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.
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.
An incredible line with the 3rd pitch being one of the proudest pitches of 5.10a trad anywhere.P1 (5.7) Climb right arching feature to hanging island of trees and shrubbery. Belay then move belay up and climbers right to spot below diehedral way up above you.P2 (5.8). Climb to base of diehedral. I remember long slings being nice.P3 (crux). This is why you climb this route! Climb diehedral to its top (5.9) which is actually the top of a pillar under a large horizontal roof. Keyhole a nut in...[more]Browse More Classics in NC
FYI for all of you thinking about heading to the Gorge in the near future... There is a large wild fire that has begun to spread rapidly and is threatening a lot of the area. It was centered in the TR parking lot camping area and has now spread to over 100 acres. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE GORGE VIA THE TABLE ROCK ROAD. Please leave this area open for emergency vehicles and fire fighters to get through and do their job. www.hcpress.com/news/table-rock-fire-in-linville-gorge-wilde>>>
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 www.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!
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
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.
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.
"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.
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