Photos of Linville Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
From L to R:  Hawksbill, Table Rock, the NC wall, ...
BETA PHOTO: From L to R: Hawksbill, Table Rock, the NC wall, ...
It doesn't take nature long in the Gorge.
It doesn't take nature long in the Gorge.
Trillium's are common along the river in spring.
Trillium's are common along the river in spring.
View of Linville Gorge from the Chimneys.
View of Linville Gorge from the Chimneys.
Sunset from Hawksbill.
Sunset from Hawksbill.
Best Seat In The House (Mashburns Pinnacle)
Best Seat In The House (Mashburns Pinnacle)
Sunset from Table Rock
Sunset from Table Rock
Dusk
Dusk
Timber Rattler on the approach trail to the NC Wal...
Timber Rattler on the approach trail to the NC Wal...
Offset placement in a chilly Linville Gorge.
Offset placement in a chilly Linville Gorge.
Shorthoff Mtn, shortly after the South side river ...
Shorthoff Mtn, shortly after the South side river ...
Baine on the last and only worthwhile pitch of The...
Baine on the last and only worthwhile pitch of The...
This pano was taken from Wise Mans View on the wes...
This pano was taken from Wise Mans View on the wes...
Matthew settling in for a cold night
Matthew settling in for a cold night
A view north into Linville Gorge from the route Th...
A view north into Linville Gorge from the route Th...
Linville Falls.  This is where the Gorge starts.
Linville Falls. This is where the Gorge starts.
Typical gear placement in Linville. Deep horizonta...
Typical gear placement in Linville. Deep horizonta...
One of the top rope climbs on the chimneys.
One of the top rope climbs on the chimneys.
The Linville Gorge in March
The Linville Gorge in March

Comments on Linville Gorge Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 30, 2014
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Sep 6, 2007
I received this update via email from Bob Underwood

----------
Rockjock Trail

This largely abandoned and overgrown trail was listed in Sept 2006 for the US Forest Service Adopt-a-Trail program . The trail runs about four miles ( by crow ) across the top of a 400ft wall sometimes called the 'Goldcoast'. Altho the NC Wall directly across the Gorge is higher and cleaner, the Rockjock area contains some clean rock on the south side of the 'canyons'. it is currently being 'mined' by various groups of independent climbers. It is a spectacular trail which passes by about 6 waterfalls, overhangs and caves and several unusual promnitories and outcrops.
The agreement with the USGS allows us to work from Conly Cove south to an unpublished trail i call "Mossy Canyon Ridge Trail" (MCRT) about half mile north of Pinchin. If/ when this work is Done, i will requsest Your help in petitioning the USFS to extend the agreement to continue the Rockjock trail south to Dobson Knob Road--which was its original length.

The reason the USFS did not allow us to continue south of MCRT is because that portion of Rockjock never appeared on their maps and they are required to go thru a lengthly process to approve "new" trail. They seem reluctant to do this. Common sense woud suggest that MCRT is a steep trail and highly vulnerable to erosion if it became better known and that the Dobson entrance is Clearly the best way to protect the forest. We hope MCRT will be abandoned and allowed to revert to nature when this project is complete.

This area was burned by the Nov 2000 fire and burned again on its south end in the spring of 2007. It is now a charcoal forest and easy to get thru. A spare fire crew did a wonderful job of restoring trail from both ends and the middle is still unfinished. Your help is needed.

Work began on Rockjock in Oct 2006 and about 60% of the trail is now open.

An interactive map of the entire Linville Gorge is available at linvillegorge.net with an index of 39 trails not published on USFS maps ,

Google Earth has hi-res photos of the Gorge which would allow you to see a person standing anywhere in it ,

and Yahoogroups Linvillegorge keeps a open forum running of Rockjock progress.

Finishing this beautiful trail is not going to be a one-day one-shot process , it will requre dedication. Go out and have a look. The Rockjock trail will speak for itself!

Bob Underwood
By Bob Underwood
From: greensboro
Apr 12, 2008
the US Forest service has opened the Rockjock trail from Conly Cove south to Mossy Canyon Ridge trail allowing a backpacker to return via MCRT to kistler Road
By Bob Underwood
From: greensboro
Sep 14, 2008
Work on Rockjock was finished by the USFS in Spring of 2008. This trail remains on the USFS Adopt-A-Trail program and will always need occasional maintenance. The southern exit shown on the USFS maps is mislabeled. It is a rim-to-River trail called MCRT (Mossy Canyon Ridge trail). MCRT is now a steep barren flag route thru the heart of fire blast from the 2007 'Pinnacle' fire. Since it is mislabeled as being the south end of Rockjock, it will become an erosion ditch with increased use. Rockjock TRail is unmaintained south of MCRT but continues along the rim of the Gorge 0.5 mile south to Pinchin and beyond all the way to the intersection of kistler Road and Dobson knob road. This fire-damaged trail is now survey flags thru thin scraggly brush but it is relatively flat and will not erode. Pinchin is the better exit. Rock face along this broken wall is a fantastic area of fracture and erosion but not much clean rock. --Bob
By Bob Underwood
From: greensboro
Sep 14, 2008
Correction to directions:

When you get to Forest Service Road 210 continue down this gently descending and very winding road. A mile past the parking areas for Spence Ridge Trail take a sharp right. This puts you on FSR 2105, the road that leads past OUTWARD BOUND and on up to Table Rock. Bring water as spring at TR is not reliable. Parking can be crowded at TR. Hyde's Linville Gorge Trail guide suggests that it is about as quick to park at Spence and hike up via the MST.
By EliShank
Apr 6, 2009
Is there a peregrine closure period for shortoff or north carolina wall?
By Phil York
From: Winston-Salem, NC
Jun 12, 2009
EliShank, yes.

You can keep updated on closures through the year here: carolinaclimbers.org/area-repo...
By Jake Gounaris
Feb 25, 2010
Keep in mind that despite being in the south, Linville is not a winter rock climbing destination. Many areas are above or near 4,000 feet and get snow as early as late October.
By todd w
Mar 29, 2012
"Linville Gorge (Shortoff Mountain and NC Wall) closed from January 15th - August 15th"

Does anyone know if this includes the Amphitheater?
By andjoely
From: Menlo Park, CA
Mar 29, 2012
^No
By Jesh Plumb
Sep 25, 2013
Does anyone know where the best place to find beta for routes on the chimneys is?
By Reid Brooks
Oct 8, 2013
Just got back from Linville. Gate is open, and it seems that all climbing is accessible. Facilities (toilets and trash) are closed, but we had a great weekend climbing. It was very crowded on Sat and Sun.
By Robert Hutchins
Dec 3, 2013
"typically low angle" is a pretty poor characterization of Linville Gorge. That is fine for Table Rock, but the vast majority of climbing in Linville Gorge is quite steep, regardless of the grade. I recommend updating the region description so that people do not get the wrong impression.
By Nathan Burns
From: Dahlonega, GA
Dec 10, 2013
Any word on how the table rock fire has affected the area? I have never been to linville and wanted to go within the next few weeks to get on the daddy and the prow, but have no idea what conditions look like or what the trail situation is like
By Austin Pethan
From: Madison, WI
Mar 9, 2014
I will be heading to Asheville March 15-20, and am looking to climb a couple multipitch trad routes anywhere with suitable conditions. I am looking for a partner competent at climbing multipitch trad, and willing to take a friendly Midwesterner out for a day. I can supply a six pack of a fine a Wisconsin craft brew, and some of the best cheese in the country. I've done some multipitch alpine routes, and feel comfortable leading up to 5.9. Multipitch in Wisconsin means breaking a 100' route into two pitches, so I would really enjoy getting some air under my feet!

Thanks!

Austin
By John Braun
From: Hendersonville, NC
Mar 23, 2014
The road to Table Rock has a gate that is closed in the winter. If it is closed, you have to park at the gate and hike (or bike) another mile to the picnic area.
By bayouclimb
Apr 29, 2014
Best guide book for linville gorge/ north carolina?
By Jonathan Dull
From: Boone, NC
Apr 30, 2014
bayouclimb,

amazon.com/Selected-Climbs-Nor...